Where there’s a will, there’s a way. After working in England and France, Jozef Šalka found his way to our production site in Krupka (Czech Republic) in 2016. “I actually only wanted to work in the Czech Republic for a year, but then I met my wife here,” laughs Jozef.
His many years abroad have strengthened his desire to lead a diverse team in an international company. In six years, the native Slovakian has risen from production worker to site manager and is grateful for this fork in the road: “I have been given a great opportunity for further development at Spread Group. As site manager, I now work with my team to achieve the best output and high product quality for our group. Last year, we broke our own record with 3.2 million products shipped.” Jozef is still working towards his personal goals: After hours, he is studying Public Administration and Regional Development at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague.
Spread Group: How do you personally define sustainability?
Jozef Šalka: Less is more. I am firmly convinced that too much consumption harms us and makes us unhappy in the long run. In order to appreciate the value of goods, I recently rented an allotment garden near our apartment. Our family now plant vegetables there. It’s important to me that my son learns how time-consuming gardening is and how much better his own vegetables taste in the end. In my childhood, we always planted everything ourselves. It’s a shame, really, that this tradition has been lost …
Spread Group: What motivates you to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
Jozef Šalka: I want my children to live in an intact and healthy environment. For this, I would like to serve as a role model for them, without lecturing them. Everyone has to find their own way to live a little more sustainably. One person does without meat, the other avoids plastic bags. I myself have noticed that we do a lot of things simply out of habit, without reflecting on our behavior: Because of my wife, for example, I now eat much less meat and feel much healthier as a result.
Spread Group: What sustainability projects have you and your team already implemented?
Jozef Šalka: We are strongly committed to recycling, which is why we have established a code system that allows our service providers to more clearly distinguish all the ink cartridges from our printers and start reusing them. Like our Polish colleagues, we have also switched to paperless production: Instead of routing slips with three sheets of paper per order, we use sticker sheets with 30 stickers each. With one sheet of paper, we can process 10 orders. We also print exclusively with vegan ink in our water-saving printing systems from Kornit Digital. The switch to reusable paper shipping bags is brand new: we want to do away with plastic bags altogether by the end of this year!
Spread Group: What specific sustainability goals have you set for yourself?
Jozef Šalka: We have to move soon, as our factory is getting small for our 250 employees. When we build a new factory building, we will think more about sustainability right from the start: solar panels on the roof and a system for collecting rainwater are high on my wish list. We are also currently in contact with a company that advises us on environmental issues.
Spread Group: What do you recommend to all readers who would like to further explore sustainability?
Jozef Šalka: I don’t have any specific recommendations for other people, but I hope that I can inspire them. For example, our garden not only enriches our diet, but also has a positive effect on our well-being. In our fast-paced, digital world, it’s a nice feeling to create something with your hands and watch it slowly grow.
Spread Group: Thank you for the interview, Jozef!
- Corporate Social Responsibility at Spread Group: www.spreadgroup.com/de/sustainability