They’ve considered solutions, refined their ideas and come up with forward-thinking concepts. Every two years V-ZUG runs a Talents Project, and this year ten talented V-ZUG employees have poured their heart and soul into three promising projects to make the future of V-ZUG more sustainable and more innovative. We went along to see one of the projects in its final stages.
What happens to a new V-ZUG appliance if a customer returns it because it’s faulty or defective? Mauro Odoni, Daniel Spiess and Susanne Messingschlager considered this question and then developed a new solution. Every year, appliances are returned for one reason or another. “It could be that an appliance is scratched or discoloured, and the customer doesn’t want it. Such defects are very easy to repair, so the appliance gets a second lease of life,” explains Mauro Odoni, Head of HR BP & HR Services at V-ZUG. “As part of the Talents project we looked for a sustainable solution for the future of such appliances.”
Opportunities for a secure future
The solution they found saw the project team travelling to the canton of Lucerne with two
V-ZUG service technicians. To be precise, they’ve come to Jugenddorf Bad Knutwil, a residential village for young people. Located off the beaten track and in an idyllic natural environment surrounded by farmland, this is a socio-educational institution which for almost 100 years has looked after young men aged between 14 and 25 who have severe behavioural issues and are serving civil or criminal sentences. “Young people here get the chance to gain an official school leaving certificate and to complete vocational training, laying the foundations for a secure future,” explains Gilbert Henzen, Head of Finance and Administration at Jugenddorf Bad Knutwil.
Reusing rather than recycling
The accommodation here is made up of residential blocks. Each floor houses a group of nine young people who have their own large dining table, a kitchen and a living room. “In the evenings and at weekends the young people have to cook for themselves. So the kitchen here is in use every day,” says Koni Kiener, Head of Facilities Maintenance at the village. “And so they need a proper fridge with plenty of space,” he laughs. Which is why it’s good that the two V-ZUG service technicians have arrived with a new CombiCooler V4000 to replace the old fridge. “This fridge, for example, was sent back to us by a kitchen design company that had it on display at a trade fair and can no longer sell it as a new appliance,” says Odoni. The project team set about finding a solution for such second-hand appliances. In the old days they were just taken apart and the individual parts were recycled, but if the small defects are repaired then the whole appliance can be reused. “We decided to donate some easily repairable appliances like this one to social institutions and non-profit organizations, and Jugenddorf Bad Knutwil was one of the places we approached to ask if they needed a new fridge,” Odoni continues.
“We decided to donate some easily repairable appliances like this one to social institutions and non-profit organizations.”
Mauro Odoni, Head of HR BP & HR Services
Significant support for social institutions
For Daniel Bleisch, Head Full Service Technician, and service technician Marco Walker, the swap is straightforward. The old fridge is quickly removed and the new CombiCooler V4000 installed. The Head of Finance at the village is absolutely delighted. “I massively appreciate this project having come into being,” he says. “For us as a social institution, finances can be tight, so we’re especially pleased that V-ZUG AG has chosen to support us. It’s a huge help to us,” says Gilbert Henzen. Mauro Odoni and his team are also pleased about this project. “First and foremost, we’re delighted that we’ve been able to support the village. But it also allows us as a company to reuse our second-hand appliances in a beneficial way, giving them a new lease of life. And of course, that’s ultimately good for the environment,” says Odoni. There are plans to expand the project in the future; the aim is that institutions will contact V-ZUG when they need something. For now, however, there are nine young people who are going to love their new CombiCooler. It will be ready and waiting for when they come back from their lessons needing something to eat.