Integrated Annual Report

4.2 The Cellnex Foundation

The Cellnex Foundation is driven by Cellnex Telecom's strong will to go one step further in contributing to a better connected and socially inclusive environment, as part of a comprehensive initiative that embodies the company's commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance).

The Cellnex Foundation was envisioned as a dynamic tool to boost Cellnex‘s social commitment and offer differential value through actions focused on people and based on technological connectivity solutions, aligned with the company’s business model.

The Foundation aims to serve society with the mission of contributing to the transformation of realities:

  • Harnessing the knowledge generated and the resources available in the Corporation to foster changes in people's lives and the environment in a meaningful way, especially with and for people in particularly vulnerable social situations.
  • Effectively using connectivity as a key component for intervention, working to improve the inclusion of people in an increasingly connected environment, while actively working to build sustainable actions that have a positive impact on the lives of people and the environment.

The challenge that the Foundation meets is connecting people and territories digitally and effectively, contributing to the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

The actions undertaken by the Cellnex Foundation focus on responding to the challenges and issues detected in the Cellnex environment:

  • Digital gap: the Cellnex Foundation acts against the imbalance and social inequality generated by the digital gap in society.
  • Territorial gap: the Cellnex Foundation helps to reduce isolation and inequality in rural settings and complex areas (such as certain neighbourhoods in urban environments) through connectivity.
  • Social gap: the Cellnex Foundation acts against inequalities (especially gender, functional diversity and origin) by promoting connectivity solutions that improve people's quality of life.

The Foundation's social contribution model is based on four pillars of action that maximise its social impact on the territory:

  • The Foundation's own programmes.
  • Joint programmes.
  • Corporate volunteering.
  • Collaboration with small organisations.

The Foundation's own programmes

The Master Plan proposes six revitalisation programmes covering issues of education, activation of the economy, digitalisation of SMEs and support for the community and vulnerable groups:

Cellnex's own programmes focus on improving connectivity in rural areas, where major social, territorial and digital transformations are needed. The aim is to bring technology closer to rural areas and seek solutions to challenges arising from the current gaps to help improve social and territorial cohesion in different areas by improving people's quality of life.

The strategy for implementing the Foundation's own programmes is based on the Foundation's Connectivity Master Plan, which sets out the lines of regeneration for each rural area to achieve the established impact on the territory. The strategy set out in the current Plan has a three-year horizon and presently focuses on Spain.

Textile colonies

As the Foundation's first project of its own, work is being done to revitalise the textile colonies in the Puig-Reig area (Berguedà, Barcelona). The project aims to boost economic activity and innovation in the municipality of Puig-Reig and regenerate the industrial colonies located there. Two phases were  to develop the pilot project:

  • Phase 1. Connectivity (within the Foundation’s Own Programmes): Connectivity project.
  • Phase 2. Technological solutions: coding summer camp.

The summer camp was held in July 2022 and was attended by 90 children and teenagers (15 children and teenagers from Red Cross vulnerable groups, 54 children and teenagers registered through Fundesplai and 21 children of Cellnex employees). According to the coding camp satisfaction survey, around 90% of the participants would go again and recommend the camp.

Smart Montserrat

The purpose of the project is the digital transformation of Montserrat Abbey to monitor air quality, parking management and capacity management. To this end, a platform was set up to improve the management of various use cases, a modular, scalable and layered architecture was established and a simple and easy-to-use viewer or dashboard was provided.

Extremadura Project

Implementation of the "Extremadura Project" is in the pipeline for 2023. There are 388 municipalities in Extremadura, 29 of which are eligible for a revitalisation project, according to the parameters of the strategic plan. The idea is to design a programme jointly with the Government of Extremadura to boost the economy in some of the areas and develop digital capacities. As such, the project aims to upgrade the technological skills of a vulnerable group with the expected impact of lower youth unemployment and equality of opportunity with urban areas.

"Cellnex bridge is a space for learning, knowledge exchange and innovation where social impact projects that improve the well-being of people, communities and the impact on the planet are promoted and supported"

Angels Ucero, Ditector of Cellnex Foundation

Joint programmes

Cellnex leads these programmes in partnership with other public or private organisations to respond to specific needs that are aligned with Cellnex's business activity.

Transforming the future

This programme is an alliance led by the Spanish Red Cross to combat loneliness. Social isolation and loneliness, caused by a lack of social fabric, ongoing support or access to community services, is a multifaceted social problem. It creates situations of vulnerability and risk in some groups and can have negative effects on people's physical and mental health, sometimes leading to a higher risk of mortality.

