Social Responsability at CUF
Social Responsibility has grown with the Company since its early years, hand in hand with the communities where CUF operates. It has been constant throughout the company’s 150 years of existence, crossing centuries and generations. It has adjusted to new times.
CUF views social responsibility and sustainability as inseparable concepts, as a way to contribute to make the world a better place.
Accordingly, one of our top priorities is showing how the products that we manufacture are vital to the life of modern societies and how their use can make a difference.
Chlorine and its by-products are essential in fighting microbiological agents sometimes present in the water, responsible for diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery or legionella.
The water coming out of our home taps has gone through a careful chlorine disinfection process which makes it safe for human consumption.
Thanks to these careful processes, Portugal, as most developed countries, has eradicated many diseases caused by water that isn’t suitable for drinking.
But the benefits of this are not exclusive to humans. The proof of this is Ecomare.
The Aveiro University and the Portuguese Wild Life Society gathered efforts and built a new treatment centre for sea birds, turtles and sea mammals, such as dolphins and seals.
Ecomare’s mission is to rescue, treat and return to nature sea animals stranded on Portuguese shores. The large experience and dedication of Ecomare’s team allows of success of 50%, which is considered quite good.
CUF joined this noble cause, contributing to the preservation of Biodiversity, offering its products to ensure that rescued animals will receive the best treatment possible before being returned to Nature.
Ten years ago, CUF and remaining companies in the Estarreja Chemical Complex created an advisory board called PACOPAR – Community Advisory Panel on the Responsible Action Programme of Estarreja.
One of PACOPAR’s mission is to demystify the dangers of the chemical industry. Based on a policy of transparency and openness to the community, it seeks to raise young people’s awareness to the benefits of science and to improve the quality of life in Estarreja, promoting sustainable development.
Over the last decade Pacopar has promoted and sponsored dozens of actions with youngsters. These initiatives have mobilised thousands of primary and secondary-school students from the entire Estarreja council, raising their awareness to the importance of sciences and chemistry.
By way of example, a number of amusing interactive chemical sessions were carried out with 3rd year primary students, which culminated with the offer of a PACOPAR Quiz devoted to Chemistry - created in partnership with Science4you, which eventually became an innovating App.
Trekking BioRia is another App, designed to promote the natural heritage of the region. It is a free App based on eight walking trails in Salreu. It provides information on starting points, landscapes crossed, levels of difficulty, etc...
It has an associated guide with over 200 specifications on the fauna and flora of the Baixo Vouga region, and descriptions of all the mammals, amphibians, birds and plants that can be watched when walking the trails.
YOUNG PEOPLE AND SPORTS
There are plenty of examples of CUF’s interaction with its surrounding community. Over the last few years CUF has sponsored the local sports club ACR Saavedra Guedes, which makes an outstanding work helping young people to succeed through sports. The club is a national reference in canoeing.
For instance, Maria Santos Rei, from Estarreja, was National K1 Canoe Champion. The athlete had the privilege of competing with a new boat - a K15F kayak from the prestigious Nelo manufacturer - the world’s largest builder of this type of boats.
JOURNEY TO THE DEPTHS OF THE EARTH
Social Responsibility is also promoted at CUF’s rock salt mine of Loulé.
Many art exhibitions, concerts and cinema cycles have been held in this unique underground location.
Moreover, every year CUF opens the door of the 230 m deep well to the visitors of the Living Science Programme.
It’s a fantastic journey through time. Inside the large dark wrinkled tunnels over 30 km long, the climate is dry and temperature is constant.
Visitors descend the equivalent of an 80-storey building, and as they go down they can observe the geologic evolution of the planet, moving backwards in time to an era long before the emergence of Man, as the immense block of rock salt was formed before the Jurassic period, 230 to 250 million years ago. Back then, the coast region where the town of Loulé now stands was made up of a chain of lagoons and dunes in an embryonic shallow sea, which later gave rise to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The visit lasts about 4 hours. The 4-hour walk ends at the mine wall where the salt is extracted to be used in the defrosting of Portuguese and European roads during winter.
CUF believes that Chemistry and Science are driving forces for the advancement of society. We believe their development will provide solutions to many of the issues presently affecting the planet and humanity.
This is why at CUF we say that “There is a Chemistry bonding us”.