ACCIONA contributed to the definition of the recently approved Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Global Compact LEAD, as a result of its commitment to sustainability, understood as social progress, environmental balance and economic growth.
Four of the adopted goals—referring to water, renewable energy, resilient infrastructure and climate change—are at the core of the Company's business model.
Following expiration of the Millennium Development Goals and the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals on 25 September 2015, ACCIONA is pursuing its commitment to sustainable development through objectives and initiatives set out in its Sustainability Master Plan. Through its business lines, the Company contributes directly to achieving four of the goals (6, 7, 9 and 13) and, to a varying degree, all the others.
Ensure availability of water
Throughout its history, ACCIONA has purified, processed and desalinated water for over 70 million people worldwide. In line with Goal no. 6, the Company adopted a Water Policy, which informs its operations in the water treatment business. It also engages in end-to-end water management, with operations in all phases of the water cycle: designing, building and operating plants for treating drinking water and waste water, tertiary treatment of waste water for reuse, and reverse osmosis desalination.
Through water treatment plants, ACCIONA's water footprint had a positive impact of 532 hm3 in 2014, equivalent to the amount of water used each year by a city of 6.5 million people.
Ensure access to affordable energy
In line with the proposal under Goal no. 7 to increase the percentage contribution by renewable energy, ACCIONA is an industry leader in the development, construction, operation and maintenance of renewable assets.
In 2014, the Company produced sufficient electricity to power 6 million households. And 74% of the electricity acquired by ACCIONA in Spain was from renewable sources.
Additionally, by the end of 2014, the ACCIONA Microenergy Foundation had installed home photovoltaic systems in approximately 21,000 low-income households in isolated rural communities in Cajamarca (Peru) and Oaxaca (Mexico), resulting in a substantial improvement in living standards.
Build resilient infrastructure
In the last 50 years, ACCIONA has been involved in some of the world's major construction projects. In line with Goal no. 9, the Company relies on innovation to achieve more resilient and sustainable infrastructure. Areas such as eco-efficient building, biotechnology, composite materials in infrastructure, and enhanced construction processes are some of the Company's priorities in pursuing its four main lines of innovation:
- New solutions in construction processes
- Third-generation road surfaces
- New materials
- Emblematic projects
Take urgent action to combat climate change
ACCIONA was a pioneer in adapting its business model to the needs of a low-carbon economy and it considers the fight against climate change as a strategic priority. The company contributes to the challenges of Goal no. 13 through its activities, including notably:
- To reduce or mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. The trees we planted in 2014 absorbed CO₂ equivalent to the emissions of 1,100 cars on the road.
- To reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, primarily by using renewable energy sources. In 2014, the Company avoided 28 times the CO₂ produced by its business activities.
- To promote energy savings.
The Company is working in a number of alliances that leverage its contribution to sustainable development (Goal no. 17). ACCIONA is involved in a large number of initiatives that pursue a broad positive change. For example, ACCIONA participates in Sustainable Energy for All and in Caring for Climate in the context of the United Nations, in the Corporate Leaders Group and Green Growth Platform in the context of the EU, in the World Economic Forum's CEO Climate Leadership Group, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which includes the World Bank and the OECD, among others, and in the Spanish Green Growth Group.
In addition to the direct impact of the aforementioned goals on its business, the Company is involved in a number of initiatives—biodiversity, education, equality, volunteers, health, etc.—that are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.