Sustainability
Published: September 14, 2020
Sustainability
Published: September 14, 2020

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Father and Son: a Sustainable Team Extraordinaire

You could think that as our financial analyst for Aerospace Coatings, Zbynek Trnka from our Shared Service Center in Brno, Czech Republic, just focuses on numbers and analyses for our aerospace business… but there is so much more!

Being a part of the team for 11 years, his colleagues around the Brno office know him as an always smiling and extremely engaged colleague. He took advantage of his outgoing personality recently, when he was helping his son with a school sustainability project  – and many of his colleagues were happy to lend a hand.

Tapping Into a True Learning Opportunity

Last June, Zbynek’s son came to his dad for help after his school announced a new year of a special sustainability project. Each academic year, the school collects paper for recycling and sells it to a local manufacturing company, which turns it into new packaging. With the money they earn, the school supports a selected child in India. The pupils also keep in touch with him through letters in English, so they all practice a foreign language as well.

But last year’s results of the paper-collecting project left Zbynek’s son wishing he had done more for their Indian friend. So, his dad offered to help the following year, turning to his own friends, including his colleagues in the Brno office!

I know it would be more efficient to send money directly, but this was an opportunity for my son to help someone himself and give him a chance to learn more about recycling as well.

Turning Paper Into Help

For Zbynek and his family, being environmentally conscious is “just a common part of life.” However, after diving into the project with his son, they were really surprised to learn just how much waste we produce as a society. One friend even gave them two big boxes of unused leaflets.

What a waste of energy! To create leaflets, pack them into plastic, for no one to even read before they’re thrown away.

He was also equally, yet very positively, surprised by how willingly his friends and colleagues got behind the paper-collecting initiative.

Record-Breaking Results Thanks to Friends and Colleagues

At first, Zbynek only asked his closest coworkers for some of the spare paper laying on their desks. But what he didn’t expect, that it quickly spread to the whole floor and shortly, the whole office got to know that Zbynek was collecting paper for a good cause! Colleagues started sorting their desks and saving any spare paper waste for Zbynek, even bringing it from home.

It started with people giving me a few old magazines and leaflets. And by the end, I’d arrive at the office to find my desk covered in boxes of paper.

As the school was closed for a few months due to the pandemic, the 2019/2020 paper collecting results won’t be announced till September. Unofficially, however, the total volume of paper collected is around 10,000 kg! What’s more, Zbynek and his son managed to contribute an impressive 2,832 kg to this total.

An Impactful Aerospace Mission

At work, Zbynek’s desk is in the finance department. As a financial analyst for Aerospace Coatings, EMEA, he prepares overviews of business results and delivers presentations to regional and global management to help them make appropriate decisions.

I really like that even in a support function like finance, I am very close to the real business and get to see the impact every decision has.

Every day, he keeps his eye on the financial results of the region and prepares forecasts. This is something that has become quite difficult due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the aerospace industry.

After work, Zbynek, as you can no doubt already guess, is a true family man and loves to spend time with his two sons.

During the lockdown, Zbynek found it helpful to discover things that made him happy each day.

I was ‘locked’ at home with my kids. I became their teacher, chef, and everything else. We made funny homework videos together. It was a great experience.

Although his son will soon go back to school and learn the results of the paper-collecting contest, both him and Zbynek know winning is not important here. They wish to express a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped them collect such a staggering amount of paper, highlighting the issue of unnecessary paper waste and supporting such an amazing cause!