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Ferrovial - Integrated annual report 2013 / Carbon Footprint management

Carbon Footprint management

Ferrovial cannot be credible as a potential lowemission infrastructure and service provider if it is not prepared to make ambitious commitments to reduce its own carbon footprint. Ferrovial has since 2009 measured 100% of greenhouse gas emissions from its global activities, with the aim of reducing its carbon footprint, mainly through more efficient energy use. Targets have been set at a global scale for the 2020 horizon, with a bottom-up approach that integrates opportunities or reducing emissions based on production processes; in other words, based on the productive processes in each business area, where the “pockets of opportunity” were identified and assessed for reducing emissions.

As a result of this process, Ferrovial has set a target of a 21.3% reduction in emissions by 2020 with respect to the base year 2009, in terms of carbon intensity. This target involves 100% of the activities, companies and subsidiaries at a global scale. To meet this commitment, Ferrovial has developed and implemented actions to reduce emissions, both specific in each business area and in general:

  • Inclusion of energy efficiency criteria in purchasing and service subcontracting; purchase of electricity from certified renewable sources; use of alternative fuels; and more alternative vehicles.
  • The Sustainable Mobility Plan for Ferrovial employees was introduced in 2008 and has progressively been extended to the group’s main corporate offices. It represents a pioneering initiative in the business world. As part of these plans, initiatives have been included to upgrade vehicle fleets and provide training in efficient driving practices (particularly in Construction and Services).
  • The development of technology and processes aimed at improving the amount of emissions avoided.
  • Incorporation of energy efficiency measures in buildings used by corporate headquarters.

One striking example is Ferrovial’s head offices in Príncipe de Vergara, Madrid, where electricity consumption has been cut by 52.54% against the 2008 figure thanks to energy efficiency upgrades, temperature adjustments and air conditioning timetables implemented over the last year in the building. As a result of this exercise, 8% less electricity was used than in the previous year.

  • Progress has been made in the certification of the activities provided by the integrated maintenance and energy efficiency services and waste management in energy efficiency management systems. This is the case of Ferrovial Servicios, which has its system certified according to ISO 50001 requirements. These systems ensure energy efficiency at both the facilities and buildings owned by Ferrovial and by third parties, including power supply and generation, the management and design of facilities, and processes associated with greater energy efficiency.

Emissions Inventory

The most significant changes in 2013 were due to changes in the scope of the main lines of business, some of them particularly emission-intensive:

  • Cadagua. A recalculation has been carried out on Cadagua emissions since 2009: a thermal sludge drying plan has been eliminated because there was no operational control over it and in fact it was not consolidated in the annual financial statements. That is why these emissions have been deducted from all the years and it was not taken into account in the calculations for 2013.
  • Steel Ingeniería. This company was acquired and consolidated into Ferrovial Servicios in 2013. To analyze the changes in emissions those for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 have been estimated.
  • Enterprise. This company was acquired by Amey and included into its scope of consolidation. To help analyze the emissions those for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 have been estimated.
  • Ferroser and Cespa. The two companies were merged in 2013. Starting this year they will operate under the Ferrovial Servicios brand.

Greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 & 2 & 3 & Biomass) in absolute terms, by type of source


Ferrovial greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2. 2013)


Business Area and company

Greenhouse gas emissions over time (Scope 1&2) in absolute terms, by company (t CO2 eq)
Business Area and company2009201020112012 2013
 Construction Budimex  47,665 47,665 56,590 68,853 62,394 
Cadagua  63,221 51,568 44,803 48,062 48,107 
Ferrovial-Agromán 74,934 74,934 78,509 50,283 50,255 
Webber 52,194 52,194 44,567 45,805 31,111 
 Corporate Ferrovial Corporación 896 860 724 711 638 
 Toll Roads Cintra 15,684 15,195 14,179 13,633 14,287 
 Services Amey 47,725 51,270 58,665 48,219 37,380 
Amey-Cespa 36,082 36,082 36,082 11,265 29,382 
Ferrovial-Servicios 404,274 381,036 312,859 266,770 258,255 
Enterprise 64,198 64,198 64,198 64,198 64,198 
Total 806,873 775,002 711,176 617,799 596,008 

In 2013 Ferrovial’s emissions in absolute terms on a global scale fell by 26.1% with respect to the baseline year 2009 and 3.5% on 2012 (21,733 t CO2eq).

