The energy transition offers a unique opportunity to build a more equitable society, providing universal access to clean and renewable energies. EDP recognizes that incorporating the needs of the people and the planet into its business strategy creates sustainable value for the company itself and for its stakeholders.
At EDP, our ambition is to lead the energy transition, contributing to a future based on a low-carbon economy, capable of meeting the challenges of climate change. We always take into account our impact on local communities so that the benefits of decarbonizing the economy are distributed fairly—and so that no one is left behind. Every year, we invest more than €30 million in over 500 social responsibility projects around the world under one of the main areas of EDP Y.E.S. (You Empower Society): Community, Culture, Energy, Planet, and Skills. Discover the stories of some of the people who benefited from these projects and learn how we made a difference in their lives.
Social investment is one of the EDP Group’s strategic pillars, enabling to build trusting relationships with local communities. That is why EDP works to promote the sustainable development of these communities through social responsibility programs—based on its own initiatives, donations, and volunteering—changing the lives of more than three million people every year.
The main objective is to develop or support projects that contribute to the just energy transition, namely providing access to energy, combating energy poverty, helping communities affected by the decommissioning of thermoelectric power plants, protecting natural heritage and biodiversity, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energies, and contributing to the decarbonization and fight against climate change.
One example is the Access to Energy in Africa program, under which we provide a fund that supports clean energy projects in the areas of education, health, water and agriculture, business, and community development—as well as make direct investments in companies that promote sustainable solutions for access to clean energy in those markets. Another example is the installation of street lights with solar panels and readily available materials, bringing more security to communities in Brazil
EDP also runs programs in several countries, such as Energy Inclusion and Solidarity Solar, to tackle the problem of energy poverty with the aim of bringing more comfort to low-income families or communities. Solutions include installing thermal insulation, replacing roofs, repairing electrical connections, replacing equipment, and installing selfconsumption solar panels.
In 2021, EDP completed the decommissioning of the coal-fired power plant in Sines, Portugal, in line with the commitments to decarbonize the company and the Portuguese economy, and developed a series of initiatives to promote the conversion of the local economy and employment. EDP also develops training programs for young people and adults in various locations so as to promote access to quality employment, as well as support for entrepreneurs.
Culture is another of EDP’s areas of intervention, as it can be a powerful tool for social inclusion and community development.
EDP also supports projects that respond to other social needs in the local communities, namely through volunteering (in 2022, around 30% of employees worldwide took part in these initiatives) and responding to global humanitarian emergencies. One example of this was the military conflict in Ukraine, which mobilized resources and teams in several countries, implementing various initiatives to support victims and refugees.
From the theatre of war to EDP
Helping others is part of the company’s DNA.As part of its effort to support refugees from the war in Ukraine, EDP hired Yuliia Prybytkova. Responding to humanitarian crises is one of the key pillars of EDP Y.E.S. (You Empower Society).
Yuliia was on vacation at the beach when she received the news: Russia had invaded Ukraine! Her parents, who were on vacation in Portugal—unaware at the time that this was to be their daughter’s destination to escape the war—returned immediately. It wasn't the first time that this family (which also includes two non-identical twin brothers, aged 21, one of whom is in the army) had found themselves in this situation: in 2014, when the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, where they are from, was occupied by Russian forces, they had to give up a stable life to move to Kyiv.
Yuliia Prybytkova, who holds a law degree, already had her own apartment and was working as a business trainer and coach for a large company, when fate played another trick on her,
She still recalls the fear she experienced in the shelter during the early days of the invasion, and what her parents told her—with a touch of the dark humor that is so characteristic of the Ukrainian people: “At least you will have to escape so that you can carry on the family line.” The escape felt like a World War II movie.
Trains jam-packed with people trying to get out no matter what, with the 32-year-old girl, claustrophobic to boot, trying to squeeze in. She managed to get on a train carrying children with special needs and arrived in Poland without knowing anyone. From there, she got in touch with two journalists from CNN Portugal, for whom she had previously done some translation work. One of them readily offered to host her in Lisbon. She spent three months at his house and then moved to Cascais, to a room in the house of the other journalist she knew, spending time with his five young children.
