When USB-ED launched its sustainability campaign earlier in 2012, staff were encouraged to incorporate fresh ideas into their own areas of influence. Carol Winson, one of USB-ED’s programme managers in Cape Town, took this to heart. She found a way to replace formal class photos with an opportunity for programme participants to plant trees at the USB campus, thereby giving back to nature and leaving a learning legacy.
According to Joseph Lombardt, chief officer at SA Wine Industry Information & Systems (SAWIS), the tree planting activity was very satisfying because the tree represents him and the rest of his class on campus: “It will be on the premises long after my fellow classmates and I are gone. It is something that makes me part of the University [of Stellenbosch Business School].” Lombardt is doing the Senior Management Development Programme
on a part-time basis.
Brendon Bezuidenhout, who is attending the part-time Management Development Programme
, is an area sales consultant at Otis (Cape Town). He had this to say: “I really enjoyed the tree-planting. Carol really went out of her way to make this happen. The photographer and the team were very patient, but of course the facilitator made everyone wait until our work session was complete!”
Reacting to the positive experiences of both faculty and participants, Winson has decided to continue with the initiative for all of her programmes going forward. She says: “We will add a plaque for every tree, indicating each group’s programme name and year.