In general, companies are continuing to reduce their emissions in absolute terms, except for Amey-Cespa, which increased its emissions in this period due to a notable (over 100%) increase in landfill waste managed, with the consequent increase in biogas emissions. As is well known, increases in the flow of these emissions have a notable impact on the footprint as a whole. To offset this increase to a large extent, Amey-Cespa has changed the origin of its electricity to 100% renewable.

Cadagua is another company that reflects a slight increase in its emissions on 2012 figures, due to the growing internationalization and increased activity in other countries.

In terms of carbon intensity (see accompanying table) the main indicator for calculating reduction targets, the figures obtained in 2013 reflects the result of the efficiency measures implemented over these years, given that although revenue has increased, greenhouse gas emissions in relative terms have not only been restricted but have actually fallen.

Greenhouse gas emissions over time (Scope 1&2) in relative terms. (Financial Intensity)
t CO2 eq/M € Reduction 10/09Reduction 11/09 Reduction 12/09Reduction 13/12Reduction 13/09
74.05 -5.87 -10.65 -16.52  -8.46  -31.72 
Greenhouse gas emissions over time (Scope 1&2) in relative terms. (Financial Intensity)
t CO2 eq/M € 74.05
Reduction 10/09 (%) -5.87
Reduction 11/09 (%) -10.65
Reduction 12/09 (%) -16.52 
Reduction 13/12 (%) -8.46 
Reduction 13/09 (%) -31.72 

The indicator in the table measures the changes in absolute emissions against the volume of the company’s activity, using net revenues as the best indicator of this. In 2013 Ferrovial reduced its “Financial intensity” carbon intensity indicator by 31.72% against 2009. This provides sufficient margin for compliance with the target reduction of 21.3 % established in the roadmap for emission reduction, not counting any temporary cyclical aspects that may have influenced the indicator (e.g. the serious economic crisis in Spain since the end of 2008).

Services has a slightly bigger weight in the breakdown by emissions by business areas (two percentage points) as a result of the consolidation of the companies Enterprise and Steel.

Greenhouse gas emissions generated by Ferrovial activities are classified into:

  • Diffuse. These are emissions not associated with a specific emission point, such as biogas emissions from landfills. They have fallen by 12.1 percentage points on 2009 figures.
  • Electricity. These indirect emissions are a result of consumption of electricity purchased from other companies that produce or control it.
  • Stationary equipment: These are emissions from fixed equipment such as electricity generators, boilers, furnaces, burners, turbines, heaters, incinerators, motors, torches, etc. that use fossil fuel to generate heat, electricity or vapor, or are used to carry out a company process. Machinery used on site is included within this group.
  • Fugitive. These proceed from the consumption of coolants. These emissions are negligible compared with the others.
  • Mobile. They arise from fuel combustion in vehicles and motorcycles managed by the company.

Greenhouse gas emissions by biomass combustion

Includes emissions from combustion of captured and channeled biogas and biodiesel in vehicles. Biogas is burnt mainly in cogeneration processes or in flares.

This year emissions from combustion of biomass have increased by 61.9% due to the opening of four wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), and the biogas generated has been burned.

Business Area and company

Emissions (t CO2 eq)
Business Area and company 2009 20102011 20122013
 Construction Cadagua 1,191.08 1,407.00 14,698.80 16,671.60 50,159.56 
 Services Amey-Cespa 7,436.18 7,436.18 7,436.18 6,972.46 6,563.66 
Cespa 25,671.98 28,156.22 28,533.10 34,921.12 38,005.00 
Ferroser       14.42 
Total 34,299.24  36,999.40  50,668.08  58,579.60  94,728.22 

Case study

The Carbon Footprint application 

The “Carbon Footprint” application was developed and started up in 2013 to calculate and monitor the carbon footprint, as well as monitoring the reduction targets and the decisions made with respect to climate change.

Ferrovial calculates 100% of the carbon footprint of all its activities and in all countries. This is a major effort in terms of resources and people dedicated to the monitoring, integration and internal verification of emissions, particularly considering the huge volume of data broken down geographically and the multiplicity of regulatory environments, as well as the technical details to take into account.

