Some time ago, I was contacted for a somewhat atypical project.
The Nature et Découvertes Foundation met to choose the projects it was going to support and for the first time since its creation, it wanted to involve someone outside the company and the Foundation.
That person was me! On the way to Versailles, where the Nature & Découvertes helping hand committee meets four times a year.
The Nature and Discoveries Foundation
From the first benefits of Nature & Découvertes, François Lemarchand, its founder, created the Foundation.
This year N&D celebrated its 25th anniversary with a capsule collection, and the Foundation celebrated 21 candles.
Since 1994, the Nature et Découvertes Foundation has supported associations that act for the protection of nature.
It is financed by the company N&D which donates 10% of its profits in accordance with the ecological commitment of its founding charter but also € 1 for each loyalty card subscribed.
Then since 2014, each client can easily be a stakeholder thanks to rounding. When going through the cash register, holders of the loyalty card can round up their invoice to the next higher euro according to the foundation’s profile. The cents thus collected from thousands of customers allow the financing of new projects.
The Foundation acts for biodiversity through two committees:
- The major committee,
- The helping hand committee.
However, part of the funds are set aside for emergency actions which cannot wait until the two annual meetings of the committee. This envelope was put in place following the Erika disaster in 1999.
Since 2008, Nature & Découvertes employees have been meeting to choose projects for the protection, awareness and education of nature to support. The voted allocations range from 500 to 3000 €.
The helping hand committee makes it possible to finance small projects to protect biodiversity, far from the spotlight. These small actions are very close to the philosophy of N&D.
This is how more than 600 helping hands were given, distributing more than 1.5 million euros.
Applicants apply via an application package. The files are filtered by the director of the Foundation, David Sève and the manager of the Coup de main projects, Benoît Jouenne. Together, they preselect 25 files for each committee.
It is then up to Nature et Découvertes employees to choose a case to defend.
Putting myself for a day in the shoes of an employee, I defended a project that was close to my heart.
We therefore met on Thursday July 2 in Versailles to each take turns presenting “their” project and voting together to allocate a total budget of € 60,000.
Beyond the beautiful encounters made during this day, I was surprised to observe that everyone can select and participate: from the store manager to the reception host, including the digital manager. At each committee, that is to say every 3 months, the participants change. Employees are not spectators or simple guests, they are involved, they steer the projects and the running of the committees.
Besides, the employees give them back. I discovered people who were grateful to be involved, happy to make their contribution to the building and proud to be part of Nature et Découvertes.