Sonae Sierras PERSONÆ Project wins ECO Award from American Chamber of Commerce (PT)

PERSONÆ, a groundbreaking project in the shopping and leisure center business, developed by Sonae Sierra with the support of DuPont Safety Resources, has just won the Eco Award, in the "Corporate Social Responsibiliy – Internal Public" category, from Amcham.

Initiated in 2004, PERSONÆ aims at accelerating the development of Sonae Sierra as the shopping centre company with the highest standards and practices on Health, Safety and Social Responsibility in Europe and Brazil, and the program's implementation is scheduled to last four years.

Social responsibility starts with taking care of the people around oneself, hence protecting them from any harm: a culture of anticipation will drive the prevention of "accidents" that can cause harm to oneself or others. PERSONÆ will foster that culture of anticipation and integrate it in the attitude of each one, which will improve social responsibility and business performance.

PERSONÆ is being successfully implemented in all of the Company's shopping centres and offices, in Europe and Brazil, but isn't confined to those facilities: "The purpose is to extend the knowledge obtained during the application of the project, bringing it into our staff families and to the everyday lives of all those involved. It's a bold and groundbreaking policy in terms of Safety and Health, and it also has a social function", said Pedro Soveral Rodrigues, responsible for the project in Sonae Sierra.

In its first two years alone, PERSONÆ has involved more than 11 thousand people, among employees, tenants, and suppliers in Sonae Sierra. Currently, Sonae Sierra's shopping centres and offices prepare documents, seminars and workshops, conduct awareness visits to all shops and premises, and correct non-conformity situations observed, also involving suppliers.

Another one of the project's actions is the regular holding of meetings with employees, managers and shop owners to debate apparently simple attitudes, such as accident prevention drills. The purpose is to stimulate the tenants to make this project an everyday work tool.

"It's everyone's duty to look after the health of employees and customers. Social responsibility begins with our concern for the people around us. A culture of anticipation allows for the prevention of accidents that may cause harm to ourselves, others, and assets", concluded Pedro Soveral Rodrigues.

Other actions in the scope of PERSONÆ have a much more simple and effective methodology. Every month, employees from both offices and shopping centres receive "Safety Tips", a message with safety and health advices related to their everyday activities. This message is also sent by shopping centre administrations to their tenants. The idea is for the latter to pass the message to their employees and relatives, further disseminating the information.

The Award
Launched by Amcham in 1982, The ECO Award was a pioneer in the acknowledgment of companies that adopt socially responsible practices, generating a reflection on the development of the concept and practice of Business Citizenship in Brazil.

On its 24th edition, 143 projects from 105 companies were up for the award. The number of applicants was one of the largest ever. The award ceremony will be attended by the former vice-president of the United States, Al Gore, and will take place on October 17th, at the Ibirapuera Auditorium, in São Paulo, Brazil.

Source: Sonae Sierra

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