There is no way too far to help
Dr. Bernd Jurisch is Head of Flight & Navigation Solutions at Lufthansa Systems and thus responsible for the Lido product family. His love for bicycles gave him the idea of collecting kilometers for the help alliance, the relief organization of Lufthansa.
This is how the company-wide campaign “active4helpalliance” came about. When participating in the sports donation campaign, every kilometer covered by Lufthansa Systems employees is converted into a donation for the help alliance.
When and why did you start to be enthusiastic about cycling?
In my hometown of Osnabrück it is completely normal to cover many distances by bicycle – e.g. trips to the university or the transport of the children to kindergarten. When I lived there, I was often on my bike. That´s very different here in the Rhine-Main area, where I live now. But here are very good cycle paths, too, especially outside the big cities. A few years ago, I explored them and found out that there are great bike routes between my place of residence Wiesbaden and Raunheim. At first, I commuted very irregularly with my bike, but I noticed that it always did me a lot of good. I have been cycling to work and back every day for five years now.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
Actually, it already starts on my bike, with which I am on my way to the office for about an hour. Then I already have a lot of work topics on my mind. During the day I can often do what I like to do best: Work together with colleagues on common topics. And when a day was stressful, in the evening I have another whole hour to process everything on the way home in peace. I am sure that this rhythm makes a decisive contribution to the fact that 95 percent of the time I really enjoy my work, which I feel is an absolute luxury.
Did your love for cycling give you the idea to support the help alliance in this way?
In fact, I had the idea more than a year ago when I was riding my bike home from our Christmas party. The help alliance is traditionally represented with a booth at the party and colleagues had reported on projects. I thought to myself: Maybe we could donate a certain amount to the help alliance for every kilometer that colleagues cycle on their way to work? But I didn't have a plan how to organize it.
How did it finally come about that the idea was put into practice?
I talked a lot with my colleagues from Gdansk about their great “LSYP active” activities. This initiative was launched by the employees and aims to promote joint sporting initiatives of all kinds. A colleague gave me an “LSYP active” shirt as a present, and whenever I wore it I was approached by colleagues in Raunheim. When the LSY health measures were presented at the site last fall, I remembered my idea. The colleagues from Marketing & Communications really enjoyed the idea and included other sporting activities such as walking and jogging in the campaign. Our CEO Olivier Krueger then gave the starting signal at the last Christmas party.
In the meantime, many colleagues have registered and the mileage is increasing daily. Have your expectations been exceeded?
A few weeks ago, Olivier Krueger announced that the company would double the sum when we reach the 10,000 kilometer mark in the first quarter. More than 100 colleagues, especially from Gdansk, Zurich, Budapest and Raunheim, have already broken the 30,000 km mark! Insofar expectations were exceeded in every respect. I am curious to see how this will develop over the course of the year. And I am already looking forward to riding my bicycle to the help alliance together with my colleagues at the end of the year to present a cheque.
1) Bernd Jurisch on his way to work by bicycle - for a good purpose (Copyright: Lufthansa Systems/Nina Martin)
2) In the project active4helpalliance, Lufthansa Systems employees worldwide are invited to collect kilometers that are converted into donations for the help alliance. (Copyright: iStock.com/Kikovic)