The news of some days ago according to which over 353 million trees have been planted in less than 12 hours in Ethiopia really surprised me. You read correctly: 353 million trees.
To tell the truth, when I first read about this, this number seemed excessive. So, I took some time to read more about it and I checked various websites to compare the data: well, they matched.
Following a sizeable decrease in forest cover, which went down from 35% at the beginning of the 20th century to the current 4%, the Ethiopian Government implemented a program to prevent drought and other issues caused by deforestation.
Is sounds incredible, doesn’t it?
At first glance it really seems unrealistic, and yet it is not the only endeavour of this kind, and it may well make it to the Guinness Book of World Records.
But the thing that surprised me the most was another one.
Public offices closed to allow their employees to take part in the initiative and join the other volunteers that had answered the call for participants. And the endeavour was a success.
Why I am telling this story to you? And what do I mean by it?
Two things, mainly.
The first thing is that there is no such thing as an impossible endeavour. Or to be precise, there’s way less impossible endeavours than we would think. I say this also with my personal history and the history of my business in mind.
In many instances, the success probabilities were really slim at the starting point, but then the results we got turned all odds around. I know you can imagine these kinds of situations.
Our line of work has a lot to do with deadlines, hectic days and tight delivery times, but also with ambition, calculations and the need for concrete results, and in this context, it is impossible not to face such situations.
Would you like an example? The moment when I got a call from Detroit to let me know that we had gotten to the second place at the Innovation Award contest for the One-Shot® Method.
We had just started to industrialise our first part created with the One-Shot® Method, the Window Frame, and we decided to participate in this contest more to make our new product official rather than out of belief that we stood a chance. Among 70 candidates – of great calibre! – SAPA got second, right after Ford.
We thought that we stood no chance, but that day we learned that “impossible” is a relative category.
The second thing that this piece of news made me think about is – and this is the legacy that my father passed down to us – that we cannot ignore what is around us. And I add: we cannot ignore the beauty that is around us.
I talked about this piece of news because SAPA decided to renew its commitment towards the FAI – the Italian Fund for the Environment.
The FAI is an Italian foundation that since 1975 has the objective of protecting, preserving and promoting Italy’s artistic and natural heritage by restoring and opening to the public historical, artistic or natural landmarks.
It promotes education and raises the awareness of the community about the importance of getting to know, protecting and caring for our artistic and natural heritage and part of the FAI’s mission is to protect nature and the landscape and Italy’s cultural landmarks, as required by the Italian Constitution.
What the FAI does today is very close to the definition of an impossible endeavour, but at the same time it is a sign of strong commitment towards the community and by the community.
We have always believed that beauty is a fundamental aspect of our work, as well as of everyone’s life.
We believe that living within an area means that you should get to know it in depth and appreciate it: the FAI and its activities offer this possibility to everyone.
I like to think that there is a kind of an exchange between the land that helped us grow and ourselves, and we contributed to the local growth with our work.
For these reasons and once more, we decided to extend this great opportunity of discovery to the people that work with us every day.
Our employees will be able to access numerous sites managed by the FAI and to participate in guided tours, excursions and events as well as to become part of the FAI Community that creates a network of people committed to the beauty of our country.
It is people that make the difference, my father used to say. We always repeat this, and we still believe in it.
Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors at SAPA
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