Right from the start, Yuliia took advantage of all the time she had to get her documents in order and send CVs to various companies. Her desperation was such that as soon as she met anyone, she would immediately ask if they had any job opportunities. EDP was one of the first to respond.
Yuliia went through the recruitment process and, one month later, in May 2022, she joined the company. “I was very fortunate to end up here,” she says. “They were very open from the very first interview. And when I was hired, at the end of the final interview, we were all kissing and hugging—which for me, coming from a culture like Ukraine, was very sweet and strange at the same time. Now I know that’s how Portuguese people are,” she says, laughing. “Although I am a foreigner who does not speak Portuguese, I feel that my ideas are valued, that my eight years of experience in business training and coaching mean something to the company,” says Yuliia. “EDP is a multinational company that tries to be as open as possible, diverse, and inclusive—and it values people with different perspectives.”
At the moment, she is part of the EDP University team, an area she considers to be a good match for her and where she feels she can make a real contribution. “I’m adapting to Portugal very well. I like the life I have here and I have even started to learn Portuguese,” she says. But, she confesses: “The hard part is that I love my country. Being away has brought me to the point where I’m losing that strong connection. It’s still a struggle being away from my family, but I started creating bonds here and I feel really comfortable and connected now. But I honestly don’t know what will happen when the war is over.”
Always ready to help
This year, for the first time, the EDP Volunteering Program organized a global initiative that involved employees from all over the world. Gabriel Tan was one of the participants in Singapore.
Last May, EDP held its first global volunteering initiative, bringing together volunteers from Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Hungary, the United Kingdom, the United States, and—for the first time—Singapore. The proceeds went to international organizations Plant for the Planet (which promotes reforestation and various climate actions) and Make-A-Wish (which fulfills the dreams of children with critical illnesses).
Gabriel Tan, Global Key Account Manager at EDP Renewables APAC, was one of the 728 employees who responded to the call and took part in this campaign celebrating energy month. “It is rewarding for me to be able to participate in initiatives that benefit the community,” he says. “We have a vibrant volunteering culture that fits perfectly with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) work we do with the communities. I am proud to be part of these initiatives and I believe that this will also be part of our value proposition in recruiting new talent in this competitive job market.”
This initiative was part of the Energy Campaign and took place in the various locations in different ways, from charity runs/walks to beach clean-ups. For Gabriel, it was a unique opportunity to get to know his team and colleagues better, in a relaxed atmosphere away from work. “It was important and fun to be able to do this as a company,” he says.
The EDP APAC employee had already volunteered at the Special Olympics for a while, and the lessons he learned then gave him a lot of inspiration. “One time, I was running with an athlete and one of her shoes came off, making her trip and fall,” he recalls. “Despite the discomfort, she held on and kept running until the end of her training session. That has made a profound impression on me about perseverance in difficult situations. Being able to give is a blessing, but the lessons learned from volunteering are the best return for me.”
A vehicle to save lives
Initially, he wasn’t keen on the idea of having a wind farm in his community. Now, Grover Braden, in the United States, is grateful to EDP for the way it cares for the population and for donating the vehicle that the town’s fire department had long dreamed of.
“Everyone in the department was stunned when they learned the amount donated by EDP Renewables,” says Grover Braden (in the photo, the third from the right). He serves as chief of the volunteer fire department of Honey Creek, a town near the company’s 801 MW Meadow Lake Wind Farm—the largest in Indiana and one of the largest in the United States.
Grover is talking about the donation that EDP made to help the local fire department buy a new truck, enabling the firefighters to serve the community more safely and efficiently. The firefighters have a very small annual budget and had been saving since 1998 for the new truck. The vehicle features, for example, a stainless steel body instead of aluminum—as well as breathing apparatus mounted under the seats, a significant improvement on what was previously available and which will make life much easier for those who put their lives on the line to save others. “As fire chief, I am very grateful and excited by the donation we received. It allowed us to build the truck we really needed,” says Grover.
