Fátima Bittel is on fire for her job. She coordinates Corporate Sustainability activities at FIEGE and has become the face of sustainability.
The native Salvadorian came to Germany in 2009 to attend the German-Latin American CALA course of studies at the Münster School of Business (MSB), a faculty of the Münster University of Applied Sciences. After graduating with a Master’s degree in business psychology, Bittel decided to pursue a career in logistics. Since autumn 2016, she has been working at Fiege. “I supported the Business Development unit within eCommerce Solutions for three and a half years”, the 30-year old comments. However, she found her big passion during her one-year parental leave. “I asked myself what the world should look like that I wish to show my child”, Bittel explains. For the young mother, sustainability has since played a vital role. At Fiege, she now coordinates Corporate Sustainability activities.
Corporate Sustainability: Broad spectrum of responsibilities
Her responsibilities are highly diversified: “I supervise the coordination of all ecological and social projects which we develop in the context of our sustainability strategy”, the expert explains. This includes, next to Ecologistics, Corporate Governance, Corporate Citizenship and the activities of the Josef Fiege Stiftung foundation. “We want to establish sustainability in the daily work routine of our employees. Both in the shape of sustainable services as well as through social and eco-friendly projects for society”, Bittel adds. For this very reason she is the point of contact for her colleagues as well as non-company partners and clients.
Teamwork as the key to success
To develop new products, the Sustainability Manager works closely with employees from many different departments and career levels. “Our two-member Sustainability Workstream gets together every six weeks”, the 30-year old says. The interdisciplinary team discusses new ideas and campaigns on strategic and operation-al level, which Bittel then merges and prepares for the company’s Management and the Sustainability Board. Sustainability overlaps, among other things, with the Real Estate Development business unit as well as the Energy Management team, for example when it comes to the consumption of power at the warehouse locations. Employees are also involved in the processes through newsletters and the Intranet. For the future, special training seminars are planned. “All of us are in the same boat. Our goal is to firmly anchor sustainability in the minds of our employees. Because protecting our climate starts with many small actions in our everyday life”, Bittel adds.
Three questions for Corporate Sustainability Manager Fátima Bittel
Fátima, many consider sustainable logistics to be a contradiction. For you, however, the two belong together. Why is that?
“If you want to do logistics right, there is no way around sustainability. It is Fiege’s goal to offer our clients services that are as efficient as is possible. To achieve this, we merge shipments, improve the use of our spaces, optimise the energy footprint of our buildings, or even develop intermodal transport modes. This saves time and money for us, and for our clients. At the same time, we do not waste resources. For this very reason, an efficient solution is naturally also always a sustainable solution.”
Over the past months, you have been familiarising yourself with Fiege’s way of dealing with this topic. What surprised you in this regard?
“I got to know the exciting history of the Fiege family. Looking at the company’s past is incredibly interesting because each generation lived sustainability according to the time they lived in and at different levels. Sometimes intentionally, other times even unintentionally. With its origins in agriculture, Fiege has always had a special awareness of ecological sustainability. A social aspect was added later as was, at some point, the exciting thought of combining ecological with economic goals. Today, all three aspects are viewed from a holistic perspective and lived through many individual measures and projects. It is so much fun to accompany this close up and to be involved in initiating this.”
Do you have a special suggestion on how each and every one of us may contribute in our everyday lives to sustainability?
“There is a lot you can do by adopting more conscious consumer habits. Whether in terms of energy by turning off the lights in rooms that are not being used or even when it comes to the consumption of food. The aim is to buy meat, milk, and other foods with a greater sense of awareness. Once we give these things more thought and reflect on where these products come from and the ecology behind producing them, we almost automatically change our own conduct to become more sustainable.”