The goal is ambitious but genuine: more than 1 hectare of land was adopted by CTW and will be reforested in Oporto and Lisbon in 2023. Our commitment is to repeat this goal 4 years!
We are not alone in this challenge... On the one hand, to achieve it, we want to challenge our people to participate in volunteering activities promoted during the working hours and in their free time. We are in this journey together. And together, we will be moving higher regarding environmental sustainability.
On the other hand, we have created specialized partnerships that will guarantee reforestation expertise. In Oporto, we are working with "Futuro" - the project of 100 thousand trees in Oporto Metropolitan Area, coordinated by Católica University and Oporto Metropolitan Area.
In Lisbon, we are working with "Plantar uma Árvore", an association which develops and implements volunteer programs to recover ecologically degraded areas through the restitution of native forests and native species, involving the community.
ATIVIDADE NO PORTO
Happy News: almost 100 people being nurtured by nature (part I)
This story has two parts: it starts in Oporto on March 13 and continues in Lisbon on March 15, with two volunteering activities of Trees in Motion Project. It is about our environmental commitment but it is also about connection with nature and how it can have an huge impact on our happiness and mental health!
The rain threatened a dreary afternoon, but the volunteers did not disarm. Promptly, left for Jancindo, Gondomar to participate in the first tree planting action of the Trees in Motion project.
When we asked about the motivation to participate Trancoso, Rockstar Developer, is quite objective: "Not everyone needs to be an everyday activist, but for sure when opportunities like this just show up on your way, we should take them." Almost 50 people did it at CTW! More would have done it if we had vacancies...
At the destination, the coordinators of FUTURO - project 100,000 trees in the metropolitan area of Porto were waiting. The gloves, ready for distribution, heralded an afternoon of work. Tougher than probably many predicted.
Fifteen minutes on foot separated the place of arrival from the hills where the plantation would take place. From the brief walk, we took the tip for a trail through the Moinhos de Jancido and Lagoas de Midões!
"It made me feel like we fulfilled a duty, and it was an amazing mindfulness exercise", says Trancoso, Software Developer
Among the bare heaps, with gloves and pickaxe in hand, all information was listened to carefully: from the fire that burned the area to the precautions taken to promote sustainable tree plantation practices, using native trees, and prioritizing local biodiversity.
The rain ended up giving a break, but what didn't give a break during the plantation was the ground, hard and full of stones. Several challenges were overcome: - Another tree planted. Let's go to the next one! 345 in total!
"We helped to reforest according to the endemic landscape, allowing for the prevalence of a safer habitat and keeping the beautiful and unique Portuguese nature scenery up and running", highlighted Trancoso.
"An amazing mindfulness exercise"
This story goes beyond the focus on planting trees and promoting a balanced ecosystem. "It made me feel like we fulfilled a duty, and it was an amazing mindfulness exercise", says the Rockstar Developer.
"Contact with nature impacts on happiness 100%. Not only it affects our happiness but also supports our mental health", says Patrícia Lourenço, Director of Happiness
Scientific studies suggest that contact with nature can impact people's happiness for several reasons. Exposure to green spaces can reduce stress. Spending time in nature can also lead to improved physical health. Natural environments can provide opportunities for social connection. Natural environments are often quieter than urban areas, which can help to reduce noise pollution and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
Trees in Motion activity a little bit of all these factors. Among the group, planting trees was also Patrícia Lourenço, Director of Happiness, who thinks that "contact with nature impacts on happiness 100%. Not only it affects our happiness but also supports our mental health."
Patrícia confesses that time flew by and explains why: "I saw everyone working to get things done, but always with a smile on their faces and that was contagious. There was such a great mood and that really made me feel good during the whole time. I noticed that I could disconnect of everything! Overall I would highlight a great sense of happiness and goodwill all around.
The initiative in Oporto was promoted under the program Hectare from FUTURO – project of 100,000 trees in the Porto Metropolitan Area, organized by the Municipality of Gondomar and CRE.Porto, an education-action network for sustainability led by the Catholic University of Portugal and the Metropolitan Area of Porto.
(to be continued soon with the Lisbon volunteering initiative)
ATIVIDADE EM LISBOA
Happy News: 250 trees planted in Parque Natural Sintra-Cascais (part II)
Our journey with Plantar Uma Árvore
The Lisbon volunteers were amazed by the lovely sunny day on March 15. However, after a while, when the midday sun started to hit, we must confess that we wouldn't have minded enjoying a little breeze as well.
We started the adventure by heading to Santuário da Peninha in a big bus with 50 people riding on a one-way road, with barely any space for a second car.
We made it to the meeting point successfully and started exploring the area, thrilled by the warm day and the activity ahead. On our 20-minute walk to the plantation area, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the green area and the Guincho beach.
Camila Oliveira, Product Visionary, shared her perspective on how being in nature can contribute to our happiness, "even before starting the activity, when we could see the forest, it was already a good moment to breathe and see that there is something bigger than us in the world: nature.".
When we arrived at the plantation site, João from Plantar Uma Árvore and his volunteer team rapidly helped us to get on board and start the task. I was amazed by the diverse nationalities of all the volunteers from Plantar Um Árvore. There was an Italian person, an Australian, a girl from Ukraine, a girl from Slovenia, and much more, and they were all doing this as a one-to-three-month volunteer experience. That was inspiring.
The whole process of digging holes, realizing that it was not as easy as it looked, finding rocks and challenging plant roots, working in teams and observing everyone so focused and joyful emphasized even more what I can feel every day at the office. We, Critical TechWorks, are truly unique, and our culture reflects all the company values we represent in these activities and initiatives.
"It was a bit tougher physically than I expected, which took its toll, but it made me feel good and happy before, during, and after. Our work's impact was visible and made me feel proud of our contribution", says João Gomes, Product Visionary
At the end, we left proud to have contributed to the plantation of 250 new trees that will grow strong and keep the area safer from fires. We were 50 people working together to make an impact and the goal was surpassed. João Gomes says, "with our strength in numbers, I knew we could have a meaningful impact overall".
At CTW, we care how we get to top!