Encouraging solidarity, a healthy lifestyle and family sports is the spirit of the Viesgo Night Races held in Santander, Lugo and Mieres. The charity sporting events organised by Viesgo not only promote caring for health through sports but are also eminently charitable, as we give everything raised from registrations in the races to the Banco de Alimentos (Food Bank) association.
“The night races of Viesgo are one of the most anticipated sports and solidarity events”
One of the main characteristics of the Viesgo Night Races is the headlamp used by runners: an idea that connects with our company’s business model, as the light from the participants’ lamps illuminates the streets of the cities in a nod to energy efficiency and the saving of electricity.
Since they began in 2013, and thanks to the generosity of 13,482 runners and others who have wanted to take part through donations, the races have raised 38,152 euros and over 4,000 kg of food for the Food Banks in Santander, Lugo and Mieres.
The Viesgo Night Races have received wide-ranging acknowledgement for their work, such as the award for the Best Sporting Event in Spain and Portugal given by the Evento Plus Awards, or the Social Company Award to the Best Responsible Project for Sport.
Bird life conservation is one of the major environmental goals of Viesgo. One of the main actions taken when laying electricity lines in areas such as Las Marismas Negras y Blancas de Astillero in Cantabria is the installation of bird guards: markers that help prevent birds from colliding because they make overhead electricity lines more visible.
We work on different projects with SEO BirdLife, the main Spanish ornithological NGO, such as the MIGRA programme that started in 2011 and studies bird migration in Spain. Our participation within the context of this programme focuses primarily on the marking of the common tern using an innovative nano-GPS system, and conservation of the common kestrel. Both species are present in Cantabria, especially in the Bay of Santander.
Every year we rekindle our collaboration with the Santander International Festival (FIS), one of the major cultural events in Santander and a benchmark for national and international classical music that is held at the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria.
The Santander International Festival brings some of the best orchestras in the world before Cantabrian audiences and reflects our interest in promoting activities that provide a social, cultural and economic boost to the region.
Sports and camaraderie are also the stars of an event aimed at children. The Copa Viesgo for 7-a-side football, which is already been held seven times, has rightly become the flagship of our company’s Corporate Responsibility policy in the south of Spain.
In Cadiz, the Copa Viesgo has become a leading tournament, with over 300 children organised into more than twenty teams to enjoy every weekend in which the good vibes, the efforts and the camaraderie prevail in all the categories. An event that strengthens Viesgo’s commitment to Andalusia.
Asturias is another of the regions in which the environmental work of Viesgo is greatly present. More specifically in the district of Boal, where Viesgo fostered the creation of the Route of Miradores del Navia, a walking and cycling path to be used by visitors to this lovely spot set around the reservoirs of Arbón and Doiras. Our contribution towards its refurbishment and signposting has been key in recovering this privileged area of nature and make it available to the general public for a better insight into the wealth of its ecosystem.
Further, Viesgo is involved in many other initiatives in different regions of Spain, including collaboration with local councils for the maintenance of parks and gardens (such as in Villaharta, next to the Puente Nuevo power plant), reforestation of areas affected by fires (such as the reforestation project involving the Quercus species in Portugal), and general environmental care, promoting biodiversity, energy efficiency and the fight against climate control.
As the founding sponsor of the NGO Energía Sin Fronteras (Energies Without Borders), Viesgo is working with the organisation on its goal to bring essential utilities such as energy, water and sewerage services to disadvantaged areas in developing countries.
One of the latest projects in which we have taken part was the installation of photovoltaic panels in an eco-village belonging to Mujeres Unidas contra el Maltrato (MUM – Women United Against Abuse) located in Madrid. Thanks to this initiative, eight single-parent families who live in this shelter now have electricity, an essential element to be able to guarantee their accommodation.
Conservation of biodiversity is one of the main goals of Viesgo in terms of
environmental and social issues. Our commitment to preserving ecosystems involves our collaboration in funding the LIFE + “StopCortaderia” project to eliminate the invasive pampas grass in the northern part of Spain.
This project implements twenty-odd actions relating to prior preparatory studies, the work directly involving elimination and control, monitoring and tracking of the results and the dissemination of these initiatives, as well as making society aware of them.
The areas of special action are the coasts, which are included in the Atlantic region of the Natura 2000 Network, where they are to be fully eliminated, whereas their expansion is to be contained inland to increase the list of municipalities that are free of pampas grass. This initiative, with the participation of SEO BirdLife and social organisations such as AMPROS, SERCA and AMICA, also receives funds from the European Commission, the Ministry of Development, the Regional Government of Cantabria, the Regional Government of Galicia and private organisations.
The partnership between Viesgo and the UIMP in Santander, which dates back to the start of this century, is the best indication of our dual commitment to society: disseminating and informing society of the energy sector and fostering cultural and academic development as an agent of change.
Viesgo’s support for this prestigious university focuses on two main projects. On one hand, we take part in its summer courses, which are the oldest in Spain, organising an annual meeting on the electricity sector in which famous national and international experts take part. On the other, Viesgo sponsors the Menéndez Pelayo International Award, which has been given to celebrities in literary or scientific creation, such as Mario Vargas Llosa and Mario Benedetti.
The Botín Centre is an institution that puts Santander on the map in contemporary culture and establishes it as a city looking to the future from this architectural vantage point, suspended over the bay and designed by the Pritzker laureate Renzo Piano. As a strategic partner, Viesgo also collaborates in exhibitions and activities at the Botín Centre, which is managed by the Botín Foundation.
The Calder Stories exhibition, which is to be sponsored by Viesgo, is devoted to the American Alexander Calder, one of the most relevant artists of the 20th century for his contribution to the revival of sculpture, and will focus on projects by the sculptor that never saw the light of day. The exhibition, curated by Swiss-born Hans Ulrich Obrist and organised together with the Calder Foundation of New York, has been classed as one of the most relevant of the year and can be seen from 29th June to 20th October 2019 in Santander.
One of the mainstays of Viesgo’s cultural work is the promoting of young instrumentalists and youngsters involved in classical music in general. We collaborate with one of the main cultural institutions in the country, the Reina Sofía School of Music, which belongs to the Albéniz Foundation, with which we have had a fruitful relationship since 1996 in the promotion of musical creation.
“Thanks to this close collaboration with the Albéniz Foundation, the annual agenda shines with several musical initiatives”
La Camerata Viesgo, sponsored by our company, offers concerts throughout the country, especially the Viesgo Traditional Christmas Concert held every year in Santander cathedral.
Another event not to be missed is the Santander Music and Academia Meeting organised in July to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences among young musicians and maestros of world fame. Special mention must be given to the Paloma O’Shea Concert, the Santander International Piano contest that is also sponsored by Viesgo and that brings together and rewards the best pianists in the world under the age of 22.