CERTAS 2020 - one anniversary, two donations


The second year marked by COVID-19 is once again already drawing to a close. Despite everything, last year we celebrated a special year with our employees, customers and partners – our 25th anniversary. And Certas knew what to do – instead of a large-scale party (already planned), Certas decided to donate CHF 25,000 each to two carefully selected environmental foundations:

Stiftung Bildungswerkstatt Bergwald

The Bildungswerkstatt Bergwald Foundation (educational workshop) brings young people into the forest, in order to reinforce their relationship with nature and their awareness of a responsible approach with our livelihoods. The non-profit, independent Swiss Foundation has been providing nature-based and environmental education since 1995 (NUB) as well as education for sustainable development (BNE), for which it has received multiple awards. In 2001 and 2003, the Foundation received the promotional award “Save the Mountains”, in 2010 the Schutzwaldpreis (Forest Protection Award), as well as the UNESCO label for the qualified implementation of education for sustainable development.

Stiftung Umwelteinsatz

The Umwelteinsatz Foundation (SUS) (Environmental Commitment Foundation) has been working with young people, adults and community service workers since 1976, in order to ensure the protection and maintenance of cultural landscapes in Switzerland. Over the years, the Foundation has specialised in building dry walls, in addition to its general work assignments in nature. Together with the voluntary work groups and community service workers, they have already performed over 4.8 million hours of work in and for nature. The Foundation’s focus is therefore on the careful handling of our nature in peripheral regions of Switzerland.

Two projects, three values – visionary, reliable and compassionate

Both foundations converted the donations into work project weeks in the Vaud Alps. While the first foundation prepared a hiking trail in Rossinière with a class of the 10th school year (ETML Lausanne), the SUS renovated a part of a dry wall on the alp Le Sori in the regional nature park Gruyère-Pays-d'Enhaut, together with voluntary adult workers. The Bergwald Foundation not only makes people aware of the topics of environment and sustainability 

«We offer young people a change of perspective, to escape their everyday routine»

explains Kaspar Zürcher, the managing director of the Bildungswerkstatt Bergwald Foundation. The physically very demanding work in the forest aims to inspire the young adults and broaden their horizons, in particular because some of them are currently in an important career decision-making phase, he goes on to explain. From the forest to the alp: “Our focus is on the work”, emphasises Sarah Menegale, managing director of SUS and adds that the assignment on the alp Sori was a special experience for the voluntary adult workers. A week in nature with perfect weather, but without mobile phone reception, and the adults learned not only how to renovate a dry wall, but also a little about life on the alp.

Thus two projects which underscore our values – accompanied by a vision of sustainable development of our environment, young people and adults receive reliable, professional support in their work outdoors, while they share their interpersonal social experiences in a group.

You can find out more about these two exciting projects in the coming articles.