This relationship between the company and the community had a rocky start. When the wind farm was being built, Grover wasn’t exactly a fan of the idea. “I didn't know anything about them,” he explains. Since then, he has attended several meetings and his opinion has changed completely. “EDP has done a very good job taking care of the community and its wind farms. When there’s a problem, they’re always available and deal with it quickly. I know that lots of the farmers in the area have really good things to say about the site.” And that is not all: “The dirt road in front of my workshop” (Grover owns a truck repair business) “is now a wide asphalt road because of the wind farm,” he says.
The company has also recently donated $50,000 to build a barn for trade shows. The new vehicle will help Grover’s fire department respond not only to home and forest fires, but also to other serious situations such as tornadoes or traffic accidents. It will also be of great help to the fire departments of neighboring towns.
The local fire department is made up of dedicated volunteers who put in an admirable amount of time and effort to ensure that their community is safe and secure. That was what led Grover Braden to join the organization: “When things are bad, we get up, push forward, and do our best to help people in their time of need.”
Y.E.S. To Culture
Changing the world with art
Ever since they met at university, Claudia, Marta, and Diego dreamed of finishing their degree and starting their own firm. Tshe EDP Public Art Spain competition was their golden ticket
When they decided to take part in the EDP Public Art project promoted with the support of Ribera de Arriba Town Council, Diego Catena Nieto, Claudia Gadea Milián, and Marta Molins Laín had no idea that their lifelong dream would come true so quickly. The project takes place in Portugal and Spain with the aim of bringing art and social transformation to local communities. Since their freshman year of university, when they first met, the three had imagined one day having their own firm and working together.
That plan could have taken many years to come to fruition, all things being equal, but victory in the EDP competition made it possible instantly. A total of 33 proposals were submitted by 59 students from 20 universities for three different projects: the extension of the La Viesca Social Center, an urban intervention in Barrio de la Llosa, and the construction of a cultural center in Bueño. The three young architects submitted a project to create the Bueño Art Center and won. The project was selected by the jury and won a prize of €14,000.
“The first thing we did was visit the place to see what we could understand about the environment,” says Marta. “One of the things that caught our eye was the traditional granaries of Asturias—the so-called hórreos, which were used to store wheat and are raised from the ground up on a series of pillars. We liked the idea of having two different visual levels and that's what we tried to recreate.” “The community was involved from the very start of the project,” says Diego. “It’s important for it to be embraced by everyone so that it can meet their needs.” “People are very curious to see what the project will look like once the construction is finished,” adds Cláudia. “It’s possible that by the end of the year everything will have been completed—not only the development and the street furniture, but also the surrounding area.”
For the young architects, working on this project was “like two years of self-taught training,” says Cláudia Gadea Milián. “These were two very intense but very enriching years, which also served to teach us how a firm works and how to collaborate with other entities.” Marta Molins Laín agrees. “It was a little stressful, but in a good way, because it taught us many things that you can only learn on an actual project. It was a perfect way to finish our degree.” Diogo Catena Nieto has one piece of advice for anyone thinking about participating: “Don’t hesitate to participate! There aren’t a lot of initiatives for young people in this sector these days, so make the most of it. You will learn so much!”
For the three young architects, it was like “being thrown into the deep end,” which forced them to take the risk of creating their own firm and undertaking a major project. As Diogo sums up, “It changed our life!”
Y.E.S. To Energy
More sunshine in Vitalina’s life
The Solidarity Solar program has recently kicked off with the installation of more than 300 solar panels in Alto da Cova da Moura, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Portugal. Vitalina Varela, the unforgettable star of a film named after herself, was one of the beneficiaries.
