Some companies are starting to demand compliance with certain environmental and ethical standards on the part of their suppliers – a sign of what will soon become a reality in the business world. In the future social responsibility will be a necessity, something that society and consumers demand, and this focus highlights the opportunity that CSR offers those firms that choose to embrace social responsibility now. And it also makes PortAventura Business & Events the ideal partner to host every kind of event under the CSR (corporate social responsibility) banner.
Vila-Seca/ Salou, 24 April 2012: A set of first class services brought together in a single space – PortAventura Business & Events has a large convention centre that can hold anything from 10 to 4,000 people, is equipped with all the latest technology, offers 2,000 rooms in four 4 star hotels, a full range of restaurant and catering services, one of the most important theme parks in Europe, three golf courses and team building activities. All of this, combined with a corporate social responsibility policy, is what has led so many institutions and companies to entrust PortAventura with the organisation of their socially responsible events. For example AFANOC, a Catalan association of families and friends of children with cancer chose PortAventura as the venue for its event for the benefit of children suffering from cancer, and the III Encuentro Down Catalunya (in support of adults and children with Downs Syndrome) was organised by the PortAventura Foundation, and co-ordinated and produced by PortAventura Business and Events under the aegis of the Invest for Children Foundation. Similarly, Catalan television channel TV3’s ‘Marathon Day’ (Jornada Especial Marató de TV3) was a particularly interesting event as the gate money went to benefit research into tissue regeneration and organ repair.
‘Sustainability’, says Franck Barbaras, director of PortAventura Business & Events and the PortAventura Convention Centre, ‘is much more than a kind of green washing – it’s an active working commitment on an economic, social, cultural, and environmental level and implies the generation of a positive legacy. It’s important for the concept of sustainability to be applied in a comprehensive way in all company activities, and that the costs incurred are considered an investment. In the case of PortAventura, we are extremely proud to donate 0.7% of our profits to social programmes, which means that our clients can count on a venue with a firm commitment to CSR policies.’
A social and environmental commitment
PortAventura has prioritised the integration of responsible, sustainable management into company policy. This is a facet that is particularly valued by the firms both from within Spain and from abroad who choose it for the organisation of their events, as they can be sure that they will have a partner who has previously integrated the highest standards of corporate social responsibility into their own business. So, with the aim of guaranteeing that each company in the supply chain makes a commitment both to respect the principles underlying its corporate social responsibility policy and to apply them, PortAventura offers guidance in the implementation of those values. PortAventura reiterates its commitment to the defence of human rights, as shown by its adherence to the United Nations Global Compact. Their activities in the social and environmental spheres have taken on increasing significance over time. For example in 2001 PortAventura obtained EU EMAS certification, which was later extended to include the hotels. Furthermore, the Convention Centre is currently working towards obtaining EMAS in 2013. EMAS, the Eco Management and Audit Scheme, is a rigorous scheme designed to improve companies’ environmental performance, and is additional to the international ISO 14001, the reference point for the implementation of management systems aiming towards the ongoing improvement of the company’s environmental profile. In order to achieve continuity in the firm’s environmental philosophy, different projects have been undertaken over the years in the management of waste (100% of waste produced is recycled); water, (in 2010 alone consumption of both drinking water and non-potable water was reduced by 8% when compared with 2009) and energy, by means of automatic control of consumption, and also the protection of biodiversity (in 2009 Gold Signature Audubon International was obtained for the golf courses). True to their policy of social responsibility, in 2003 the PortAventura hotels received the distinction of the Garantía de Calidad Ambiental (Guarantee of Environmental Quality) awarded by the Department of the Environment of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan regional government.
Here the PortAventura Foundation deserves a mention – its aim, the consolidation of charitable projects, is reflected in the development of a broad programme of solidarity actions with a particular emphasis on supporting children and/ or young people.
Training and development
Ongoing training for employees is another of the elements that have been strongly present in the company’s CSR strategy – in 2010 alone employees did more than 54,470 hours of training, which represents added value above and beyond a simple contractual relationship.