Commitment to Social Responsibility
Throughout the financial year of 2017, José de Mello Capital and José de Mello Group’s main platforms and business units reinforced the commitment to carry out their business activity in a sustainable and socially responsible way.
This is the context in which José de Mello Group’s Volunteer Programme is included, one of the most import social responsibility initiatives, cross-sectional to all employees of the José de Mello Group, which has been developed with the support of the Amélia de Mello Foundation, and which is already in its sixth year, currently including the participation of over 250 volunteers coming from all the subsidiary companies, who are also joined by the José de Mello family.
In 2017, José de Mello Group’s Volunteer Programme expanded its scope of performance with the celebration of a partnership with Re-food, a private, independent, non-profit, 100%-volunteer social welfare institution with a nationwide scope. This is a charity community with an eco-humanitarian nature that works to eliminate food waste and hunger in each neighbourhood, supplying, continuously, a service of sustainable distribution of nutritious food in good condition, scattered across daily collection location. With around 2,500 beneficiaries and about 900 partners from food sources throughout the country, Re-food provides around 46 thousand monthly meals.
This institution joins the eight entities that were already partners of the Volunteer Programme, namely the Coração Amarelo Association, the Community Centre of Galiza, the Carcavelos Parish Community Centre, the Obra do Frei Gil, the Movimento de Defesa da Vida, the Junior Achievement Portugal, the Bebés de São João and the Associação dos Albergues Nocturnos do Porto.
To validate the performance strategy that has served as a basis for the Volunteer Programme, annual evaluation surveys were once more conducted among volunteers and partner institutions, and it was evident from the results obtained, that there was both a high level of satisfaction of volunteers, and a very positive social impact in the field.
As a way to recognise and honour the employees who are part of the Volunteer Programme, on 15 September another Volunteer’s Day was held at Monte da Ravasqueira, which, for the sixth consecutive year, brought together more than 120 participants from the various companies in the José de Mello Group.
A second very important social responsibility initiative, also open to all employees of the José de Mello Group is the Ser Solidário project, a successor to the Christmas Solidarity project, which ran from 2002 to 2007, and which, to date, have jointly raised donations of around 750 thousand euros, having benefited several social welfare institutions.
This project ensures employee involvement, through the donation of a minimum of one euro from their monthly salary, while also giving them the opportunity, at the end of the year, to vote on the institutions that they would like to see benefitted.
In the 2017 edition, ATM, CUF, José de Mello Capital, José de Mello Residências e Serviços and José de Mello Saúde awarded financial support of four thousand euros to each of the institutions chosen by employees: Associação Passo a Passo, Centro Paroquial e Social de Santa Maria de Avanca and Congregation Irmãzinhas dos Pobres.
Regarding Brisa, which follows a different model, support was given to four institutions, namely Associação para o Desenvolvimento dos Galegos, CERCICOA, “O Caracol” Kindergarten and Delegação de Gulpilhares da Aldeia de Crianças SOS, with an individual value of 22 thousand euros. The awarded donations encompass the 2015 and 2016 editions of Brisa’s Ser Solidário project.
A third social responsibility initiative of great significance, developed with the support of the Amélia de Mello Foundation (AMF), is the scholarship programme for undergraduate and master’s courses, intended for children of employees of José de Mello Group companies.
In the last financial year, with respect to the 2017/2018 academic year, nine scholarships were awarded for undergraduate courses and one for a master’s course to ten candidates, children of employees of Brisa and José de Mello Saúde.
Still regarding the activity of AMF, articulated with the José de Mello Group, more specifically with José de Mello Saúde, we should highlight the Solidarity Scholarships programme, managed by the Sustainable Development Committee of Vila Franca de Xira Hospital and the D. Manuel de Mello and Pedro Maria José de Mello Costa Duarte scholarships, the first intended for young medical doctors developing clinical research products and the second focusing on awarding and promoting research projects and studies on Angelman syndrome. Additionally, there is Prémio Mais Valor, focused on innovation and honouring the best works carried out in the healthcare units, hospitals and clinics of José de Mello Saúde’s universe
A fourth social responsibility initiative cross-sectional to the main subsidiary companies, is the Holiday Camp, that is provided every year in Almoçageme and that, in 2017, was held between 2 July and 13 August, and involved a total of 193 participants, drawn from Brisa, José de Mello Capital and José de Mello Saúde.
In addition to these four broad ranging initiatives with employees, for the fifth consecutive year, José de Mello Capital, in its capacity as a controlling company for José de Mello Group, promoted an internal initiative to publicise the “Pirilampo Mágico” solidarity campaign, whose intent is to support the various CERCIs and fellow organisations in raising public awareness for the right to equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
It is also important to mention the granting by José de Mello Capital, of support to the 9th Fundraising Seminar, organised by Call to Action, held at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, on 21 April 2017, which enabled participation by Comunidade Vida e Paz and by Associação Albergues Nocturnos do Porto, partner entities of the Volunteer Programme, in the event.
José de Mello Capital also promoted an appeal to consign 0.5% of employees’ income tax in favour of one of the partner organisations of the Volunteer Programme or the Amélia de Mello Foundation.
In the context of their business activity, the main platforms and business units of the José de Mello Group –– Brisa, CUF, José de Mello Residências e Serviços and José de Mello Saúde – have undertaken a broad set of important social responsibility actions throughout the 2017 financial year.
In Annual Report 2017
Voluntary Service Scheme
Set up in 2011, with the support of Foundation Amélia de Mello, the Voluntary service scheme is based on a clear commitment to a socially responsible company, following on in the tradition of the former CUF group.
Under this Scheme over two hundred employees and Members of the José de Mello family place their skills at the service of a common cause thereby positively contributing to the local community, besides donations, sponsorships and patronage programmes.
“Ser Solidário” Project
Set up in 2007, the “Ser Solidário” (Show Solidarity) Project is based on the large-scale involvement of the José de Mello Group’s employees by making donations to charities of their choice.
Under this scheme, employees who join up donate at least 1 euro of their monthly salary to a charity of their choice.
The subsidiaries they work for matches each euro donated and hands over the total amount to the chosen institution on an annual basis.
Following on in the family tradition of the former CUF group, since 2001 the José de Mello group offers summer camps to the children of its employees aged between 7 and 17. From 2001 to 2017, about 1.400 children of employees of shared companies attended the José de Mello group summer camps.
Amélia de Mello Foundation
The Amélia de Mello (FAM) Foundation was set up in October 1964 at the behest of D. Manuel de Mello, in homage to his wife, daughter of Alfredo da Silva, with the chief objective of continuing the social work of the CUF group.
The FAM has strong connections to the companies managed by the heirs of its founder, namely the José de Mello group and the Group Nutrinveste Sovena, but it is independently managed and governed.
FAM’s operations consist mainly in awarding scholarships and supporting clinical, medical and human science research.
In partnership with the José de Mello group, the FAM has an annual scholarships scheme for Bachelor and Masters degrees intended for the employees’ children, besides supporting the Voluntary Service Scheme, scholarships and awards for clinical research, innovation and charities.