She was part of the cleaning crew working on the set of Pedro Costa’s “Cavalo Dinheiro” when the Portuguese director realized she was a diamond in the rough. Vitalina Varela became the protagonist of his next film, titled after her own name and inspired by the life of this Cape Verdean woman who, in 2013, took a plane to Portugal after the death of her husband. Without the means to return, Vitalina ended up living in Alto da Cova da Moura, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Lisbon.
The same neighborhood where EDP has recently brought solar power to 300 homes by installing self-consumption solar panels—and even threw in an energy-efficient refrigerators. Vitalina says she saw a paper on the floor when she got home and went to her neighbor to find out what it was. To his surprise, it was an EDP leaflet offering the installation of solar panels to people in the community who met certain conditions. Vitalina submitted the necessary papers and the rest happened very quickly.
Proud of the new solar panels on her roof—the same roof that, just a few years ago, leaked whenever it rained—she now feels closer to her family, who live in a very remote area of Cape Verde and only have access to energy through solar panels. When the time comes to pose for the photo, you can sense her gratitude for the difference in quality of life that the new solar panels will bring. The star of “Vitalina Varela” has lived a very difficult life since arriving in Portugal, facing all kinds of hardships.
She waited for almost forty years for her husband to return for her on the island of Santiago, in Cape Verde, and ended up coming to Portugal in the worst of circumstances, three days after her husband’s funeral. “I went through a lot of hardships,” she says, remembering the time she woke up to find the house flooded and the bed soaked through.
Pedro Costa thought her life would make a good movie and hired her to tell the world her story. “Vitalina Varela” is a film about the women who stay behind when their husbands leave because of poverty. It premiered in 2019 at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland and earned its director the Golden Leopard—and Vitalina Varela the Silver Leopard for her performance. Since then, it has continued to collect international awards, becoming the most acclaimed Portuguese film of all time.
Vitalina, who has since joined a stage production in Lisbon, is waiting for the opportunity to return to the big screen. “It was an incredible experience. I worked a lot, but everything I did was done with strength, courage, and love,” she says in her blend of Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese.
The Alto da Cova da Moura project is just one example of what Solidarity Solar aims to achieve. Created with the ambition of actively contributing to a just energy transition and improving the quality of life in the communities—especially those most in need—this program is already considering new initiatives in other areas of Portugal, Spain, and Brazil.
A revolution in the favela
Before the joint project between EDP and NGO Litro de Luz, entering Favela dos Sonhos at night was a real nightmare. Carliane and Pauliana tell how the lives of hundreds of families have become much brighter.
Imagine what it is like living in a dark, dingy place, where people are afraid to go back to their homes at night, where you don’t see children playing, where dogs can attack you at any moment, and you can easily fall into a hole or slip in the mud—a place where not even cab, Uber, or food delivery drivers dare to go. That’s Favela dos Sonhos, in Ferraz de Vasconcellos, São Paulo. Or rather, it that’s what it was—until EDP joined forces with NGO Litro de Luz to change the lives of hundreds of families.
This project is based on creative solutions and low-cost technology involving inexpensive materials to create solar-powered street lights. The lampposts are made of PVC tubes fitted with solar panels, batteries, LED lamps, and plastic bottles—which makes them affordable and easy to replicate in other regions. “I helped assemble and install the lampposts, which brought dignity, security, and quality of life to the favela,” 33-year-old Carliane says with a sense of pride.
She has been sharing a home with four other people for the past five years, since the favela was still called Boca do Sapo. “We even helped install the lampposts,” confirms 26-year-old Pauliana, who has lived there for four years, in a home with six other people. “It was very rewarding to see people happy because the streets are brighter. Street lights bring a greater sense of security! It is much safer today for my children when they come back from school and can see the lights in the favela. I am so grateful!”
As we mentioned, things weren’t always like this. “When I moved in, I had no contact with the neighbors. I would come home from work and go inside the house and only leave the next day to go to work. When I went out at night, I would sometimes prefer to return only the next morning. It was always very dark,” says Carliane. “In addition to the darkness, there was the issue of the dogs. One neighbor even had to go to hospital because a dog ripped his leg open.” Until electricity was installed in the favela, everyone had a so-called gato, an unauthorized connection where it only had to rain to leave people without power, with mud everywhere, not knowing where they were stepping or what dangers lurked in the dark. “EDP has brought a lot of security to the favela, especially when it comes to fires,” says Carliane.
