1. Environmental Dimension
  2. Business management
  3. Volver

Ferrovial

Ferrovial - Integrated annual report 2013 / Business management

A key aspect of the company’s environmental strategy is to develop business models that are coherent with society’s demands for a more environmentally sustainable approach to the planet, capitalizing on Ferrovial’s technological expertise in areas such as energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the sink effect of forests and eco-efficiency.

Aspects such as energy efficiency in buildings, the integrated management of cities, or low-emission mobility, as well as conservation of biodiversity, are considered by the organization as sources of inspiration for the development of new business models. The aim of this is to create longterm value, converting Ferrovial into a strategic partner for governments in the countries where it operates and helping meet global environmental goals.

Sustainable mobility

The shift to low-emission transport infrastructure will undoubtedly be based on convergence between infrastructure and information and communication technologies, helping to make for more flexible systems and reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The idea is to create truly intelligent infrastructures that adapt to demand in real time, thus ensuring fluid transport and activating solutions for more sustainable mobility. Examples include systems for predicting traffic events, the SAVE advanced entry-lane system for toll roads and the DAVAO+ high-occupancy vehicle detection system. All of these have been developed by the Intelligent Infrastructures Center (CI3), which was set up in 2010. The deployment of these technologies has allowed Ferrovial to develop concepts such as managed lanes. Infrastructure of this kind is capable of reducing the carbon footprint caused by road travel, and is currently operating in countries such as the United States and Canada.

Smart cities

The Services area began developing the “SmartCities” concept more than three years ago, within the framework of its municipal and energy efficiency services. This highly practical approach is based on lower costs for local governments, investment in technology, increased energy efficiency and improved quality of life for citizens. The new model has already been implemented in a number of cities such as Birmingham and Sheffield (both in the UK), where Ferrovial Servicios has long-term contracts. Investment in advanced technologies help cut energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases, while reducing the economic cost of municipal services for taxpayers. The project has been a success and well received by the public, local unions and employees. According to preliminary estimates, a saving of around 20% on the current costs of urban services is feasible.

Sustainable forestry management (SmartForests)

Ferrovial has been working since 2012 to identify opportunities in the field of biodiversity conservation. In countries such as Spain woodlands are a source of natural resources, economic activity and jobs in rural areas. These jobs are crucial to sustaining local populations and helping to conserve habitats over the long term. However, the current policy of cutting public spending has substantially reduced public investment in protecting Spain’s woodlands. The result could mean negative effects and risks for biodiversity and economic activity in rural areas.

In this difficult situation, Ferrovial’s position is that private capital can play a key role by replacing missing public investment, provided that sustainable and longterm management of the forests is ensured, as well as public use of the woodlands that form part of the natural heritage. To this end, in partnership with environmental associations, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the scientific community, Ferrovial is working actively with several public authorities in Spain on a pilot project for managing public woodlands.

In 2013 this model has partially taken off in the autonomous region of Catalonia (Spain) with the installation of the first biomass plants that use a by-product of the forestry management of a large area of woodlands.