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COPASA follows the steps of its customers, suppliers and the community. The diversity of the public with whom the company relates makes this walk a joint learning experience, in search of a better and healthier society and a better world to live. The presence of the Meninos de Araçuaí Children of Araçuaí] at the shows from the Ponto de Partida [Starting Point] Group promotes a dialogue between generations and values these young talents from the Vale do Jequitinhonha. Social inclusion enables individuals and companies to grow together. People with different dreams and expectations, but with the same desire to always move forward.
COPASA believes all who are part of its business are partners, especially suppliers, customers and the community. As basic sanitation is a social development condition, COPASA contributes significantly to economic growth and development of institutional entities with which it relates.
With a philosophy of partnership and cooperation, the Company maintains a number of social programs and carries out important investments geared towards the development of communities under the influence of its activities, and with which it interacts on an ongoing basis.
COPASA AND ITS CLIENTS
The good relationship with its customers is a priority for COPASA, as set out in its strategic objective Increase Customer Satisfaction. The basis of good relationships is the guarantee of a quality service combined with constant dialogue opportunities.
Evaluation of Water Supply Service and COPASA Image
The evaluation of the water supply service and COPASA image, through the support of the advertising agency and research institute, aims to:
In 2011, the survey was conducted in the cities of Itajubá, San Francisco and Sete Lagoas.
The evaluation of customer satisfaction also occurs by other means, such as the Loyalty Program, a tool used for monitoring transactions with special and contracted customers from the industrial and commercial categories, and includes visits to customers, in order to strengthen the relationship, establish reliable dialogue, identify difficulties, disputes and/or bottlenecks of a commercial, administrative or operating standpoint in the existing contract.
Customer Service Center
Another communication channel is the Chat. The demands are received by Customer Service representatives, who use standard answers to make the service more efficient. Another option is to record demands is the e-mail, which is posted on the website, in the Contact Us option. These demands are evaluated and solved by Customer Service experts.
The Customer Service Center goal is to perform the actions related to virtual and telephone relationships with customers, providing information, receiving and forwarding services to the Company’s operational and commercial departments. These services include maintenance of water and sewage networks; verification of service interruptions, reconnection request and information regarding new water and sewer connections; debt verification, consumption analysis and requesting a copy of the invoice.
We developed a project to centralize all telephone customer service in Belo Horizonte. It will be available free of cost, 24 hours a day, to all locations operated by COPASA and COPANOR. This project will be implemented in three stages and, by the end of 2012, all locations will be integrated into the Center. The first stage will take place in January 2012, where 40% of the population will be covered. The second stage will take place in August 2012 to 17% of the population, and in December, another 43% will be covered, with the implementation of the third phase.
In addition, COPASA uses social network sites such as twitter and blog to provide information regarding service interruptions, repairs and maintenance of the networks.
The Ombudsman can be reached via the Internet; access channel used by 92% of callers, letter or fax, and interacts with other organizational units seeking effective solutions. Since its establishment in 2007, 7,396 requests were recorded, all of them answered within 15 days from the request.
In 2011, 2,253 requests were received and analyzed. Request responses are available on the Internet and are accessed by the caller through a password, ensuring information speed and confidentiality.
The Ombudsman provides a monthly report on the intranet containing statistical data and ideas based on recurrent customer complaints of, enabling the units involved to identify opportunities for improvement through report analysis, improving service quality.
In order to ascertain the situation of the unit and to identify factors that affect customer service quality, since April 2011, the Ombudsman staff visits the operational units responsible for meeting most demands received. From these visits, reports are prepared in order to disclose to Company directors the situation of those operational units, which might compromise operational management.
Besides being a channel of communication with the citizen-client, the Ombudsman managers the proceedings initiated by the Ombudsman of the Agência Reguladora de Serviços de Abastecimento de Água e Esgotamento Sanitário de Minas Gerais [Regulatory Agency for Water Supply and Sanitation of Minas Gerais] (Arsae/MG), following the demands concerning COPASA and its subsidiary COPANOR.
“Give your Opinion” Survey
(GRI PR1; PR3)The Sistema de Gestão da Qualidade [Quality Management System] (SGQ), located at the Central Laboratory in Belo Horizonte, is ISO 9001:2008 certified, audited by the British Standards Institution (BSI).