Today, the installations are done properly and we can sleep at ease... Before, the way the gatos were done, we were always afraid the whole place would burst into flames.” “Now we have the Litro de Luz ambassadors here, and the challenge is keeping the street lights working and reaching the alleyways that are still dark. And EDP brought street lights and electrical installations that also helped a lot in terms of relationships between neighbors,” says Pauliana. “It was a huge fire hazard. Sometimes the wrong wiring would burn down a house. Not anymore! Moving around within the community has also improved a lot. There are even people making deliveries here now.”
In addition to the partnership with Litro de Luz, EDP carries out other activities directly with the community—improving the electrical infrastructure of homes in the favela to combat energy poverty, strengthening public education, and generating work and income—with a view to ensuring the dignity and improved quality of life of its residents.
A happier, more efficient home
Vicência Silvério, 86, is one of the beneficiaries of EDP’s energy inclusion project in Portugal, which transforms the lives of those who live in old houses that lack security and energy efficiency. This type of project is also under way in Spain and Brazil.
Associação Mais Proximidade (AMP) applied for EDP’s Energy Inclusion project in Portugal with the aim of improving the quality of life in the homes of some of the people it supports. The project has succeeded in transforming lives by offering energy-saving and efficiency solutions to low-income families and individuals.
Mrs. Silvério, an 86-year-old woman whom AMP has been helping for nine years, has seen the success of this partnership first hand. “In two days, my house became much safer,” she says. Replacing an old water heater and gas cylinder—which were in an interior bathroom without ventilation—with a new water heater and electric stove may seem simple, but it is a crucial step towards safety.
According to Patrícia Silva, AMP’s gerontologist and manager of this initiative, the scheme guarantees greater comfort and quality of life for the elderly in their own home, and “we even managed to replace Mrs. Silvério’s old refrigerator with a more efficient one—and the electrical wiring was completely overhauled to fit her needs.” Mrs. Silvério, who has lived in the heart of Mouraria, Lisbon, for more than six decades, could not have been happier with the upgrades: “There aren’t wires all over the house anymore.
Now, I have light switches at my height and several sockets that I didn’t have before.” This is the testimonial of just one of the beneficiaries to whom Associação Mais Proximidade brought this EDP project. “We still have four more houses to upgrade,” says Patrícia Silva. For Beatriz Roque, a psychologist who accompanies Mrs. Silvério, it has been a real privilege to get in touch with the beneficiaries of this project: “Each moment is unique and I believe that AMP makes the world a little better every day, one smile at a time. Sitting down with each person, getting to know a little of their history and identity, makes me truly happy.”.
From cleaning assistant to customer manager
The inspiring story of Otília Nhatumbo, in Mozambique, is a powerful reminder that with determination, dedication, and a company that believes in its employees’ potential, the sky is the limit.
It was as a cleaning assistant at SolarWorks!—a company that sells decentralized solar energy solutions for homes and businesses in Mozambique and Malawi and one of EDP’s investments in Africa— that Otília Nhatumbo took the first steps in her career. She was 21 years old and had never worked in her life. But even without any experience, this young woman seized an opportunity that came her way and began to build the rest of her life story.
With a fighting spirit, Otília took advantage of what SolarWorks! had to offer her. “I got the opportunity to be a store assistant, and after a while I applied for a job in the customer line,” she recalls. It was at this moment that her ambition began to build and after a short time, she found herself leading a team. “It was a small team, but it has grown since. We now have roughly 30 people,” she says. Currently, Otília plays a role far beyond that of a customer service line supervisor; she manages the line that covers three key areas: customer service, collections, and helpdesk. It’s been six years since she started at SolarWorks! and her journey is a real source of inspiration.
