REN's Heroes of All Species initiative was awarded with honours in the Community category at the Recognition of Social Responsibility Practices (Reconhecimento Práticas de Responsabilidade Social - RPRS) awards. The prize was presented at the RPRS Gala, which took place in Lisbon, on July 12.
Hosted by the Associação Portuguesa de Ética Empresarial (APEE - Portuguese Association of Corporate Ethics), the RPRS awards seek to honour the implementation of good governance policies and models in public and private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, showing good social responsibility practices. The attribution of this award followed an audit process conducted by the APEE, which evaluated the programme's structure, its generated impact and its replicability.
Margarida Ferreirinha, REN's head of Communication and Sustainability, stated: «Heroes of All Species is a special programme for REN, not only because of its subject, and the commitment from all institutional and technical partners, but mostly due to the impact we felt it had in schools. The conservation of biodiversity and environmental protection are topics closely connected to our activity and thus of great importance to us. This programme's recognition as a good social responsibility practice gives us all a reason to be extremely proud».
The Heroes of All Species initiative, which is supported by the Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (ICNF - Portuguese Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forest) and by the Direção-Geral da Educação (Directorate-General for Education), is aimed at students in years three and four of primary school and seeks to make them true ambassadors of the biodiversity's importance. Created to complement school programmes, its awareness-raising actions use an interactive and dynamic approach, promoting environmental consciousness and a sense of responsibility among the children. Plays, games and tree planting are the mottos for the initiatives, which also include a presentation from Quercus, the project's technical partner, concerning animal and plant species.
To enable access to all content, a website available at www.heroisdetodaaespecie.pt was also created. In addition to educational materials to be used in the classrooms, this website also has educational games, interesting facts and news. Tux & Gill was responsible for the programme's image and base activities and FIRE was in charge of the activation actions in the schools. For this edition, the species REN chose to highlight were the Bonelli's Eagle, the Black Stork, the Iberian Wolf, the Cork Oak, the Holly and the Strawberry Tree, which are featured in all actions and activities. This content was prepared with BIO3's and Consulai's technical support. New animal and plant species will be added in the future.
This initiative significantly reinforces the partnership established between REN and the ICNF in 2008 within the scope of the Business & Biodiversity programme, promoted by Portugal during the EU's Portuguese Presidency. The partnerships for biodiversity are joint projects between companies, non-governmental organizations and public bodies, which seek to reinforce economic instruments to preserve biodiversity with joint management actions.