The development of this computer platform contributes the following operational improvements for the management of the carbon footprint at global level:

  1. The application captures the data from existing applications, files downloaded using other tools, or manually.
  2. By centralizing all the consumption and information from all the business areas, companies and countries, the risk of loss is reduced and the verification process is facilitated.
  3. Includes the main calculation methodologies such as GHG Protocol, DEFRA and DECC.
  4. The calculation and recalculation of emissions has been automated.
  5. Ensures data traceability.
  6. The high number of reports and indicators makes analysis of the decisions taken and the monitoring of targets easier.
  7. It is a bilingual (Spanish-English) application that is open to all users related to climate change. They may find it useful in their day-to-day operations (contracting or preparation of bids).

Extension of the scope od indirect emissions (Scope 3)


Ferrovial calculates all its emissions following the guidelines included in the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard published by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative, the WRI and the WBCSD. A specific reporting methodology has been developed in parallel to calculate the Scope 3 emissions. It has been included in a technical instruction.

Ferrovial calculates 11 of the 15 categories included in the document, as it considers them relevant in the portfolio of the organization’s activities globally. The emissions in the following categories do not apply to Ferrovial activities and have therefore been excluded from the calculations:

  • Downstream transportation and distribution. Ferrovial does not market products that are transported or stored.
  • Processing of sold products. Ferrovial does not have products that are to be processed or included in another process to obtain another product.
  • Downstream leased assets. Ferrovial does not have assets leased to other companies.
  • Franchises. Ferrovial does not act as a franchisor.

The data reported have been calculated using data available as of February 2014. After the process of external verification, some specific changes may be made to these data.

Below are the activities, products and services with respect to which Scope 3 has been calculated.

Purchased goods and services Includes emissions related to the life cycle of materials bought by Ferrovial that have been used in products or services offered by the company. This includes the emissions derived from the purchase of paper, wood, water and other significant materials (concrete in the construction division, asphalt in Amey and asphalt aggregate in Budimex).  

Capital goods It includes all the upstream emissions (i.e. cradle to door) for the production of equipment goods bought or acquired by the company in the year, according to the information included in the Consolidated Financial Statements for 2013.

Fuel and energy related activities This section includes the energy that is necessary for producing the fuel and electricity consumed by the company and the loss of electricity during its transport.

Upstream transportation and distribution It includes emissions from the transport and distribution of products reported in the category of “purchased goods and services”.

Waste generated in operations Emissions under this heading are related to waste generated by the company’s activity and reported in 2013.     

Business travel Includes emissions associated with company trips: train, plane and taxi reported by the main travel agency that the group works with in Spain.

Employee commuting It includes emissions from the movement of employees from their homes to their jobs in the company headquarters in Spain.

Investments This calculates emissions related to investments in British airports. Data for 2013 are not available as of the publication date of this report, so emission figures for 2012 have been used. 

Use of sold products Ferrovial calculates the emissions from the use of land transport infrastructures managed by Cintra. 

End of life treatment of sold products This category includes the emissions from the elimination of waste generated at the end of the useful life of products sold by Ferrovial in the reporting year. Only the emissions derived from products reported in the category “purchased goods and services” have been taken into account. 

Upstream leased assets Includes emissions related to the consumption of electricity in client buildings where Amey carries out maintenance and cleaning and manages consumption.

NO, SO and other significant emissions

Emissions of other gaseous pollutants are calculated on the basis of fuel consumption:

Emissions generated by the combustion of natural gas, diesel, fuel oil and propane boilers.

84.67 32.90 7.02 87.17 17.25

Diesel combustion in mobile equipment used in construction:

269.50 72.21 782.51 54.79

Diesel and gasoline combustion in motor vehicles:.

1,300 181.98 933.76 125.38

Emissions caused by consumption of power acquired from the grid..*

135.07 54.59 1.01 203.23 11.15

* The calculation takes into account the electricity mix of each country where Ferrovial operates.

Emissions caused by coolants (t CO2 eq)

In 2013 emissions from the refilling of coolants amounts to 117.25 t CO2 eq, 5.4% down on the previous year.

