Commitment to Social Responsibility
In the 2018 financial year, José de Mello and the Group’s main platforms and business units reinforced the commitment to pursue their business activities in a sustainable and socially responsible manner.
This includes José de Mello Group’s Volunteer Programme, one of the most important initiatives of cross-cutting social responsibility, which celebrated its seventh year in 2018.
Currently with the participation of over 320 volunteers, from all subsidiary companies, former employees and members of the José de Mello family, the Volunteer Programme consolidated, in the last financial year, the connection to its network of partner entities: The Coração Amarelo Association, the Community Centre of Galiza, the Carcavelos Parish Community Centre, Obra do Frei Gil, Movimento de Defesa da Vida, Junior Achievement Portugal, Bebés de São João, the Associação dos Albergues Nocturnos do Porto and Refood.
In order to validate the performance strategy that has been serving as the basis for the Volunteer Programme, evaluation surveys were once again carried out among the volunteers and partner institutions. The results obtained reflected, on one hand, a high level of satisfaction among volunteers, and, on the other hand, a strong social impact on the ground.
As a way to acknowledge and honour the employees who are part of the Volunteer Programme, another edition of the Volunteer’s Day was held in Leiria on 4 October, bringing together around 130 volunteers. This year, the joint action took place in Pinhal de Leiria and sought to contribute to the reforestation project of the areas affected by the fires that took place in 2017.
On a different note, also cross-cutting the entire José de Mello Group, Árvore do Apadrinhamento was a significant event in 2018. This initiative, borned in Brisa and extended to all subsidiaries in 2018, took place between 27 November and 11 December, seeking to incentivise the employees to give a Christmas gift to children in need, sponsoring 393 children under 15 years of age from four entities: Associação Coragem, Centro Paroquial do Estoril, Community Centre of Galiza and Sociedade de São Vicente de Paulo.
A third cross-cutting social responsibility initiative of great importance is the Ser Solidário project, the successor to the Natal Solidário project, which ran from 2002 to 2007. These projects have jointly made it possible to gather support amounting to over 760,000 euros so far, benefiting multiple 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 2018 edition, ATM, Bondalti, José de Mello, José de Mello Residências e Serviços and José de Mello Saúde awarded financial support of 4,000 euros to each of the institutions chosen by the employees: Casa de Santo António, Cerciesta and Cáritas Paroquial da Cova da Piedade.
In the case of Brisa, the most voted institutions, as well as the support to be granted, will only be known at the end of the first half of 2019.
A fourth cross-cutting 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 the Group employees’ children.
In the last financial year, corresponding to school year 2018/2019, ten scholarships for undergraduate degrees and five scholarships for master’s degrees were awarded to 15 employees’ children candidates, from Brisa, José de Mello Saúde and Bondalti.
Also regarding AMF’s activity, articulated with José de Mello Group, more specifically with José de Mello Saúde, the Social Welfare Grants programme should be highlighted. It is managed by the Sustainable Development Committee of Vila Franca de Xira Hospital and benefited, in 2018, 13 projects promoted by associations located in the five municipalities served by the hospital.
Also worth mentioning are the D. Manuel de Mello and Pedro Maria José de Mello Costa Duarte scholarships. The former is awarded to young doctors who develop clinical research projects and the latter focuses on rewarding and promoting research projects and studies on Angelman’s syndrome.
A fifth cross-cutting social responsibility initiative is the Holiday Camp, held annually in Almoçageme and which, in 2018, took place between 30 June and 18 August, with a total of 125 participants, children of employees of Brisa, José de Mello Capital and José de Mello Saúde.
In addition to these five broad ranging initiatives with employees, for the fifth consecutive year, José de Mello, 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 should be noted that José de Mello supported multiple social welfare institutions, namely Associação Vencer Autismo (Beating Autism Association), Instituto de Apoio à Criança (Child Support Institute), MARCA 2018 social welfare event and Comunidade Vida e Paz (Life and Peace Community).
José de Mello 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 – Bondalti, Brisa, José de Mello Residências e Serviços and José de Mello Saúde – have undertaken a broad set of important social responsibility actions throughout the 2018 financial year.
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 three 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 2018, more than 1500 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.