Our Christmas commitment this year will be focused on nature. More specifically, the mountain forest in the canton of Graubünden. It is a good feeling when you take care of the environment, yourself and those around you. We should be happy to raise the necessary resources. So that is what we are doing. We are supporting the non-profit mountain forest project organisation in Trin so that their work continues to stand for respectful cooperation. Since ancient times, we have relied upon the mountain forest as a protective natural wall. It protects us against avalanches, falling rock, erosion and high water. At the same time, it provides a habitat for many animal and plant species, it is a place to relax and it also supplies us with wood.
If you would like further information, visit www.bergwaldprojekt.ch.
Our Christmas commitment this year will be focusing on cuisine. More precisely on the appreciation which we show for our food. Because we love fine food and good things to drink. Not only at Christmas time. For this reason, we were even more surprised to learn of the following statistics: Every year 2.3 million tons of fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese in Switzerland alone land in waste containers instead of in the mouths of the hungry. 100,000 tons of this are not recycled, but rather directly incinerated. This is referred to as food losses and food waste. Additional figures? 45 percent of food wastes originate from private households. There are several reasons for this: Prices for consumer foods have never been more favourable than they are today. On average, the Swiss spend a mere seven percent of their income on food. This got us thinking and we started looking for projects and organisations dealing with this topic in a productive manner. As a result, we now support the non-profit organisation foodwaste.ch.
At the end of 2014, our Christmas commitment will be heading to Bioterra, where we will be supporting the "Greencity Switzerland" project. With more than 13,600 members, 30 regional groups and more than 45 natural garden construction companies, Bioterra is the leading organisation for organic and natural gardens in Switzerland. And as a financing and project partner, a part of "Greencity Switzerland".
With "Greencity Switzerland", we have found a Swiss project which appeals to us, which we deem socially or ethically relevant and which we are happy to personally advocate, where proven and new technologies can be wonderfully combined and where we can contribute to support the sustainable development of base areas and the cultivation of greenery in Swiss cities. Because a city's greenery brings pleasure to everyone, offering relaxation areas, habitats, adventure areas and some genuine quality of life.
The Scuola d’arti e mestiere in Lugano trains technical illustrators. Within a four-year period of training which includes an integrated 'Berufsmaturität' (vocational diploma), the students complete a six-month placement in German-speaking Switzerland. Depending on whether they opt for the path to civil engineering or the ‘ladder’ leading to building construction, they will work for a firm of architects or an engineering company during their placement.
The placement is designed to enable students to extend and deepen their specialist knowledge, provide a broad overview of future professional life, improve social competence and to help young people to mature. In this way, character training is furthered alongside professional development, as a result of the foreign environment, new vernacular and different mentality. Students also learn to face up to and deal with everyday challenges in a better way.
We are pleased to make a commitment to the next generation with our placement opportunities.
This statement applies to us every day, and thus at the end of 2013 as well. That is why we are supporting the Christmas event of the ProSpecieRara foundation, which is committed to biodiversity in Switzerland.
ProSpecieRara is a Swiss non-profit foundation. It was established in 1982 in order to save endangered livestock species and cultivated plants from extinction. Spiegel sheep, Manganese pigs, red oracle, and many other species now once again populate meadows, farms and fields.
The commitment of ProSpecieRara has been recognised nationally and internationally and is regarded as being a pioneering achievement in many respects.
Bees pollinate 75% of our most important crops and are therefore of great significance not only for the ecosystem, but also for us humans. Since the late 1990s beekeepers from around the World have reported abnormally high losses of bee colonies. Switzerland has been affected as well; half of the species living in this country are already endangered. We want to counteract this trend and have committed ourselves to the protection of bees. Instead of giving Christmas gifts we support the Oberthurgau Beekeepers’ Association with a substantial donation.