SolarWorks! is headquartered in Matola, Mozambique, and has several stores throughout the country. When she visits these stores, her co-workers ask for advice on how to achieve their goals. Otília shares the message that believing in yourself, in what you do and your desired future trajectory, are the most important things in building a path to success: “The important thing is to focus on what we want to be and where we want to be in the future.”
On the customer service line, Otília has employees with stories similar to hers. “They also started out as cleaning assistants and thanks to the opportunities provided by SolarWorks! have become the best agents and employees in my department.”
SolarWorks! plays a fundamental role in the professional development of many people in Mozambique. “Unlike a lot of companies, SolarWorks! is not based solely on previous experience. It provides opportunities for all people, regardless of their gender, age, or background.” It’s a company that believes in the potential and capacity for growth in each individual,” she says
The guard who reinvented himself as a shoemaker
Thanks to a project supported by EDP’s A2E Fund, Bigirimana Emmanuel was able to reinvent himself in Rwanda by making new, more affordable shoes for refugees.
This is a story about overcoming obstacles, in which energy played a crucial role. In 2016, a security guard by the name of Bigirimana Emmanuel fled political conflict in the world’s poorest country, Burundi. His aim was to seek better living conditions but, he ended up in the Mahama refugee camp in eastern Rwanda. When he got there, he couldn’t find a job or any other occupation. But he didn’t give up. “One of my neighbors was a shoemaker and was moving to Kigali because of a job opportunity. I realized that I could learn to do his job. I started learning in 2018 and after three months, I was repairing shoes to a good standard,” he recalls.
Despite all the setbacks, like not having enough capital to buy raw materials to make new shoes and the lack of electricity in the camp, Bigirimana persevered. He started to travel to communities where there was electricity, but the truth was that spending time traveling from his workshop to the other community to do small repair jobs that needed electricity wasn’t going to be feasible.
The solution came through OffGridBox, a project supported by EDP’s Access to Energy (A2E) Fund that provides electricity to refugee camps. “I realized it was a good opportunity. I approached them and they immediately allowed me to start working in the ‘Box,’ which is close to the biggest market in the refugee camp. It was an opportunity that brought me closer to my customers and I didn’t have to waste time traveling to other communities for electricity.”
The OffGridBox is a mobile and modular unit that supplies energy (through solar panels that are installed on the roof) and potable water (when integrated with a water purification system). It is also directly connected to nearby businesses to supply energy and serves as a station for regular mobile phone charging and rental of solar kits (consisting of light bulbs and a battery).
In Rwanda, six OffGridBoxes were installed in four refugee camps and a host community, allowing 12 local businesses to be connected to energy; distributing 900 solar kits and charging around 10,000 mobile phones each month.
Now, about two years after starting to work with OffGridBox, Bigirimana Emmanuel makes new shoes that are much more affordable for refugees, since the cost of doing business has decreased. “Before I started working with this system, I had a capital of RWF 180,000 (approximately €160). Now, I have RWF 450,000 [€400]. Making new shoes is very profitable.” The Burundian guard who reinvented himself as a shoemaker in Mahama now just wants electricity to transform more lives.
Y.E.S. To Planet
Respect the people of the forest
Engaging local communities and compensating for natural ecosystems, are key priorities whenever EDP launches a new project. The native WayuuPeople of Colombia praise the way they were included in the process.
“It’s the first time they’ve visited us and explained a project of this size,” says Celestino García Uriana, a retired teacher who now works in agriculture and shepherding. Community leader, Celestino, is a Wayuu who has lived for more than three decades with the Paüsayuu of the Isijo’u territory, through marriage.
A community that lives in one of the areas within the Macuira National Natural Park where EDPR will carry out the necessary environmental compensations for the construction of the Alpha (212 MW) and Beta (280 MW) wind farms. Ancestrally inhabited by communities of the Wayuu ethnic group with traces of dry tropical forest, this area is a strategic ecosystem of great importance to Colombia due to the ecosystem services it provides.
