Taking care of the earth, one river at a time

Earth Day Seine River DXC Blogs

After my recent Earth Day post, colleagues from around DXC Technology reached out to share how they supported the global event. I am turning this post over to my colleague Frederique Nicoli Ly, to report how she and colleagues spent the day helping out in Paris.

On April 22, more than 30 French DXC employees participated in an unusual and exciting clean-up activity: We took to the river by canoe to collect garbage in the Seine.

The event was organized by the Surfrider Foundation Europe with the goal of reducing and preventing marine litter pollution and giving back to the environment in a fun way.

Team DXC was equipped with life vests, gloves, litter pickers and plastic bags to collect non-biodegradable items. Before the event, we were given a safety briefing and told to bring a change of clothes — just in case! Earth Day DXC Paris

One of the teams asked if there was any chance of getting totally wet. I laughed and said that unless their teammate was keen to get them in the water, the likelihood was slim. I was confident in this advice; the manager at the Nautical Center ensured me that no one had ever fallen in the water during clean-up activities.

We took to the water in two-person canoes or six-person canoes. Needless to say, our team must be outstanding! It wasn’t long before two team members were in the water, swimming in the cold Seine!

In fact, all of us got quite wet during the event; the rowing and picking up of trash resulted in a lot of dripping water in the kayak. It was also rather cold out there on the water.

I feared I would have made some enemies by the end of the day, as I was quite sure some of my colleagues would not be enjoying the experience, but it turned out that everybody — even the team that took the swim — had a great time!

Our collection was impressive both in volume (we scooped out more than 500 liters) and in unusual objects (we found an oxygen bottle, chair, valet…). The Surfrider team congratulated us on a job well done.

After the waste collection, we were given a short briefing on the importance of protecting our rivers. The Surfrider team explained to us that 80 percent of the marine litter comes from inland sources, so we are all part of the solution, even though we live far from the sea.

According to European Union studies, “Marine litter can cause serious economic damage: losses for coastal communities, tourism, shipping and fishing. Potential cost across EU for coastal and beach cleaning was assessed at almost €630 million per year. Considering its accumulation and dissemination, marine litter may be one of the fastest growing threats to the health of the world’s oceans.”

To conclude, I think we can be proud of ourselves and our company for what we accomplished. Everyone from interns to top managers rolled sleeves and braved the cold and wet for a good cause.

It was the best team building I’ve ever done, and helped many of us to get to know new colleagues for the first time. I’m sure most of would do it again, but maybe from terra firma next time!

See our video about the event.


Frederique Nicoli Ly is Southern Europe Corporate Responsibility Principal for DXC.

 

RELATED LINKS

A different sort of day at the beach

Earth Day: Do small acts really make a difference?

Do busy people have time for the environment?

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