This alliance aims to collaborate in the design and implementation of a number of strategies, actions and solutions to address the issue of loneliness and social isolation, using community-focused technology to strengthen the model for intervention and social protection in collaboration with private actors.

Cellnex Bridge - Second Edition

In 2021 the Cellnex Foundation launched its first acceleration programme for social impact startups: Cellnex Bridge.

The objectives of the Cellnex Bridge programme are to promote universal digital capacity, reduce social inequality, promote talent and innovation, and improve quality of life

The Cellnex Bridge programme aims to promote universal digital capacity, reduce social inequality, foster talent and innovation, and improve quality of life and sustainability. Cellnex Bridge focuses on projects that address the following social and environmental sustainability issues: the elderly, personal care, employability and equal opportunities, rural depopulation, education, low connectivity areas (rural or urban), protection of vulnerable groups and environmental sustainability. This programme is undertaken by the Cellnex Foundation in collaboration with Innuba and AticoLab.

In 2022 the Cellnex Foundation launched the second edition of the programme with the aim of giving ongoing support to startups with a high social impact through technology and connectivity to work. Cellnex Bridge offers a five-month systematic impact acceleration programme and the second edition includes:

  • An exclusive Board of mentors tailored to each selected startup.
  • Regular individual sessions with Board mentors.
  • Weekly theoretical and practical workshops on business and impact issues
  • Round tables for dialogue and learning focused on social and environmental issues; workshops to develop soft skills and group coaching sessions for personal, individual and group development.
  • Post-training follow-up sessions.
  • Knowledge and resources to develop Proofs of Concept based on technology and connectivity.
  • Contribution of €15,000 to develop a Proof of Concept during the programme.
  • Access to Cellnex technology and expertise.

51 startups were presented for the second edition of Cellnex Bridge, 13 of which short-listed, and six were finally selected. They are:

  • Innogando: a startup that develops technology in the “Smart Farming” sector. It aims to digitalise the livestock sector to improve farmers' quality of life, farm profitability and animal welfare.
  • AldoraTech: a parcel delivery solution in rural and hard-to-reach areas using drones that facilitate an efficient, sustainable and safe transition towards greener automated logistics.
  • Circulr Sound: a software solution focused on safety for the elderly, which applies artificial intelligence techniques to audio.
  • Oroi Well-being: a virtual reality platform with therapeutic content designed to foster emotional well-being and provide cognitive stimulation for the elderly.
  • BlindStairs: a candidate tracking system designed to avoid gender, ethnicity, nationality, age and sexual orientation bias throughout the entire staff selection process.
  • Salus Coop: a non-profit community cooperative that manages data for health research, making an ever-increasing range of data available to health researchers.

In 2023 the Cellnex Foundation wants to increase the number of participating startups and broaden the reach of Cellnex Bridge to other countries.

Corporate volunteering

Corporate volunteering, now under the umbrella of the Cellnex Foundation, seeks to organise and engage Cellnex employees and former employees who wish to contribute to generating social value through activities that respond to the needs of people, the community and the environment.

Cellnex Foundation contributes to sustainable development and the 2030 agenda through a variety of volunteering programmes linked to three main areas of action: Education, Training and Mentoring; Employability; and Access to Technology.

Volunteer day

On 10 November, the second edition of Cellnex volunteer day was organised to showcase the role of volunteers and raise the profile of the Foundation.

The activities included a Cellnex Foundation presentation, with volunteers from various countries, and an inspirational conference by Àlex Roca, athlete, speaker and a model of motivation and resilience.

There were also round tables on volunteering in Europe, the value it provides, its development, the importance and social, personal and corporate benefits of volunteering and barriers to volunteering and how to overcome them.

In addition, SDG workshops were held to raise awareness of the SDGs, reflect on individual responsibility in preserving the environment, learn how to produce home-made cosmetic or household cleaning items with simple and natural ingredients, and discover alternatives and tips to reduce waste at home.

Youth Challenge

"It has been inspirational to see students from disadvantaged backgrounds become encouraged and motivated, by visiting corporate premises and having relaxed conversations with Cellnex Employees, resulting in the children wanting to pursue similar careers in the future".

