After completing this three year period, I would like to share with you all the success and all the difficulties that we found to dignify our company and all our stakeholders in a strongly challenging environment, both nationally and internationally.
The path to sustainability is a commitment that we intend to honour and that we will be glad to walk with you showing you that, in addition to the objectivity and cold numbers that identify our economic, environmental and social performance, we also want to continue to be an active part in building a more inclusive, responsible and environmentally balanced society.
It was an exciting step,
We faced moments of strong socio-economic constraints, of great evolution in the area of the information and communication technologies and huge challenges related to reconciling these facts, with ethics in relationships, environmental preservation and social responsibility.
We updated our Code of Ethics and involved the entire value chain in the implementation of the principles advocated. The issues related to human and labour rights, including equality of opportunities and gender, were further specified in this last review, conducted between 2009 and 2010.
With the evolution of the sector and, consequently, of consumption habits, we started to look at technology not as an end but as a means to achieve it. We tried to always adjust our activity to improve quality of life for people, business for companies as well as environmental balance. We changed the organizational logic of the company to put it at the service of the interests of different customer profiles and strategic objectives to which we are committed. We made structuring investments in terms of next generation networks - Fibre-to-the-Home - and broadband, believing that we laid the foundations for a new way to interact, communicate and work over the next 100 years.
We changed the paradigm: we invested and innovated
Over these three years, we invested significantly in what we believe are the competitive advantages that will ensure sustainability in the future:
Throughout the 2009-2011, our investment was over Euro 2 billion in Portugal, which represented about 22% of our revenues, and an unequalled investment cycle in telecommunications in Portugal and in Europe.
We built a fibre network to the home (FTTH) covering 1.6 million homes. This is one of the best and most advanced fibre-optic infrastructures in Europe and in the world, which was recognized in February 2011 by the FTTH Council as the best in Europe. This investment allows us to develop and deliver new services and features to the market and thus secure a commercial offering, which is both more environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
We also pioneered in Portugal the launch of LTE - Long Term Evolution - the fourth mobile generation and have an ambitious investment program, which guarantees not only the largest nationwide coverage as well as an innovative and pioneering offer that enables traffic sharing between two devices.
We are also building a new data centre that will not only become one of the largest in Europe, but also an example of sustainability. It will be located in an interior area of the country where it will create new jobs and will be air-conditioned and powered mainly by wind and photovoltaic energy. It is estimated that this new data centre, compared to the current ones, will reduce its energy dependence by about 40%.
Innovation, Research & Development
With the conviction that innovation is and will be the main factor of market differentiation and future sustainability, we reoriented our organization towards a culture of innovation and research & development. We have created a program - OPEN - in which all employees are invited to participate and provide solutions based on empirical, scientific knowledge and also the fruit of learning and sharing with all our partners - suppliers, customers and universities. This reorientation has earned the recognition by the European Commission, that PT is the company that invests most in R&D in the country.
More environmentally and socially responsible value chain
Together with our suppliers and partners, we began the development and commercialization of ICT services and solutions that induce positive impacts on the environment and society. Home automation, remote monitoring, virtual storage and management of data, pricing plans tailored to all customer profiles, less energy dependence of equipment, as well as platforms and guidelines on the proper use of the new ICT related features are the genesis of the reorientation of our commercial offering.
We paid special attention to the areas related to education, health and safety.
Safe ICT use
The issues related to data security and protection, both for persons and businesses, were also the object of special and increased attention during this three-year period. We prepared, adopted, and extended to our value chain an Information Security Policy adapted to all information and communication systems and technologies.
Additionally, the safe and proper use of information technologies by the young was also a priority. We prepared a national awareness program – Communicating Safely - which we released and implemented in the national school community, and provided guidelines for use and parental control on our websites. With these initiatives, we believe that we are contributing to the dignity of the use of services and content associated with it.
Digital inclusion and literacy
We all recognize that digital inclusion and literacy have shown to be key pillars in fostering new socio-professional opportunities, and consequently, in the progress of the economy and a more responsible citizenship.
The widespread use of information technologies, the increasing diversity of provision of broadband solutions and services and the programs of support to the community, in particular, the groups of citizens with special needs continue to be the focus of the social responsibility initiatives in which we believe and engage more and more.
This was also a three-year period marked by the acquisition of Vivo by Telefónica and the establishment of a new strategic partnership with Oi. This partnership, supported on the acquisition of a controlling stake of 25.6% achieved in March 2011, will allow PT to maintain a prominent position in the Brazilian telecommunications market and benefit from its high growth potential.
At Oi, together with our partners and the local management team, we are focused on sharing knowledge, experience and technological innovation, hoping thus to contribute positively to the challenges that we will face and to continue to leverage the sustainability of the respective activities and stakeholders who participate, directly or indirectly.
We have been recognized, we are grateful and want to strengthen our confidence.
This three-year period was especially gratifying for PT. It is always with great satisfaction and a feeling of increased responsibility that we see our commitment and results being recognized by several national and international external entities.
After a detailed and thorough assessment, conducted by the SAM Group, the sustainable performance of PT was recognized, so we were included in 2010 in the most renowned sustainability index at international level, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). This recognition continued in 2011 so PT became one of five companies in the industry worldwide to be part of this index.
At this time, PT is the only Portuguese company in the sector included in the main international indexes and rankings of sustainable investments, which include: DJSI, FTSE4Good, ETHIBEL Excellence, Global ESG Leaders Index and ECPI Ethical Index.
We are also regarded as one of the 500 most valuable brands in the world, according to an evaluation by Brand Finance.
At national level, we ranked in the top 10 in the Engagement Rating Portugal 2011.
Also, our customers, suppliers and employees recognized the strategy followed and expressed this appreciation through assessment studies conducted by external and independent parties.
These awards, in addition to being a strong source of pride for all of us, are also an excellent incentive to reinforce our commitment to the sustainability strategy assumed and that we want to remain part of the daily management of the company.
This Report, now in its eighth edition, aims to be a space of reflection, transparency and sharing of the impacts of our activity on the economy, environment and society. We have had the ambition to do better each year and to increasingly meet the expectations of our readers.
So I would like once again to express my thanks to all those who have participated in the challenges that we face and to share the summary of the progress and results achieved over the last three years, and in particular in 2011, by publishing this Report, prepared in accordance with the most demanding level guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative and AA1000.
We will continue to invest in the future: Portugal, the Portuguese and society in general.
Count on us, we will continue to count on you.
Chief Executive Officer