Centro Vasco da Gama, Credit: Sonae Sierra
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2020 International Business Awards® has recognized Sonae Sierra for COVID- 19 response

Sonae Sierra has been named as the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the “COVID-19 Response Categories”, subcategory, “Most Valuable Corporate Response”, as part of the ®17th Annual International Business Awards .

The Company was awarded for its “Coronavirus Pandemic – Rise-up and Reinvent retail real estate operations” programme, an innovative blueprint designed to help tenants across 69 shopping centres in 10 countries reopen their businesses in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards programme. All individuals and organisations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small – are eligible to submit nominations. The 2020 IBAs received entries from organisations in 63 nations and territories.

Sonae Sierra’s Coronavirus Pandemic programme prioritises the safety and wellbeing of visitors, while giving retailers and landlords the chance to “rise-up and reinvent” retail real estate operations.

Its highlights include an integrated Safety, Health and Environment Management System applied in all managed shopping centres that reduces risk of contagion of the coronavirus, favourably audited by Lloyd’s Register. The programme also features the implementation of a Cleaning & Hygiene Seal validated by SGS, providing increased assurance to visitors guaranteeing that all shopping Centres managed by Sierra are safe places to visit.

As part of the approach, Sonae Sierra developed a store inspection App for shopping centre teams with a section dedicated to check the implementation of control and mitigation measures to reduce risk of contagion. A set of initiatives were also drawn up to help visitors navigate this ‘new normal’, such as Drive-In service, Visitor Counter and NAFILA service.

Support to retailers was supplied through initiatives such as Online Shopping Centre, Sierra Business Insights and Sierra Update. The Company also introduced several initiatives to guarantee the health and wellbeing of its employees (remote work; Contingency Communication App; Psychological support; Weekly e-learning and be well tips to all employees; mandatory e-learning for offices Gradual Return after COVID-19).

In addition, Sonae Sierra is one of the 155 companies to have signed the Recovery Better Statement, urging governments all over the world to integrate climate action in their economic recovery plans following COVID-19.

Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from July through early September.

Judges’ comments on Sonae Sierra’s response included:

  •  “The disciplined and professional approach as property managers effectively applied to visitors, tenants and other clients, is very compelling.” 
  •  “Working together to keep everyone safe in these challenging times and removing the vulnerability from what should ordinarily be an effortless everyday activity.”
  •  “A great job combining internal and external communication to promote the health and safety of those who work in sales and their customers.”

Elsa Monteiro, Sonae Sierra’s Head of Sustainability and Corporate Communication, said: “We are delighted that Sonae Sierra has achieved such a notable award. It underlines our commitment to support visitors, tenants, suppliers and employees at every step of the way, especially in the most challenging times.”

“Despite the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on organisations and working people worldwide, the number and quality of nominations we received in this year’s International Business Awards attests to the continued outstanding performance of many organisations. The commitment we’ve seen through these nominations to maintaining the success, health, and safety of employees, customers, and communities is truly impressive,” said Stevie Awards president Maggie Gallagher. 

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