COPASA’s Central Laboratory, which holds ISO 9001:2000 certification since 2000, and has been revalidating it every six months. Currently it holds the ISO 9001:2008 version, and the latest certification was obtained in December 2011. In addition to this certification, also in December 2011, the Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Normalização e Qualidade Industrial [National Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality Institute] (INMETRO) conducted an audit review, whose purpose was to verify the adherence to technical procedures and management system adopted by the Central Laboratory with the requirements established by the ABNT NBR ISO/IEC 17025:2005 regulation. This evaluation is part of the ongoing maintenance of initial accreditation obtained by the Laboratory from INMETRO on January 28th, 2010, which granted Accreditation Certificate CRL 0474. This Accreditation is the formal recognition of technical competence to carry out tests in water and sewerage samples, given Normative Resolution 167/11 from the Conselho Estadual de Política Ambiental [State Council for Environmental Policy] (COPAM) and Ordinance 2914/11 from the Health Department, which replaced Ordinance 518/04.
In order for customers to evidence some of the results of this analysis process, water bills provide information, explanations and reference values regarding chlorine, color, fluoride, coliform, turbidity, pH and escherichia coli. In addition, the Relatório Anual de Qualidade da Água [Water Quality Annual Report] is available at COPASA’s website.
The invoice keeps getting better
COPASA implanted the use of Liters as a measure of water consumption, rate calculation and average daily consumption. More space was granted to publish photographs of missing people, with four photos, renewed periodically.
In 2011, new information was introduced in the account in order to make it even more explanatory, such as average monthly consumption of the property, a field for showing the number of units served in the social category, which complements the block that displays the remaining categories use, the user identifier code that represents a new cadastral attribute that binds the property to their charge, and a new space for bank authentication, which ensures compatibility with all collecting agents.
COPASA AND ITS SUPPLIERS
COPASA’s organizational principle is to maintain a partnership relationship with its suppliers. The Company seeks to contribute to the supply chain development and ensure the quality of service and materials purchased, in addition to observing socioeconomic and environmental responsibility practices. According to the Company’s Code of Ethics, relationships with suppliers of goods and services must be guided by technical and professional criteria, ethical principles, respect for current laws and regulations, seeking to meet the needs of the Organization.
Obsolete materials, products and equipment are stored in the warehouse, which are selected for reuse or offered for sale. Starting in 2010, the Company has been demanding in its bidding and contracts documents that vendors remove from the warehouse, in the same quantity as supplied, used and scrap materials of unserviceable assets (i.e., tires), so that they be given proper destination, seeking to avoid environmental pollution. Since 2012, in order to implement this procedure, COPASA hires a cooperative to collect bulbs and collect other recyclable materials as paper, plastic pipes, metal pipes, batteries, electrical ballasts, etc.
In order to ensure the best quality of purchased materials, the Company initiated a program which verifies the production process, technical capacity, quality systems and the supplier’s environmental protection, in order to approve their materials to that only those who are certified can participate in the Company’s bidding processes.
COPASA also promotes control and inspection of reagents and chemicals used in its various laboratories, issuing monthly reports for monitoring and control by the Federal Police.
As to electricity supply, COPASA maintains a periodic evaluation routine to compare prices on the open market and costs incurred on purchases in the captive market, called the equilibrium price of energy.
The necessary information for suppliers to register, track their registration status and participate in the bidding is available at COPASA’s website, the Supplier Booklet is also available, which presents to suppliers the ways of relationship with the Company, making it possible to easily fit the rules for bidding and purchasing.
The selection of suppliers is carried out by the bidding committees during the bidding process, by analyzing and verifying compliance with the conditions and criteria under the relevant laws and edicts. The most widely used method of bidding for the procurement of materials and services is the electronic trading system, which adds greater transparency, better negotiation conditions with suppliers, lower cost and greater flexibility in the realization of the proceedings. COPASA enables the monitoring of trading in real time via Internet, providing access to all information and stages of the process, a practice that brings transparency and reliability to the event.
COPASA does not adopt policies or practices in preference to local suppliers, since it cannot establish preferences, because its contracting follows the rules established in Law 8666/93. However, the Company observes in its bidding procedures, compliance with Supplementary Law 123/06, establishing the right of first refusal to micro and small businesses. (GRI EC6)
From January 2012, COPASA will evaluate its suppliers of materials and equipment at each delivery, based on two criteria: timeliness of delivery and approval in quality control. Thus, suppliers will be scored and, semiannually, data will be compiled, generating the final score of the supplier. With that, COPASA will measure the performance of its suppliers, encouraging the maintenance or increase in its standard of quality, as well as identifying opportunities for improvement.
Since 2002, monthly reports are sent to the State Court of Auditors (ECA) to inform the contracting carried out by the Company during the period, specifying values, suppliers, and material or services. Bidding and contracts are controlled by COPASA, through the Legal Department and the Internal Audit, under the control of the external auditing.
