I took this picture from our headquarters and largest software delivery center in Sofia. Although a magnificent landscape view it captures an issue we are all facing – air pollution. But I don’t want to complain. Cities all over the world have this issue. Nevertheless, I am going to share how we join the effort to limit air pollution and make the city of our largest software delivery center a better place. Actually, we did this in Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna as well. Yes, we can’t make the greatest difference on our own, but if everyone joins us we can wake-up to a better quality of life. Only if we decide to be part of the solution and change daily.
We’ve been working to make a change in terms of air quality for quite some time. In 2017 Sofia municipality, along with the mayor, have partnered with us and other software companies in Sofia to share our vision how we can limit air pollution and how to increase the quality of the air in the city. Back then, our CEO asked all ScaleFocus employees to share thoughts on innovative, immediate and long-term actions to take in order to lower bad emissions and get a higher air quality. ScaleFocusarians responded and identified 21 major areas of improvement, which we shared with the municipality officials. We had ideas in many areas such as legislation for electric vehicles, fines, road infrastructure, focused awareness campaigns, longer initiatives for not using the major air polluters and IoT platforms for better micro measurement.
In the past we have worked with top car manufacturers to promote and educate ourselves of the alternative electric and low-emission vehicles we can select when purchasing a new car. Actually, our employee loyalty long-term program subsidizes brand new cards with low or zero emissions. Employees after their 4th year in ScaleFocus are eligible for dotation.
We’ve also implemented a number of activities towards a green office and promoting public and alternative to cars transport and other actions for a better earth. We’re a socially responsible company and the strive to continue to do so lead us to join another initiative – the “Clean Air Day” on the 16th of November. An initiative supported by over 100 health and charity organizations as well as many cities, one of which is Sofia. The initiative was promoted by the Sofia municipality and Mrs. Fandakova, who contacted us directly to suggest our involvement.
“Clean Air Day Challenge: We can make a change only if we become a part of it!” – this was our CEO Plamen Tsekov’s message to all ScaleFocus and Upnetix colleagues. He motivated to apply the challenge in all our four software delivery centers in Bulgaria as well as our offices in London, Munich, Washington D.C. and Zurich.
To spice up the initiative we decided to turn the initiative into a challenge. To provoke all colleagues to use public transport, walk on foot or use any other alternative method on November 16th in order to limit bad emissions.
I was so happy that many colleagues took part in the Clean Air Day initiative! Both ScaleFocus and the soon acquired team Upnetix accepted the initiative. The goal was also to raise awareness, so we challenged them to share the means of transportation they choose via a selfie and use the appropriate tags to raise awareness of the day #CleanAirDay2018 and #CleanAirDaySofia. We wanted to reach as many people as possible and set an example of what we should be doing daily.
We took another step further into the clean air topic by organizing an educational as well as a practical session with our team to illustrate another type of an alternative transport – a motorized scooter. Our friends from INOKIM Bulgaria spend valuable time to teach us on the benefits of using this way of transport and let us have some fun riding the scooters around the building.
The entire initiative for both companies and colleagues from all our offices was a challenge with an award. The most important factor was spreading awareness, so the rules of our game were to have the most impact in social media with the pictures our colleagues took of the green transport selected. The winners are Atanas Kaynarov and Ivelin Parvanov. Nasko gathered 228 reactions and Ivelin 222, proving to be real social influencers. Of course, we prepared special awards for their engagement – a voucher for a new bike from DRAGZONE, in line with their green lifestyle.
Frankly speaking I took this cause very personally. I’ve had my fair share of issues with bad air quality through my years and lately I focused more on solving the problem than complaining. I couldn’t take a picture, but I can say that I took one of the longest roads that day, keeping it green all the way. I took the night train late after my day at the Burgas office was completed. When I arrived in Sofia I got on the subway to home and then to work. I could have used my car or get on a flight to Sofia, but honestly being part of the solution felt much more awarding and I enjoyed each part of it.
Me and all our team members are thankful to everyone, who took the challenge seriously and posted their selfies on social media. We are thankful to everyone who continues on a daily basis to actively choose alternative green transport! I know I am using the metro and I will keep using the train and always share my rides if my journey requires a car. We will definitely continue with the change and make the cause one of our personal ones! We are also open for ideas how to generally improve the air quality in the places we live in.
Do you feel like being a part of the solution? Check our job openings and apply.
Metodi Amov, Marketing Director