At Ascendum, sustainability stems from the balance between three key pillars: Economic, Social and Environmental, complemented by a policy on Quality which aims to continuously improve the performance of the Group at all levels of operation.
The level of economic growth which is intends to achieve is, therefore, guided by sustainability and is based on:
Implementation and validation of management procedures and systems that ensure high levels of Quality in all operations and services provided by Ascendum.
Ascendum once again placed its resources at the disposal of disadvantaged youth to train them, within the framework of the initiatives carried out by EPIS - Empresários Pela Inclusão Social (Entrepreneurs for Social Inclusion), an association of which Ascendum is founding-partner. Within this framework, in addition to the annual donation made by Ascendum, the Group also participated in the awareness and training of primary school students, by welcoming pupils to their facilities in São João da Talha, in Lisbon.
Ascendum is the main sponsor of the Grupo Desportivo Direito (Law Sports Club) - an amateur Portuguese rugby club, with over 500 athletes divided into various levels ranging from 5 years old children to seniors. This sponsorship goes a long way to help a social cause and the public service that GDD provides to the city of Lisbon, and to the sport in general. At GDD they train not only Rugby players, but essentially men of substance, prepared for Life, well trained, with Values such as camaraderie, friendship, humility, compromise, dedication, effort, sacrifice, overcoming adversity, resilience... And a lot of Will and Ambition to Succeed...values which are the same as Ascendum's. With our financial support, we have helped to maintain the infrastructures and cover some of the fixed and variable costs the club has, a place where the players and their families come together year round.
In addition to this Ascendum initiative, during 2015, the geographic hubs have also undertaken local actions focused on social responsibility, to promote the well-being of the communities they are a part of.
In the United States, several actions of social support for the community were carried out throughout 2015. Of note, the donation made to the victims of the floods in South Carolina; the donations made by the company and its employees to the Food Bank in Charlotte; the donation of food and Christmas gifts to families in need in North Dakota; and the donation of man hours made by employees from the Georgia branch, which enabled demonstrations of equipment and lectures in high schools, to encourage the professional future of youths.
In Turkey, the “Plant a Tree” project was implemented where, for every birthday an employee celebrates and for every sale of a new machine, a tree is planted. During 2015, Ascendum in Turkey planted approximately 720 trees, in collaboration with the TEMA foundation (Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats).
In Mexico, support was given to the “Rancho El Refugio” a non-profit organization run by a family dedicated to taking in orphans in the country. By lending Ascendum machines, the center’s facilities were expanded and it can now care for a larger number of children at risk.
In Austria, a monetary donation was made to the Licht ins Dunkel charity association which shelters around 130 women and children, victims of abuse in Salzburg. Ascendum made donations over the holiday season and was also raised funds from visitors to the MAWEV trade show in Austria, held in March 2015.
At Ascendum, the companies in Portugal and Austria have certified Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001), which are subject to internal and external audits.
However, in light of the Group's demanding environmental policy, in 2015 it continued its effort to implement a set of environmental awareness actions at the various geographic hubs, focusing especially on the separation of waste, recycling and reduction in the consumption of natural resources.
In addition to the initiatives at each geographic hub, we continue to give preference to partners and suppliers who present innovative solutions that reduce the impact of the Group's activity on the environment, for example Volvo which is developing construction equipment with hybrid technology - diesel-electric engines - that contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the consumption of fuel, and which incorporates ecological models in its range of cars and trucks.
Moreover, the Group’s entire activity strictly complies with the environmental legislation in effect in the various regions and countries, and even in the countries where the Environmental Management System is not yet certified, no environmental incidents have been recorded.
Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary have maintained the procedures already implemented within the framework of their certified Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001), carrying out the respective internal and external audits during the year.
Similarly, in 2015, the various Ascendum geographic hubs continued to bolster and implement the initiatives aimed at improving customer awareness and the quality of services provided, with particular attention paid to the recording and processing of non-conformities and complaints.