Commitment to Social Responsibility
Through both the José de Mello holding company and its main platforms and business units, in 2016, the José de Mello Group maintained its commitment to developing its entire business activity in a socially responsible way.
One of the most import social responsibility initiatives, cross-sectional to all employees of the José de Mello Group, is the Volunteer Programme that has been developed with the support of the Amélia de Mello Foundation. It is already in its sixth year edition and currently includes the participation of more than 200 volunteers coming from all the subsidiary companies, who are also joined by the José de Mello family.
In the last financial year, the Volunteer Programme of the José de Mello Group extended the scope of its operations, with the establishment of two new partnerships: with the Associação dos Albergues Nocturnos do Porto and with Bebés de São João.
The Associação dos Albergues Nocturnos do Porto is a non-profit private social welfare institution that provides continuous daily multidisciplinary assistance to the homeless population, 365 days a year, while the Bebés de São João is an association that helps mothers.
Thus, these two institutions, both in the city of Porto, join the six bodies that were already partners of the Volunteer Programme, namely the Coração Amarelo Association, the after-school recreation centre ATL da Galiza, the Carcavelos Parish Community Centre, the Obra do Frei Gil, the Movimento de Defesa da Vida and Junior Achievement Portugal.
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 September 16th another Volunteer’s Day was held in the facilities of the Carcavelos Parish Community Centre which, for the fifth consecutive year, brought together around one hundred participants from the various companies in the José de Mello Group.
Another important social responsibility initiative 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 totalling 650.000 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 2016 edition, CUF, José de Mello holding company and José de Mello Saúde attributed a financial contribution of 4.000 euros to each of the institutions chosen by employees: Comunidade Vida e Paz (Life and Peace Community), São José nursing home and Raríssimas Association.
To the 12.000 euros donated should be added the amount that Brisa will contribute, after voting and choosing the entities to benefit, a process that was not completed during the first quarter of 2017.
A third social responsibility initiative of great importance, developed with the support of the Amélia de Mello Foundation, 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 2016/2017 academic year, five scholarships were awarded for undergraduate courses and one for a master’s course to six candidates, children of employees of Brisa and José de Mello Saúde.
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 2016, was held between 3 July and 14 August, and involved a total of 178 participants, drawn from Brisa, CUF, José de Mello holding company and José de Mello Saúde.
In addition to these four broad ranging initiatives with employees, for the fourth consecutive year, the José de Mello holding company and its participating subsidiaries promoted an internal campaign regarding the Pirilampo Mágico, with the aim of supporting 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 the José de Mello holding company, of support to the 8th Fundraising Seminar, organised by Call to Action The seminar was held at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, on 10 March 2016 and allowed participation in the event by the Movimento de Defesa da Vida, a partnership organisation of the Volunteer Programme, and of the Comunidade Vida e Paz, one of the organisations aided by the Ser Solidário project in the last financial year.
José de Mello holding company 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 majority owned by José de Mello holding company – Brisa, CUF, José de Mello Residências e Serviços and José de Mello Saúde – have, also, undertaken important social responsibility actions throughout 2016.
in Annual Report 2016
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 2016, 200 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.