Educating for a sustainable future

Małgorzata Podyma, an Environment Specialist on our Environment, Health and Safety team based out of our Bielsko-Biała office, has always been passionate about sustainability and the environment. During her 8 years at EnerSys, she’s risen multiple times to go above and beyond to promote sustainability in both the office and the community in which she works.

In Poland, battery manufacturers are required to pay a tax to local authorities for each kilogram of battery sold in the Polish market. Alternatively, battery manufacturers can create educational campaigns for customers and local communities on how to properly handle and recycle batteries. When Małgorzata started at EnerSys in 2014 and she identified this as an opportunity to not only eliminate the fee payment, but to also elevate sustainability in the office and in the community.

Since 2015, Małgorzata has organized seven educational campaigns on the proper handling of used batteries. These campaigns also teach about the full life cycle of our batteries and how to ensure there are no negative consequences for personal health or the environment with proper handling of cells and battery waste.

“When I think of our Earth in 10, 15, 20 years from now, it’s today’s younger generations that we need to teach to protect it,” says Małgorzata. “I love working with the people directly in our community, it provides a way for us to be more in touch with where we operate and have a positive impact where we do business.”

“Meeting the requirements of the government is the bare minimum, and we are always working to do more,” says Małgorzata. In addition to these educational campaigns, Małgorzata and the team in Bielsko-Biała have been working on additional training for teachers on how they can conduct classes on batteries, promoting nationwide art competitions and webinars for students, creating videos on battery recycling, and more. They also have been shipping educational materials on batteries and safety to schools, kindergartens, and orphanages.

In addition to focusing on the community impact, Małgorzata has also been working to promote sustainability within the EnerSys office. In 2016, she launched a sustainability campaign in Bielsko-Biała, which included labels on every office light switch reminding her colleagues to turn off lights before leaving the room. Małgorzata also organized a scientific and technical conference with the Polish government, EnerSys employees and customers, to educate participants about the recyclability and sustainability of our products.

These efforts have been paying off, as the Bielsko-Biała office recently received an award for being an “Eco-Responsible Business” at the Poleko Fair in Poznań.

“I am so happy we received the award,” says Małgorzata. “But our work is not done. Each year we will be thinking of new things to do to help both our business and our community. There is so much more to be done, and I am so glad to have these opportunities to do this work in my day-to-day role.”