Aiming to promote the population’s access to water and sewer services, the Company develops policies that seek to improve health conditions in the State of Minas Gerais, besides acting in preserving and restoring water resources and the environment. To this end, it promotes the development and support to actions in education, social, artistic and environmental fields.
Sanitation, Development and Social Justice
Sponsorship: COPASA offers for free, to philanthropic organizations duly registered in the Action “Account on the People”, the service of collecting monthly contributions from individuals and corporations through the accounts of water/sewage. The amounts collected are intended for payment of services provided by COPASA to the institutions. If there is surplus collected, it is credited to the bank accounts of the institutions.
By the end of 2011, the program accounted for the registration of 393 institutions in the following categories: shelters, hostels,, Association of Parents and Friends of Exceptional Children (APAE), houses of transit, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers for drug addicts, day care centers, and Instituições de Longa Permanência para Idosos (ILPI) [Institutions for Long Term Elderly Care].
Progressive Discount Program: COPASA provides discounted rates for water and wastewater for municipalities (grantors), which are in default with the Company. The discount percentage is defined as a function of default time, so that local governments pay their bills by the due date receive discounts ranging from 10% to 50% in the value of their invoices.
With up to 6 months of timely payment, the discount is 10%. From 7 to 12 months, the discount is 20%. From 13 to 18 months, 30%. From 19 to 24 months, 40%, and above 24 months, 50%. By 2011, 391 municipalities have benefited, which represent 68.6% of total municipal grantors. Of these, 257 received discounts of 50% in the value of the accounts.
Solidariedágua Program: collects voluntary contributions from COPASA customers, directly to the water/sewer invoices, in order to settle overdue debts of philanthropic entities with the Company. In 2011, 10 institutions have benefited from this program.
Vale Água Program: established in 2006, it encourages residents of clusters of Belo Horizonte to exchange aluminum cans and plastic bottles for discounts in the water bills.
The exchange of recyclable material is made in the Outpost Service of COPASA, in the same cluster, through a simple procedure: the client goes to the post, weighs the material and receives their voucher. The discount is effective on the next bill. Any resident can join the program, regardless of the type of property (residential or commercial, churches, associations, etc.).
The objectives of COPASA with Vale Água are: benefit its low-income customers by promoting a reduction in the value of the water bill, ensure access to basic sanitation services to a growing population, create environmental awareness of recycling, reduce the volume of waste released into water courses and the environment and, consequently, reduce flooding and the incidence of waterborne diseases.
The program is present in six clusters of Belo Horizonte. In 2011, it received 3489.77 kg of aluminum cans and 38,902.57 kg of plastic bottles.
Subsidy to Philanthropic Entities: COPASA is a partner of the mining charities since 1979 through the subsidy granting program, for which COPASA intends up to 0.6% of its monthly billing.
In 2009, the subsidy program was adapted to suit the Action Conta com a Gente, held in conjunction with the Government of the State of Minas Gerais, through the Secretary of State for Social Assistance (SEDESE) and Voluntary Service of Social Assistance (SERVAS). Since then, COPASA maintains three types of benefits for philanthropic entities: Subsidy and Sponsorship, linked to the Action Conta com a Gente and the program Solidariedágua.
In 2011, 750 philanthropic organizations have benefited from discounted rates for water and sewage up to the limit of the contracted demand. For entities registered in the Action Conta com a Gente the subsidy represents 25% discount on tariffs. For the philanthropic hospitals linked to the Program Solidariedágua, the discount is 50%.
Social Tariff: The Social Tariff a reduced rate, established in 1994 exclusively for the residential category of customers who live in properties with building area of up to 44 m² and consuming up to 15 m³/month.
With Normative Resolution 004/2011 of ARSAE/MG, the “Social Tariff” has come to be regarded as a new category of customers called Social. Moreover, with the application of the rate increase in 2011, the Social Tariff now represents approximately 50% of the residential tariff.
In 2011, 320,085 households (average/month) have benefited from social tariff with water supply and 205,476 households (average/month) with sanitary sewage.
Among the various initiatives there are:
Grants and Sponsorships
Resources released by the Company through Laws of Culture and Sports Incentive, and the Fundo da Infância e Adolescência [Fund for Childhood and Adolescence] (FIA)
The willingness to act in actions and activities that contribute to society and to reaffirm the commitment of COPASA with the people from Minas Gerais, the Company is present at the main events held in the State of Minas Gerais with sponsorship, support and institutional actions, in addition to distributing cups of water. Among the achievements of the year, it is worth to mention the World Water Day, held in March, and the World Environment Day, held in June.