During the construction of these projects, in an area of 2,230 hectares, there will be certain impacts on the natural ecosystems, which have to be compensated with areas of equivalent environmental benefit. EDP carried out a special action plan to involve local families and explain, especially to the children, the environmental compensation plan for the area. “I am very happy with this project,” says Celestino. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this initiative that makes children and parents happy.”
Through various recreational activities and the delivery of biodegradable personal hygiene kits, the company encouraged the community to take part in the plan, which consists of positive initiatives for the conservation of natural ecosystems, ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, and sustainable use of biodiversity, in accordance with the policies of the National Natural Parks of Colombia and with the participation of the Wayuú community. This will allow for the preservation and embedding over time of six fundamental ecosystems in La Guajira, namely habitats for flora, fauna, microbiota, and communities; capture of greenhouse gases; supply of goods and natural resources; heat regulation; nutrient cycling; and water sources.
Y.E.S. To Skills
Achieve big things, with the little things
The ENTAMA project empowers local entrepreneurs in rural areas. The story of Cristina Secades reveals her love of the land, which resulted in a sustainable business and awards in Asturias, Spain— and where mini kiwis are the real stars.
Cristina Secades, a lover of nature with a degree in forestry, always had in mind that, sooner or later, the countryside would end up being her office. She always had the conviction that this would need to be done in the most respectful way possible for the environment. The words her parents uttered to her as a child many years ago as they picked apples in the orchard resonated with her as she grew up: “You know, Cris, if you take care of the earth, it will take care of you...”
While still working for others, she decided in 2016, to take the difficult step of restoring two small family farms in Gijón. She did this by starting from scratch, with no financial support; using only traditional methods and with just the help of her parents. “I started by introducing animals, growing table apples, and organic mini kiwi. Throughout this process, I also studied fruit growing, organic farming, and visited plantations— both here and abroad—while keeping in touch with producers and researchers in Portugal, Belgium, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States,” says the founder and owner of Kiwín Bio.
Today, Kiwín Bio is a successful farm of mini organic kiwi fruit that has already collected several national and international awards for its innovation. “We are really looking for and promoting sustainability. I always say that biological, ecological, green, whatever we want to call it, is more than a certification or a label. The concept goes beyond that. It has to do with agroecology; a way of working that encompasses an entire system and takes into account the entire life cycle of a product, including social and environmental aspects.” The plantation is supported by its own resources, using the sun as a source of energy.
A whole system that, together with the animals, completes the circle of life to make it as sustainable as possible. “A work philosophy that proves that another type of agriculture is viable, dignified, respectful of nature, ‘by and for the people.’ With the enthusiasm of those who believe, now more than ever, in the importance of healthy eating.”
The land that her great-grandmother worked so many times, where her father planted apple trees more than 40 years ago and where Cristina spent so many summers with her grandparents is now this project full of strength and enthusiasm, “a grain of sand to contribute to the reactivation of the Asturian countryside and with which I aspire to be part of the network of people who are committed to offering the best food from the heart.” Despite their small size, mini kiwis contain five times more vitamin C than oranges. Just 100 grams cover almost 90% of a person’s daily requirements. With the scientific name Actinidia arguta, they contain over 20 essential nutrients and are also one of the highest sources of lutein. They have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antidermatitis properties, low glycemic index, and contribute to protection against digestive diseases.
Entama was created in 2019 to boost the energy transition and promote the development and reindustrialization of local communities by supporting projects in territories where EDP has energy production centers or which are at risk of depopulation.
Electrician and trans – with great pride
Denis has lived with prejudice in the job market all his life. EDP Brazil opened the door to a career that seemed forbidden to him. Now, society needs to do the rest.
Before entering the program at the School of Electricians for Trans People (Denis worked at a telemarketing company) the only place that really provides jobs for trans people and medical insurance. But this Brazilian professional, who was born in Bahia and came to São Paulo when he was only two years old, is now a happier person, doing what he really enjoys.
