DigitalLife Day: sustainability rethought

I love the ocean, and I love surfing. But every time I go surfing, I notice how much garbage is floating in our oceans and lying around on beaches. Who wants to walk through mountains of plastic in order to reach the water?

Not to mention the fact that plastics can make you sick. That’s because you can’t help swallowing some seawater once in a while when you’re surfing. Even though most oceans are unfortunately far away, at least from Stuttgart, we too are responsible for polluting the oceans — for example, through our behavior as consumers. We live in a world that we can’t imagine existing without plastic.

It starts with our individual behavior

In my daily life, I therefore try to reduce my use of plastic, avoid products containing microplastics, buy regional and seasonal food, separate my garbage, and sometimes dispose of a piece of trash I see lying around. Wouldn’t it be a good idea, I thought, to expand these activities into my daily work at DigitalLife@Daimler  — such as the planning of our DigitalLife Day, for example?

No sooner said than done — sustainability meets DigitialLife Day

We’ve been organizing DigitalLife Day  at Daimler for four years now (and this year for the first time in India, too) in order to give our colleagues a chance to put digitalization in practice, advance the cause of digitalization in our company and to push the cultural change forward. This year we had 1,000 participants, more than 40 speakers on four stages, and over 40 market stands. It’s not easy to ensure that an event of these dimensions not only provides content that is relevant and adapted to its target group but is also environmentally friendly. For example, we have now strictly limited the number of suppliers.

Fortunately, I have colleagues on the DigitalLife organizing team (Joel, Melanie, and Hüso) who consider sustainability as important as I do. That’s why we decided that this year we want to not only organize the best Daimler in-house tech event dealing with current digitalization issues in the Group, but also design the event with sustainability in mind.

Digitalization and sustainability go hand in hand. When we talk about future-oriented digital issues, we can’t avoid the question of how we would like to leave them behind for future generations.

– Joel Bayard, DigitalLife@Daimler Internal Communications

That’s why we got together with the Pulsmacher agency to consider how we could implement this theme at the event. A number of factors were relevant for the planning and the implementation.

Constructing the Event

We wanted to make sure that the construction materials we used for the event could be reused. For example, the twin-wall sheets we used as the main construction elements of this year’s DigitalLife Day were reused a week later at the Tech Open Air event in Berlin. The rest of the sheets were completely recycled.

Catering

The food trucks used only fresh regional ingredients, most of which were organically grown. The food was served with, and on, dishes and cutlery that could be composted or recycled 100%. And in order to prevent overproduction, food was only prepared on order.

Waste management

Among other things, we avoided generating large amounts of trash by setting up water coolers throughout the entire grounds and handing out reusable water bottles. Thanks to these measures, after this event for 1,000 participants we collected only 50 bags of garbage, which were filled only with trash that could be composted and recycled. The garbage bags were properly disposed of, so no additional trash was poured into our oceans.

For me, sustainability means asking myself every day what kind of footprint I will leave behind in the world. For the sake of my environment and myself, I want it to be as clean and positive as possible.

– Melanie Raßloff, DigitalLife@Daimler Employee Connectivity

We’re all set for the next (sustainable) DigitalLife Day!

What was our conclusion at the end of the day? We not only organized a great event around the issue of digitalization and cultural change but also designed a day with lots of new input and digital inspiration in many areas for our colleagues in a way that was sustainable and environmentally friendly. We want to be able to go about all of our future events with the good feeling that we’ve made the world a little bit better  . We can put this approach into practice in October, when the next major event is coming up.

In the course of the preparations for DigitalLife Day I realized that the changes that are accompanying the digital transformation can also have a huge impact on our environment. We have to take optimal advantage of this potential.

– Hüseyin Ates, CAReer -The Top Talent Program

We should also realize that in order to get a grip on the global problem of trash in our oceans we need to do far more. All of us need to participate and consistently eliminate the causes of it in our direct surroundings. Individual action may be a small step in the face of the massive pollution of our environment, but that’s precisely why it’s essential!


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Laura Tschentscher is a member of the Communications team of DigitalLife@Daimler, where one of her tasks is to use various formats and events such as DigitalLife Day to shape the digital future of the Group.

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