Employee engagement: Clean Mountain
State Forest TANAP (Tatra National Park) has been organising the event for forty years. Every year, hundreds of organised groups (schools, companies, associations) take part, and they are joined by individual tourists who happen to be in the Tatras on the last Saturday in September.
In their ten years of active participation, volunteers from Slovenské elektrárne have done a great deal of beneficial work. We have cleaned streams that irresponsible visitors had used as a big dumpster and removed illegal waste tips. Every year we clear waste from the footpaths and the symbolic cemetery. We have put up signposts at the mouths of valleys and we have helped to turn an old, unused chalet into an information centre.
As a company that produces 90% of electricity without CO2 emissions, we have been thinking how to bring clean energy to the mountains.
A few years ago, we restored the small hydro power plant at Zelené Pleso. We have also installed an isolated photovoltaic powerplant at the chalet Téryho Chata and other photovoltaics at the chalets Chata pod Rysmi and Zbojnícka Chata. We helped to install solar panels on the popular chalet Žiarska Chata in the Western Tatras. Of course, Clean Mountains is mainly about waste and its removal from the hiking trails. The good news is that from year to year we have less and less rubbish in our bags.
A decade of cleaning the Tatras
We began participating in Clean Mountains ten years ago. Since then we have added more and more interesting activities, not just in our alpine mountains. Besides our partnership with the Slovak Hikers’ Club to make significant improvements to the energy efficiency of alpine chalets, as mentioned above, we have a long partnership with the TANAP administration and the Mountain Rescue Service.
With our partners – conservationists from the Tatra National Park – we develop projects to promote biodiversity and we monitor and protect the symbols of the Tatras. Good cooperation has enabled us to increase the numbers of chamois in the Tatras, to relocate marmots to areas they have not previously inhabited and to monitor the life of Anna the eagle on her journey to Africa.
We listen to our partners, which is why we have decided to help the mountain rescuers in their difficult work. We have managed to equip 12 frequently visited tourist destinations with automated heart defibrillators – in hard-to-reach mountain chalets, and at the Belianska Cave. They already helped to save 2 lifes.
In 2018, an employee fundraising campaign raised money to buy an important tool for rescuers – a machine for indirect heart massage. This tool lets rescuers keep their hands free and focus on transportation of the patient and other lifesaving actions, while the machine massages the heart.