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EPAL wins two Golden Pipes at the biggest water sector and environment conference.

Nov 25, 2021


tubos ouro 2021The first project to receive an award was “Educating for the Protection of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” in the category “Best Sustainability Action”. EPAL has developed several initiatives, backed by the Communication, Marketing and Environmental Education Department, with the aim of educating children, young people and adults about nature conservation and the respect they should have for it, preserving ecosystems and all biodiversity.

EPAL is a partner of ONGA (environmental non-governmental organisation) and, within this partnership, has promoted actions that benefit the entire community, including the planting of trees, webinars, workshops, sponsorship of wild animals and the Free Time Occupation Programme "Naturally on vacation!".

These partnerships (QUERCUS (National Nature Conservation Association), ZERO (Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável - Sustainable Terrestrial System Association), LPN – League for the Protection of Nature, ABAE (Associação Bandeira Azul da Europa - European Blue Flag Association) and GEOTA (Grupo de Estudos de Ordenamento do Território e Ambiente - Spatial Planning and Environmental Study Group) arise from the need to focus society’s attention and are established through a Strategic Cooperation Protocol to increase the company’s environmental value and to promote environmental awareness.

It should be noted that EPAL has two further projects: “Rede de Bebedouros de Lisboa” (Lisbon Drinking Fountain Network) in partnership with Lisbon City Council and GEOTA, which offers all Lisbon residents and visitors free access to excellent public drinking water – hygienically, easily and free of charge; and the “Here I drink tap water” campaign in Lisbon's restaurants, in partnership with Zomato.

The protection of biodiversity and ecosystems is also part of environmental awareness and education actions for schoolchildren. "The planet is our Home", a book in the form of a short story on this theme, was launched with younger children in mind.

In the “Best Water Value Action” category, the award went to “Communicating for All - Partnerships for the implementation of multi-format communication”, a project that encourages disability-inclusive communications, with the aim of contributing to a more inclusive society.

The challenge was monitored technically by the INR - National Institute for Rehabilitation, IP, part of the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, and it came to fruition with several events taking place throughout the year, celebrating relevant themed days.

There were also joint initiatives with ACAPO - Portuguese Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Serviin – Portal for the deaf community and APCB - Braga Cerebral Palsy Association, and also the collaboration of several associations which shared these contents with their own members, including LIGA Foundation, APCL - Lisbon Cerebral Palsy Association and CERCI Lisbon (Cooperative for the education and rehabilitation of people with a disability). Their descriptions and images were adapted for pictographic writing and videos in Portuguese sign language.

It’s worth highlighting that EPAL already provides Braille invoices, the “Useful Information” leaflet in managing the contract in Braille and has also implemented Serviin’s unique and differentiating service which allows the deaf community to communicate with EPAL in sign language via a video call.

More recently, it started to work with APCB - Braga Cerebral Palsy Association, which produces materials with pictographic writing.

EPAL will continue its multi-format communication initiatives with the aim of taking the value of water message to as many people as possible.

The winners of the three remaining awards were Águas do Norte, Aquapor and Barreiro Town Council, and Beja’s municipal water and wastewater company was also awarded two honourable mentions.

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