Projects approved by Federal Law of Cultural Incentive (Rouanet Law) in 2011
The total amount allocated was R$ 3,000,000.00:
In its latest editions, the prize included nearly 110 projects across the State of Minas Gerais. The award for the selected projects is R$1.11 million divided into three categories:
Lendas do Sertão – Culture and Art at the San Francisco River
The show is composed of plastic installations of contemporary art, divided into 13 environments where the visitor navigates the waters of the exhibition, from the mouth to the source, through the legends, religion, smells and flavors, music and customs of the riverside towns. The exhibition has been in the main capitals of the country, with an audience of approximately 80 thousand visitors at each location.
Youth Orchestra of Contagem
Held for the second consecutive year in Belo Horizonte, the 2nd Christmas Cantata of COPASA gathered thousands of people in Freedom Square, on December 22th, 2011. The Cantata also involved the participation of voices from the Child Coral Gotas da Canção (Além dos Muros [Beyond the Walls] Program) and the COPASA Coral.
Project FEMIART – 9th Arts and Craft Fair of São João del Rei and Tiradentes
City Theater Project – Morte e Vida Severina
Concerts in the Park
Cooperatives and Art in the Parks
COPASA Art Gallery
Program of Integration and Social Contribution Além dos Muros (Beyond the Walls)
Let’s go to the Museum?
In 2011, maintaining its policy of encouraging the preservation of the environment and water resources, COPASA focused its actions on the day commemorating the Water (March 22nd) and the Environment (June 5th).
Caring for Water Courses
In the localities of Água Comprida, Veríssimo, Capinópolis e Frutal, permanent preservation areas were recovered. In Frutal, COPASA participated in cleaning the banks and Córrego Vertente Grande e Ribeirão Frutal springs. In Itapagipe and Planura, an event was held to raise awareness and removal of solid waste from the banks of Rio Grande.
World Environment Day
An independent group of residents in the Neighborhood of Santo Antonio in the City of Belo Horizonte, where the headquarters of COPASA are located, proposed a work for recognition of the water way, in order to show the complexity of operating procedures relating to the reorganization, from the river catchment, treatment, reservation and transportation to each residence. Similarly, the water used (sewage) is collected, transported, treated and returned to the river. The whole cycle was shown to the community, with a project that began in November 2010 and culminated in late June 2011, month of the environment. The Água da Rua Project has established important partnerships with schools, neighborhood associations, religious organizations, movements, environmental organizations, trade, public and private institutions in a wide range of activities: environmental education, art workshops, maintaining the blog, marking the roads and painting walls, distribution of stickers and cards, informative banner exhibition, culminating in the Cortejo da Água (Parade of Water) with around 400 people who marched to the sound of the Tambor Mineiro (Miner Drum).
COPASA, in partnership with the Municipality of Belo Horizonte, Vallourec & Mannesmann Tubes, State Park of Serra do Rola Moça/State Institute of Forestry and the Fire Department, organized a series of activities in order to raise awareness about environmental preservation during the celebrations of Water, Environment and Tree Days, performed by the Barreiro Center for Environmental Study: lectures, walking along the stream of Barreiro, games, Chuá Show, with distribution of shirts, caps and squeezes.
World Water Day
The official opening of the celebrations of World Water Day took place on March 20th, at Central Market in the city of Belo Horizonte, with the presentation of the Musical Canção para as águas, held by COPASA Choir. Furthermore, in order to encourage government, enterprises, institutions and citizens in relation to the conscious use of water, the company sponsored and supported discussions, lectures, fairs, exhibitions, educational blitz, shows, citizen movements, nature walks and joint efforts for cleaning waterways.
To that end, we created a hotsite to register and post gestures of love, through photographs, films and reports of changes in attitudes. The project had a membership of several professional associations, educational institutions, sports clubs, supermarkets and shopping malls to help spread this initiative. The goal of COPASA was to promote reflection on the need for conscious use of water resources, highlighting the impacts of urban growth and the events caused by climate change.
The material was used in institutional awareness events in several locations in the State of Minas Gerais, with the aim of involving all stakeholders, which were reached in subway stations, airports, schools, shops, public squares, on football games, etc.
In the city of Betim, COPASA celebrated World Water Day with the presentation of a seminar open to the academic community and society of Betim, done in partnership with the Municipal Department of Environment, the School of Biological Sciences of PUC Minas and the local forum of Agenda 21. More than 300 people, including students, teachers, COPASA technicians and Betim Prefecture, attended lectures on revitalizing the Betim River, sewage treatment plants in Betim, fisheries laws, registration and georeferencing of springs and monitoring of water resources, which were delivered by specialists of these issues.
