Company Challenge – Young Professionals do their Bit for Climate Protection

The Company Challenge is finding favour in the business community. More and more companies are empowering their young professionals to develop concrete measures for climate protection, and now cities like Wil and Zurich are launching regional implementations of the Company Challenge. In this way, they enable companies of all sectors and sizes to take part in the successful training programme. The young professionals, the companies and the local economy all benefit from new impetus for climate protection and diverse synergies.

Group of students talking in the classroom

Apprentices are also implementing creative projects as part of the Company Challenge. Image rights & Photo: IGP

Effective climate protection is based on business and society developing solutions that lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions. A huge variety of skills are required here. With the myclimate Company Challenge, apprentices develop their own projects for energy and resource efficiency, while simultaneously learning to apply their professional skills to bring about concrete changes within their industry. This benefits both the young professionals and companies. The training format is designed and moderated by the educational experts at Foundation myclimate, who have been empowering apprentices to drive climate protection within companies for more than ten years.  

Cities and Local Authorities Promote Climate Education Across Companies 

Alongside companies from a wide variety of industries, the cities of Wil and Zurich are now also making use of this proven training format to promote climate protection with young professionals locally. The collaboration with the public sector means that local businesses offering training, regardless of their industry or size, can host a Company Challenge jointly. 

Cross-company implementation means that numerous synergies emerge and there is a lively exchange of experiences, which leads to a transfer of know-how across sectors and businesses, as well as strong networking within entire cities and regions. 

Pioneering Work in the City of Wil 

For the city of Wil, it is clear that long-term climate targets can only be reached in cooperation with the local economy. Wil thus became the first city to team up with Foundation myclimate to launch the first ever city-wide Company Challenge in Switzerland, which brings together 21 apprentices from seven different companies along with Wil local authorities. 

On the launch day in autumn 2021, the apprentices discovered how climate change can be stopped through effective climate protection measures. The Energy Officer for the city of Wil, Stefan Grötzinger, revealed the diversity of existing and potential projects in the areas of mobility (MONAMO WIL), heat, electricity and consumption. Taking this as a basis, the apprentices developed their own project ideas with the aim of saving energy and resources within their companies, and over the last few months they have been able to develop and pursue their projects in groups with professional supervision. 

Through the projects submitted, the young professionals have proved that they are ready and willing to contribute to achieving the climate targets of their companies and the local authorities. Two project teams, for example, have developed detailed plans for expanding the bicycle parking at their companies’ premises, while geomatics apprentices have shown how greening roofs can help to link up insect habitats. Other project teams developed plans for ecological customer retention measures or solar energy.  

The diversity of the project ideas and the skills applied is also reflected in other Company Challenges, like those at Emmi, fenaco, Griesser, IGP, Arnold Ltd., Clientis and Freitag, among others. With the start of the new academic year in autumn 2022, apprentices in a huge range of companies within the city of Zurich and throughout Switzerland will launch further Company Challenges for climate protection. 

Video Company Challenge city of Wil

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