Emissions caused by coolants (t CO2 eq)

 CO2F M100 HFC227eaR22R407C R410A
Enterprise 0.04 2.21 13.14 0.26 9.11 1.49
Ferrovial Corporation        18.2  14.45  4.44

Emissions avoided

The emissions avoided by Ferrovial come from:

  • Sorting activity in waste treatment plants and biogas capture in landfills.
  • Generation of “green” electricity in biogas and natural gas cogeneration plants.
  • Extension of green purchasing policies across the supply chain, as well as other sources.

a) Emissions avoided by sorting and biogas capture

Waste management operations prioritize reuse over elimination, thus reducing the volume of landfill waste and therefore potential greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, where emissions are eventually generated in a landfill they are captured to prevent direct methane (CH4) emissions into the atmosphere and to allow it to be used. In 2013 these processes have avoided the emission of 1,233,117 t of CO2, 1% more than the previous year.

Emissions avoided

 20092010  201120122013
 Cespa Greenhouse gas avoided by sorting (t COeq)    189,981 212,186 253,826 282,405 302,295
Greenhouse gas avoided by biogas capture (t CO2 eq) 519,604 628,874 694,650  830,923 843,025
 Amey-Cespa Greenhouse gas avoided by sorting (t CO2 eq)     8,522 53,797 35,798
Greenhouse gas avoided by biogas capture (t CO2 eq)     0 53,100  49,986
Total       1,220,225  1,231,104 

b) Emissions avoided by energy generation in landfills

Emissions avoided

 20092010  201120122013
Amount of electricity generated from biogas recovery (GJ) 308,959 361,593 398,614 448,434 520,751
Amount of thermal energy generated from biogas recovery (GJ) 146,666 102,568 102,946 134,060 187,632.40

Biogas captured at landfills is used to generate power and thermal energy at cogeneration plants. In 2013 Cespa generated 708,383 GJ of energy. The process of capture not only avoids the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but also generates energy from renewable sources.

In 2013 there was an increase of 21.6% in energy production, and the consumption of this energy from renewable sources meant avoiding 50,405 t CO2 eq.

c) Emissions avoided by the generation of energy in thermal sludge drying plants

Emissions avoided

                                                                                                    Electricity generated (Kwh)

 20092010 2011 20122013
Thermal sludge drying  plant 47,171,222  43,011,180  60,848,185  73,507,530  39,549,004 
WWTP 6,011,047 7,127,767 4,135,679 6,526,099 29,478,819
TOTAL 53,182,269 50,138,947 64,983,864 80,033,629 69,029,836 

Along with thermal sludge drying procedures at sewage treatment plants managed by Cadagua, the company has set up natural gas cogeneration plants that produce thermal energy for drying and electrical power. In 2013 the company generated a total of 69,029,836 kWh using these processes, 29.8% more than in the baseline year. It thus avoided the emission of 19,416 t CO2 eq.

d) Emissions avoided by the purchase of renewable electricity and vehicles driven by alternative fuels

Renewable sources

                                                                            Electricity consumed from renewable sources (Kwh)

 20092010  201120122013
Cadagua 166,528 46,731,973 36,927,959 34,638,858 38,007,909
Amey         8,781,112 
Enterprise 4,934,215  4,934,215  4,934,215  4,934,215  4,934,215 
Amey-Cespa         4,202,565 
Ferroser       1,449,269  606,410 
TOTAL  5,100,743  51,666,188  41,862,174  41,022,342  56,532,211 

The extension of the green purchasing policy throughout the organization has had some impact on the carbon footprint, particularly due to:

  • A significant increase in the number of certified renewable energy supply contracts and self-consumption of energy generated, which avoided the emission of 22,072 t CO2 eq into the atmosphere. In total 37.8% more electricity was consumed in 2013 from renewable sources of energy than in the previous year.
  • The steady improvements in the long-term lease and rental vehicle fleets have avoided the emission of 3,823 t CO2 eq.

Other sources of emissions reduction, which have been partially quantified, include efficient driving courses (mainly provided in Construction and Services) and changes to production models in the civil works area, such as shorter distances in the transport of earth and other waste, or the use of more energy-efficient temporary offices.