In Mateus Leme, it was promoted the revitalization of the east basin of Ribeirão Serra Azul, in partnership with the Technical Assistance and Rural Extension of the State of Minas Gerais (Emater) and State Departments of Education and Environment. Under this initiative, seedlings of native species were planted by local school students.
This year, the Young UFMG and FECEB-MG will show the breadth and interconnectedness of different fields, in view of the directive of the General Meeting of the United Nations for the International Year of Chemistry. COPASA, through the Chuá Program of Sanitary and Environmental Education, awarded the special prize Amigo das Águas, to the three best studies that linked the chemistry to sustainability, water resources and environmental preservation.The winners received a set of teaching materials of Chuá Program, certificate, card honors and visited the thematic aquarium Rio São Francisco, of Fundação Zoobotânica of Belo Horizonte City Hall.
COPASA seeks to encourage physical activity and improving the quality of life in communities where it operates. In 2011, the Company participated in major competitions held in the State of Minas Gerais, contributing to the release of funds by the Law for Encouragement of Sport, with institutional sponsorship, donations of water cups and the installation of cooling tunnels for the athletes and the present public.
Sponsorships granted with funds from the Federal Act for the Encouragement of Sport in 2011:
II International Half Marathon in Belo Horizonte
4th Half Marathon of Linha Verde
13th International Tour of Pampulha
Training Athletes through Integration of Sports Sciences
The project’s target audience is about 1,000 children, youth and adult athletes ranging in age from 6 to 19 years old, members of the Club and members of state and national sports community, with appropriate technical skills for the development of basketball and futsal, gymnastics, trampoline gymnastics, judo, tennis, swimming and male and female volleyball modalities.
NGO Tennis For All
COPASA was present in several events of social support, especially those relating to social inclusion, citizenship, quality of life and health.
To support victims of tragedies, COPASA sent in January 2011, 39,000 glasses of bottled water to victims of the rains in Nova Friburgo, State of Rio de Janeiro. To support the mining town’s victims of the rains in late October to December 2011, more than 140,000 cups of bottled water were sent to the State Civil Defense Coordinator (CEDEC-MG).
Fund for Childhood and Adolescence (FIA) 2011
The total amount allocated was R$ 750,000.00:
Centers for Citizenship
COPASA supports the Centers for Citizenship program, contributing financially to the maintenance and operation of the Center for Mediation and Citizenship in the Sierra and Santa Lucia cluster, located in the City of Belo Horizonte.
TRUST IN 6% Program
The funds raised in the 2011 campaign will benefit children and adolescents from 40 Minas Gerais municipalities, these donations totaled R$592,110, representing an increase of 34% compared to revenues of the previous year. Whereas the 2010 edition, the number of donors increased 49%, totaling 841 employees.
COPASA has won public recognition because of its actions in the field of social development and practices qualifying it as a citizen and socially responsible company. This recognition is translated in several ways, as indicated by the thanks and honors to the Company according to the allocation of part of employees and business income tax, to the Funds for Children and Adolescents, contributing to the funding of projects of assistance for children and youth and helping to provide a better life and future for children and teenagers throughout the state of Minas Gerais. The honors received by the Company include:
• “Enterprise Development” Certificate, of the Municipal Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents of Patos de Minas;
The performance of the program, since its inception, is represented in the following charts:
Councils for the Rights of Children and Adolescents included in 2011:
Fica Vivo! (Stay Alive!) Program
Among other actions, the Program makes specialized treatment and offers various cultural workshops, sports, vocational and leisure activities for young people from 12 to 24 years old in social risk and residents in areas that concentrate high indicators of homicide. COPASA is a partner of this initiative through an agreement signed with the State Department of Social Defense (SEDS-MG) and hires each year, 20 apprentices indicated by the Secretariat and by the National Service of Industrial Learning (SENAI MG).
Reintegration of Sheltered People to the Society
In partnership with the Judicial Branch, COPASA contributes to the recovery of inmates sheltered, giving them the opportunity to rejoin society and start a new life. The Company’s participation is performed through the hiring of these individuals to work in its operations. At work, they receive safety equipment and, after training under the guidance of an employee of COPASA, develop activities such as painting, weeding, loading and unloading, cleaning of tank, yards and warehouses, operational and gardening services, among others. The sheltered people are accompanied by the responsible of operating systems and meet the local business hours, the frequency being controlled by means of reports in the timesheet. The remuneration consists of a minimum wage.