1.1. Letter by the Chairman

Fernando Salazar
Chairman of CESCE
Throughout 2018, CESCE has focused on developing and consolidating its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, this having become the real driving force behind 21st century companies. Values such as work-life balance, integration, equal opportunities, research, flexibility, family support, promoting leadership, solidarity, the environment and job quality, amongst others, are all bastions which are making us stronger and have turned our company into an example to follow in terms of management and sustainable progress.

At an international level, CSR is a reality which must be interwoven with the goals of any competitive company. It is the flagship of the world’s most prestigious and financially sound companies. In Spain, 80% of IBEX 35 companies are involved in, as part of their corporate policy, initiatives aimed at contributing to CSR, as well as to the 169 targets and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the UN Global Compact. According to this institution, it is estimated that new UN-backed commitments to take action against the damaging effects of climate change, could result in $26 trillion in economic benefits worldwide and help create 65 million new ‘low-carbon jobs’ by 2030.

We firmly believe in the 2030 Agenda as the only possible model for long- term growth. To show its commitment to the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, in 2011 CESCE became one of the 1500 companies to sign up to it and in 2016 became a signatory. This has led us to actively engage in projects involving integration and sustainability, energy efficiency, disability support, scientific research, prevention of social exclusion and environmental protection. In fact, one of the goals of our Strategic Plan 2020 is to allocate 0.7% of our profit to these kinds of solidarity projects, these including initiatives which have a positive impact on the company, its people, society as a whole and the environment, to give just a few examples. In 2018 alone, CESCE allocated 160,000 euros to CSR projects.

With a view of preserving ecosystems and natural environments, we are considering allocating a part of our investment to purchasing green bonds. Furthermore, 88% of CESCE’s equity portfolio is made up of socially responsible companies. Moreover, the company gets 100% of its energy from renewable sources and our float of vehicles is currently being replaced with zero-emissions vehicles.

Protecting our human capital is also of paramount importance for CESCE. Indeed, we are proud to have done and continue to do just this. In March 2019, the Fundación Más Familia awarded the EFR (Family Responsible Company) certificate to CESCE Portugal. In fact, this was one of the goals we set out in our Strategic Plan 2020 and which we have achieved this year. We must not forget that the Fundación Más Familia also awarded CESCE Spain the Family Responsible Company (EFR) certificate in 2016, and the fact that CESCE Portugal has now also been granted it is further testimony to our commitment to ensuring the world-life balance of our people.

The group also places great importance on equality within our company and society as a whole. For example, at CESCE alone women represent 61% of all our staff and 45% of our senior management team. On the 8th March 2018, for International Women’s Day, we launched the initiative ‘Mujeres que iluminan’ (‘Women as Beacons’), which saw the entire team get involved in researching the stories, careers and biographies of dozens of women, from the 19th century to the current day. This year, our initiative has been selected by the UN Global Compact to be included in its publication on good practices for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Our commitment to solidarity projects, such as providing support to persons with disabilities through the Fundación Prodis, is also a reflection of what matters to us at CESCE. Solidarity is at the very heart of everything we do. That is why in 2018 we continued to be actively involved in food banks, which we donated four tonnes of food to.

Our policies on prevention, support for research and awareness have helped make common health issues such as myasthenia gravis and strokes more visible. CESCE’s initiatives have received awards from organisations such as AMES and Freno al Ictus, which have recognised our work in this area. Moreover, in 2018 we worked with the Fundación Menudos Corazones, supporting children with congenital heart disease and their families, as well as with the Fundación CRIS and the Multiple Sclerosis Association. Over 2018, we also continued to offer volunteering opportunities for providing training.

At a business level, in 2019 CESCE renewed its Code of Ethics and launched a new internal channel for handling anonymous complaints, the aim being to guarantee and protect the rights of our employees. To sum up, 2018 was a year characterised by growth in terms of solidarity, social projects and the commitment of the company and all its people. Because at CESCE, we believe that the only progress possible in the long term is sustainable progress based on engagement by the company and its people, as well as respect for the environment.

1.2 Profile

CESCE heads a group of companies which offers comprehensive trade credit, information and technology management solutions in Europe and Latin America.

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1.3. Main non-financial figures

1.4. Main financial figures

1.5. Milestones