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A series of portraits of VINCI Energies employees. They hail from a whole range of backgrounds and personal career paths, and work around the world in one of the multiple business activities that allow VINCI Energies to prosper.

In order to shake things up on the environmental front, VINCI Energies is looking to speed up information flow by forming a global network of its environmental managers. In Portugal, this responsibility has been assigned to Cátia Margarido, whose role is to build environmental awareness among VINCI Energies employees and to encourage them to take action.

On September 22nd 2022 about 650 VINCI Energies Portugal staff, took part in the global Environment Day organised by the VINCI Group. Their task was to clean natural places and remove invasive species, at around ten locations in the country, collecting hundreds of kilos of waste.

“My role is to promote and develop climate, circular economy and biodiversity actions”

“The event, which was taking place in the field for the first time after two years of Covid, is one of my best memories. It was great to share the experience and build group cohesion,” says Cátia Margarido, head of environment at VINCI Energies Portugal. Cátia’s work involves informing, educating and engaging with the 2,000 or so employees at VINCI Energies Portugal on the subject of environmental protection. “My role is to promote and develop actions around VINCI’s three focus areas: climate, circular economy and biodiversity. Together with Portugal’s CEO, we set the strategy to be followed and apply it in two ways. First, by organising cross-cutting activities with the various VINCI Energies business lines. And second, by supporting the initiatives taken in the three focus areas by each of our subsidiaries.”

New role, big ambitions

There are plenty of projects in the pipeline. Having finalised the second edition of VINCI Energies Portugal’s sustainable development report, “which involved around 40 people,” Cátia Margarido is working on several initiatives, including the next Environment Day. She is part of working groups with the support of the BCSD Portugal, tackling biodiversity and circular economy issues. She is preparing to propose a plan that engages with VINCI Energies suppliers in Portugal, motivating them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and sets up schemes to cut emissions within VINCI Energies Portugal itself. These direct emissions are largely generated by its vehicle fleet.

“Energy Day on 29th May will be an opportunity to address mobility and encourage the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, spreading useful info about this topics.”

The role of head of environment, which she has held since January 2022, is new to VINCI Energies Portugal but exists in other VINCI Energies countries and divisions worldwide. “It fits with VINCI Energies’ goal to accelerate its environmental policy,” she stresses. “I see it as a tremendous challenge.”

At 39, Cátia Margarido can rely on her substantial experience as QHSE (quality, health, safety and environment) manager. She spent 13 years of her career, from 2008 to 2021, first as quality, safety, environment technician then as QHSE manager at Sotécnica, a VINCI Energies business unit specialising in integrated engineering solutions (electrical and technical installations, maintenance and facility management).

Behavioural change

“In 2015 I obtained a diploma in sustainable management which means I am starting to go deep in this new and mainstream issue” says Cátia Margarido, whose excellent network within VINCI Energies is a major asset.

She believes the main quality required for the job is “the ability to interact with people from different backgrounds, raising their awareness of environmental topics and encouraging them to change their behaviours. It is harder to shake things up in this field than in areas like occupational health and safety, despite the fact that the impact of climate change is becoming increasingly tangible for everyone.”

Cátia Margarido supports more than 80 managers and heads of operations and business lines. It is a huge task but one that she is determined to achieve. Tempted during her studies to opt for medicine, she ended up focusing on environmental health. “Being an environmental manager in a large business like VINCI Energies is a way of fulfilling that initial vocation. Knowing and understanding environmental issues also helps to better prevent illness, doesn’t it?”



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