Sonae Sierra distinguished at the European Risk Management Awards 2009 (PT)

Sonae Sierra has just been distinguished at the European Risk Management Awards, an initiative of British magazine Strategic Risk, which rewards the best and most innovative actions in the risk management area. This distinction, in the "Best Risk Training Programme" category, acknowledges Sonae Sierra's bet on the development of a Safety & Health culture across the whole company and its shopping centres, namely through the PERSONÆ Project.

This distinction is the result of a rigorous selection process carried out by the jury panel of "Strategic Risk", composed by 20 of the most important and prominent scholars and professional of the risk management area in some of the most important multinational companies. Sonae Sierra was also nominated in the "Best Risk Communication of the Year" and "Best Lost Control Strategy of the Year" categories.

Álvaro Portela, Sonae Sierra's CEO, stated: "This distinction makes us very proud, since it acknowledges our bet on the Safety & Health area, which, as we have always claimed, represents our conviction that people are the most valuable asset of any company. We believe this attitude gives us a competitive edge and is a reference and differentiation factor for our stakeholders."

Launched in 2004, the PERSONÆ project focused on consolidating a culture of prevention and anticipation of accidents, to protect both our employees and everyone who interacts with Sonae Sierra, with an emphasis on the responsible behaviour of each individual through common values adopted by the entire organization with the purpose of reaching the "zero accidents" goal.

Conscious that risk prevention is a direct responsibility of leaders and managers, and that the responsibility for the management of Safety & Health falls on the entire organization, Sonae Sierra invested more than 6 million euros throughout six years on the development and improvement of its Safety & Health system, through the PERSONÆ Project.

This training and prevention programme was the embryo for the procurement of the OHSAS 18001 certification, which made Sonae Sierra the first company in the sector, on a European level, to obtain certification for its Safety & Health Management System.

Between 2005 and 2007, the PERSONÆ Project involved training sessions not only for employees and tenants, but also for suppliers and visitors to the Sonae Sierra centres, in a total of more than 14 thousand hours, encompassing more than 70 thousand people in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Romania and Brazil.

The results of this Programme illustrate the success of the initiative. Between 2005 and 2008, the company recorded a 52% reduction in the number of days lost due to work accidents or professional diseases. In this field, the company also recorded, since 2005, a decrease a 62% decrease in absences due to work accidents per employee.

Source: Sonae Sierra

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