“This course made me realize how important energy is in people’s lives. Our instructor said that with each service we would learn and observe people’s happiness when we solved the problem, and that in the end, that would be priceless. Now, I see it every day,” says Denis. And as that same instructor said, “you don’t choose this area; it chooses you.”
“In my personal life, it was a great gift because I had lost my mother and I was a little lost,” says Denis. “On top of that, it’s hard to get a job as a trans person. I had no prospects in the job market but EDP gave me a way to continue chasing my dreams.”
One of the immediate changes brought about by this program was the fact that he was now able to help his sisters, and undergo medical treatment to continue his transition.
But there is still a lot of work to be done with regard to how society—and Brazilian society in particular—treats underrepresented groups, especially transgender people. “There are a lot of lies spread in the media and it confuses people. But with my experience within a cisgender space, I see that we also have to understand that not everyone will respect us or want to work with us. But that’s ok, we’re here to learn and evolve,” he concedes.
Denis continues to face prejudice every day, but dismisses the attacks. “What matters is that you go after your dreams without needing to victimize yourself or attack other people, even though bad people are just like that because they have nothing else to offer.”
As the electrician states, this opportunity is a way “to show that it doesn’t matter if you are trans, gay, or an alien. We just need an opportunity to show that we can work and be great professionals in any area.” “EDP was a company that faced the world to help people like me and that inspires other companies. EDP gave me the opportunity and I am growing and improving every day,” says Denis. “I’m a professional and that’s what matters. It makes me get up and go to work every day with joy, and strive to do what is right.”
A new future for Sines
Following its commitment to decarbonization, EDP has decided to close the Sines power plant, in Portugal, after 35 years of operation. but we didn’t leave anyone behind. Vanessa Lima tells us how Futuro Ativo Sines was born,
The Local Office for Social Referral (GLES) is one of the outreaches of the Futuro Ativo Sines (FAS) project, promoted by EDP. Through psychosocial support and employment, and professional training, it aims to have a direct impact on the lives of former workers at the Sines Power Plant and their families.
Since February 2021 “GLES has provided support to more than 100 people, offering different forms of assistance, from office consultancy to psychological support and through the social fund,” explains Vanessa Lima, a former worker at the plant and GLES employee. “It is important to point out that the impact goes beyond the direct beneficiaries, extending to institutions in the municipalities of Sines and Santiago do Cacém and benefiting a significant number of people,” she adds. Among the life stories she witnessed, the social aspect was the one that impacted her the most.
A particularly striking case was that of a mother who was a victim of domestic violence and whose financial independence was essential to ensure a secure future for her children. “Through professional guidance and determination, she was able to find a job in the area of health and safety, opening up new horizons for her family.” Another challenging case involved an Angolan man, who was struggling to find housing for his family, including his pregnant wife and young child. The struggle to find a home reflects the ongoing housing crisis in the region, where the shortage of affordable housing is a significant challenge. GLES’s persistence and dedication resulted in the acquisition of more affordable housing, providing some light relief until better opportunities arose.
Participating in GLES and in the FAS Project “is not an easy task,” according to Vanessa Lima. Dealing with the emotions and difficulties of former colleagues at the Power Station, as well as the anguish of people seeking help, often imposed emotional and practical challenges on her. “Many times I would finish my work at the office and go home to think about ways in which I could improve and help more. I was often ‘vilified,’ as I was the person taking the lead at GLES, because they did not realize that some of the support they requested went beyond our office’s capabilities. However, the number of times we were able to support those who came to us was far greater, and that is very rewarding.”
For Vanessa Lima, being part of GLES represents an opportunity to continue her involvement with the community after previously working for eight years at the Sines Thermoelectric Power Plant. “It was a mix of emotions. I was sad because of the decommissioning of the power plant and for leaving the family that we had there, but happy to have the opportunity to remain connected to the plant and to the people.” I’m grateful to be a part of GLES. “I cannot thank EDP enough for the opportunity it gave me to be part of FAS. Despite all the difficulties, and being the first project of this type, it is now recognized worldwide.”
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