Lisbon, 5 August 2008 In the financial year 2007 (April 2007 to March 2008), Vodafone Portugal and its Foundation invested over 2.4 million euros in implementing their plan of activities, according to the Social Responsibility Report just published. As the report explains, this investment was applied to extend previous projects and to develop new initiatives in the areas of health, safety, environment, education, culture and social welfare, among others.
The Vodafone Portugal Foundation’s new initiatives include the Paediatric Epilepsy Remote Monitoring project launched in February 2008 in conjunction with the West Lisbon Hospital Group to increase the number and potential success of surgical operations on children with epilepsy. Using mobile communications and a software application specially designed by Vodafone, doctors can view the V-EEG (video electroencephalogram) examinations on a computer or PDA remotely and at any time.
In the same period, and similarly with the support of the Vodafone Portugal Foundation, the Safe Filling Station System came into operation all over Portugal. This is a spin-off from the Safe Taxi System (launched in 2006) applied to petrol filling stations, and like that project, is organised in partnership with the same organisations (the Ministry of the Interior, National Republican Guard and Public Security Police).
The Healthy Beaches project was repeated for a further year, serving 125 coastal or river beaches in 2007. Linked to this initiative, the Champions’ Summer project, launched in 2006 to raise childrens awareness of safety and environmental rules on beaches, organised 82 education and awareness campaigns involving 50,000 children in the last two years.
Also in the area of beach safety, the SOS Beaches project, a partnership with Mafra Municipal Council to provide rescue support facilities on beaches without lifeguards, enabled the rescue services to act successfully in 67 emergency situations detected by beachgoers. No fatalities were recorded on the beaches where the system is in operation.
In the Environmental area, in a partnership with Valongo Municipal Council, Valongo Water Authority and the University of Porto’s Faculty of Engineering, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation is supporting the environmental clean-up of the River Leça and the improvement of its banks.
During the last two years, the Mobile School Programme has been extended. This is a partnership between the Vodafone Portugal Foundation and the Innovation and Curriculum Development Directorate that gives the children of travelling workers (market traders, circus artistes and others) daily access to distance learning school programmes wherever they happen to be.
At the same time, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation met the full costs of producing digital school textbooks for blind and partially sighted students through a project managed in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the publisher Porto Editora.
The APEC Making it Seen project, launched in 2005 as the result of an agreement with the Association for Education of the Blind (APEC – António Feliciano Castilho Institute), continued to promote access to the new information technologies by people with special needs. To date, 1170 institutions have been helped and over 3700 people have been trained.
In the area of city transport, the CyberMoving project was launched in partnership with the Pedro Nunes Institute at the University of Coimbra to promote sustainable mobility in cities.
For its part, Vodafone Portugal manages significant programmes concerned with the responsible development of its network and the environmental management of its business.
In 2007, it made numbers of measurements of electromagnetic fields, in some cases in co-operation with bodies such as the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Health. On average, over 70% of the values observed are around one thousand times below the most restrictive limit, and 100% of the measurements comply with the legal limits.
The Vodafone Group has also committed itself to taking more effective steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It has been decided to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the Group by 50% by 2020, compared with the level of CO2 emissions in the 2007 financial year. In line with this commitment, Vodafone Portugal is implementing a series of measures that will contribute directly or indirectly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In developing the network for example, the company will implement sustainable technologies wherever possible, with base stations being powered from renewable sources.
The quantity of phones, batteries and accessories sent for recycling or re-use totalled 46 tonnes in 2007 an increase of 21% over the previous year. Over the last four years, Vodafone Portugal has sent 116 tonnes of these materials for recycling or re-use.