By Max Clarke

Jaguar Land Rover employees are now more committed to the company and to the environment following partnership with Earthwatch.

11 Jaguar Land Rover employees recently returned from Kenya where they spent two weeks providing vital support for Earthwatch scientists studying the endangered Grevy’s Zebra. The trip is part of a long term employee engagement programme aimed at creating a community of ‘ambassadors’ who will build awareness and understanding of sustainability issues within Jaguar Land Rover.

152 employees from all parts of the organisation and all types of roles applied for this opportunity — a ratio of approximately 13 applicants per expedition place. The standard of applications was extremely high, making the selection of the final team very difficult.

The final employees who were selected to join the team are representative of the diverse range of people working within Jaguar Land Rover. The team included men and women with a total of 162 years of service, from the front line in manufacturing to support functions and managers. All of the company’s key operational sites in the UK were represented.

At the end of the trip Earthwatch surveyed the employees to ascertain the benefits of the programme to them and Jaguar Land Rover as their employer.

* 90 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that they are now more committed to Jaguar Land Rover as a company to work for.
* 80 per cent of the participants agreed or strongly agreed that they have an improved knowledge of sustainability and conservation issues.
* 100 per cent of the participants reported a positive experience with all but one evaluating the overall experience as ‘Excellent’.

Des Thurlby, HR Director at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our employees to work out in the field with one of our conservation partners. They learnt a great deal about the vital work of Earthwatch in Kenya and have brought back valuable new skills with them that they can apply to their working environments. This partnership with Earthwatch provides an obvious benefit to our company as these employees can now act as sustainability ambassadors across every level of our business.”

The trip and long term partnership with Earthwatch compliment Jaguar Land Rover’s Ei (environmental innovation) plan. The plan encompasses cross business sustainability goals for both product and operational processes. Ei sits on an internal communications campaign which galvanises Jaguar Land Rover employees on improving environmental performance within their area of work.

During the trip, employees experienced environmental issues first hand, as well as spending time with the local Samburu people learning about their traditional culture and nomadic way of life.

Charmaine Cox, Senior Supplier Development Engineer, Land Rover, said: “The whole experience was positive. Seeing a herd of 250 Grevy’s Zebra in one go was incredible as this was after all what we were there to study. Experiencing the extreme culture of the people in Wamba was also an unforgettable memory and I now feel I have experienced the impact of climate change first hand.”

Since returning from Kenya, Charmaine Cox has been booked for several speaker events at schools in Birmingham. She will also be addressing colleagues at a Land Rover bi-monthly departmental meeting, at which she will be showing her video clips and photos.

John Walsh, Power Train Test Support, Jaguar said, “This trip has given me a better understanding of vehicle capabilities and future needs which the company as a whole must work towards. We need to continue reducing waste, recycling parts and increasing our overall sustainability.”

John has since been invited to present highlights of the trip to members of Rugby District Scouts.

For more information please visit www.landrover.com/ourplanet