Day to day, we live our commitment of contributing to the wellness of the community by supporting initiatives, programs, and projects to promote a culture of health and self-care, seeking that our employees and their families, suppliers, clients, consumers, and communities improve their quality of life.
Since our beginnings, we have worked to develop the infrastructure needed to provide health care for our employees and their families, because we are aware of how important this is for their general wellbeing and their productivity in the workplace.
Our first efforts towards health care were made late in the 19th century, and were formally established in 1945, with the foundation of the Clínica Cuauhtémoc y Famosa in the city of Monterrey, Mexico. This ongoing pursuit of wellness and productivity led the clinic to build and operate the Occupational Health and Safety Administration System (SASSO) that is applied throughout all our Business Units. SASSO has 20 occupational health programs and 12 industrial safety awareness practices, which include workplace risk prevention and industrial contingency planning, annual medical checkups, preventive medicine campaigns, vaccination, and others. SASSO is an example of a program created jointly by the company and its unions to protect the health and safety of our workers, which is driven and supervised by the Safety and Hygiene Committees.
Among the main results of our Occupational Health and Safety programs in 2009 was a reduction of 6.3% in the workplace accident index from 2008. We also celebrated that the Coca-Cola FEMSA non-carbonated drinks facility in Costa Rica had one year without any lost-time incidents.
Espacio Saludable (Healthy Sapce), a fitness center located within the Coca-Cola FEMSA Alcorta plant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, opened in February 2008. In this space, employees are encouraged to develop good health habits and be physically active, placing what they need to exercise within their reach, right at their workplace. Various internal communication campaigns, like Salud 100, promote healthy lifestyles, bringing more than 200 workers in to take advantage of the space.
As community members, we at FEMSA are convinced that a healthy environment is the best place to live and to grow as a business. We also believe that preventive education programs are a springboard for in-depth, long-term transformation of the health problems we face today, which are sometimes addressed only by restrictive short-term solutions.
Charting my Own Destiny, developed at FEMSA’s request by specialists from the University of Monterrey, is aimed at encouraging young people to develop skills for making better decisions in all aspects of their lives. Through hands-on experience and reflection, students develop social and cognitive skills and emotional selfcontrol. During 2009, we reached 459,000 students between the ages of 11 and 17 in the states of Campeche, Chihuahua, and Nuevo León, in Mexico. Since its beginning in 2007, Charting my Own Destiny has touched the lives of 515,000 young people and, based on its encouraging results, in 2009 it was named FEMSA’s flagship program, for which its expansion to more Mexican states and other countries in Latin America is now on process. During 2010, we expect to benefit some 300,000 young people through this program.
Together for your wellness, introduced by Coca-Cola FEMSA Mexico, is a four-part program comprised of:
1) An educational play called The Nutty Professor, which was staged to 220,000 students in 540 elementary schools in 2009, bringing them messages about the importance of health care, physical activity, a balanced diet, hydration, and positive thinking.
2) Health brigades, which provided medical diagnoses to 30,000 students in 125 schools in four states of Mexico.
3) Sports clinics, in which young people learned through sports and teamwork how to lead a healthy life, and at the end of the program, spent time with professional soccer players.
4) A drawing contest, in which 5,000 students were invited to create artwork reflecting the importance of health.
We continue to support the FEMSA Biotechnology Center, at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey. In 2009, this center made significant progress in training researchers specialized in the design, implementation, and operation of biotechnology processes in the health, food, agro-industrial, chemical, pharmaceutical, environmental, and academic fields. Many of these research projects focus on the generation and introduction of sustainable technology for the production of goods and service through the use of enzymes, micro-organisms, and animal and/or vegetable cells. The center works to generate knowledge as well as to create new patents for technological solutions useful in the industry, technology transfer, and the incubation of new biocompanies.