Marcha van de Ven, Country Head of P&O - Cellnex Netherlands

The Youth Challenge is Cellnex's corporate volunteering project with a positive impact on vulnerable environments in local communities. Specifically, it is an education programme for young people in vulnerable situations to facilitate their entry into the labour market, which includes support sessions with mentors, conferences and workshops led by Cellnex volunteers.

The Youth Challenge aims to combat early school leaving by young people at risk of social exclusion through a coaching programme and improve the employability of students through conferences hosted by volunteers and training.

Cellnex Spain, Cellnex Italy, Cellnex France, Cellnex Portugal and Cellnex UK participated in the edition for the 2021-2022 academic year. A total of 15 lower and higher secondary schools took part in the programme, which included 87 activities with over 150 volunteers. This resulted in more than 1,400 volunteer hours dedicated to 1,122 students.

For the 2022-2023 edition, participation was expanded from the four countries involved in the previous edition to include Cellnex Netherlands, and work is underway at Cellnex Poland. This means that half of the countries where Cellnex is present are currently participating in the Youth Challenge programme. In addition to the Youth Challenge programme, the Employability project was developed specifically to promote access to employment for young people from families with limited resources and a low level of education through mentoring sessions. The plan includes between six and nine one-to-one mentoring sessions with the mentor and the young person. This programme was launched in Portugal during the 2021-2022 school year and will continue in 2022-2023.

Cellnex volunteers receive an olive tree as thanks for their contribution

Cellnex volunteers in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom were delighted to receive an olive tree for them to plant, a symbol of strength and success, among other things, in recognition of the actions carried out as part of the Youth Challenge during the outgoing academic year.

Technovation Girls

The project aims to boost the presence of women in the fields of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship and help teams of girls to learn and apply the skills required to solve real problems by creating a mobile app.

The project includes coaching activities to give the teams feedback on the projects, visits to Cellnex's offices and an evaluation of the projects that are presented. In 2022 the programme took place over four months, with two coaching sessions held on 28 and 30 March, a visit to Cellnex's offices on 6 April and evaluation of the projects from 1 April to 30 June.

Solidarity Gift

The "Solidarity Gift" project is an initiative that is open to all Cellnex employees, consisting of a micro-donation of €1 per month (or the equivalent in local currency) which is taken directly from the salary of employees who join in the initiative. In addition, the Cellnex Foundation matches the gift and the money raised is used for a project that the group of Solidarity Gift donors present and choose in a vote.

The campaign is launched every two years and the amount collected over the last two years is added up. In 2022 the donation campaign was run in Spain, Switzerland and Italy and in 2023 it will be launched in Portugal, the Netherlands and Ireland.

Collaboration with small organisations

These are projects carried out by other organisations with collaboration from Cellnex in the form of economic, technical or human resources.

Digitalise your village

Project developed by the Higher School of Telecommunications Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, based on a competition involving students from Spanish higher secondary schools in rural settings with the aim of making rural areas a smart environment for entrepreneurship, fostering a sense of belonging among rural youth and inspiring them to study STEM. Students have to develop an idea in teams to solve or make a positive contribution to a specific problem affecting their local rural area using technology.

In the 2022 edition, 14 secondary schools in seven provinces took part in the project, with over 70 students involved. The winning project was "Smart Incubators" from La Sierra school in Prádena (Segovia), a plan to preserve the Castellana Negra breed of chickens by monitoring various parameters.

Environmental awareness

One of the values we promote is the inclusion of all people and the integration of diversity. For this reason, we collaborate with various social organisations so that people with disabilities can enjoy nature outings that also build awareness and respect for the environment.

In 2022, the places visited were the Enchanted City in Cuenca, Doñana National Park (Seville), mountains of Montserrat (Barcelona), the Cercedilla mountains (Madrid) and Albufera Natural Park (Valencia), places of special natural and cultural interest, with people at risk of social exclusion as the main participants. The company has collaborated with organisations including Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR), Asociación Santa Oliva de Olesa de Montserrat, Fundación Estimia (Barcelona), Asociación Descalzos al Bosque (Seville), Asociación Neurodes (Valencia), Asociación Aprompis (Cuenca), Asociación Aspadec (Cuenca), Fundación Prodis (Madrid), Itarinatura (Navarre) and Patronat de la Muntanya de Montserrat (Barcelona).

Clearing land

This collaboration with the Fundació Formació i Treball focuses on facilitating the social integration of people at risk of exclusion. As part of this project, they help to clear scrub from the land where the Cellnex premises are located.

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