Ferrovial, through its social programs, views community investment as a strategic instrument for the progress of society and a way of promoting its contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, with special attention to the most vulnerable people.
Ferrovial’s commitment to the community is a strategic instrument aligned with the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Horizon 24 Strategic Plan, so that it complements the social impact of its business and makes the development of the communities where it operates sustainable and inclusive.
Ferrovial’s main social action programs seek to involve its employees, either through volunteering or financially. The aim is to raise employee awareness of social needs while reinforcing a sense of belonging and, in addition, to increase the impact on the community.
Ferrovial aligns its social interventions with its strategy of promoting sustainable infrastructures, and therefore focuses its community investment programs on developing infrastructures that enable the most disadvantaged people to have access to basic rights such as water, health, education and food. For development to be sustainable, it must also be inclusive.
Ferrovial contributes significantly to the achievement of SDG 6 through its Social Infrastructure Program. Since 2011, the program has been promoting projects that develop infrastructure to improve access to water and sanitation in vulnerable communities in Latin America and Africa. It places special emphasis on sustainability, dedicating resources to strengthening the capacities of local bodies responsible for water management.
Ferrovial, in collaboration with NGOs based in the communities, provides technical assistance, technology and the participation of its specialist employees in the development of the projects, transversally involving the company in a strategic social action program.
In 2021, the program has developed three projects in Rwanda, Colombia and Peru, improving access to water and sanitation services for 9,230 people.
In the eleven years of the program, Ferrovial has implemented 31 water and sanitation projects. The accumulated investment is 6.4 million euros, to which must be added the efforts of 125 volunteers who have dedicated more than 10,000 hours of qualified work to these projects.
As a result of this effort, access to drinking water has been improved for 238,869 people in ten countries (Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and Zimbabwe). The analysis of the impact of these projects has made it possible to establish how access to water contributes to other key aspects of the 2030 agenda, such as improved health, gender equality, better nutrition and improved income.
In 2012, Ferrovial detected the need to improve the infrastructures of entities that provide access to food to the most vulnerable in Spain. Since then, it has invested more than 890,000 euros in improving kitchens, canteens and food warehouses to guarantee food distribution with the necessary quality and safety. In 2021, it has improved the facilities of 7 food banks: Ávila, Ceuta, Jaén, Almería, Vizcaya, Murcia-Segura and Seville. With this program, Ferrovial has contributed to SDG 2, zero hunger, enabling more than 77,000 people have improved their access to food, 14,666 people in 2021.
In the United States, Ferrovial collaborates on a regular basis with food banks through initiatives such as Food Drive in North Carolina or TEXPress Food Bank Donations in Texas.
Ferrovial also collaborates with various programs to improve school and hospital infrastructures. In Poland, Budimex has the Strefa Rodzica Program, to create separate areas in pediatric wards of hospitals where parents can accompany their children, and the Domofon ICE program, which has been promoting safety in educational centers since 2009.
In addition, in 2021 the projects supported by the Juntos Sumamos Program have also focused on infrastructures; both for education, such as a greenhouse for vocational training for people with disabilities in Pontevedra or a preschool education center in India, and for health, such as the improvement of the Menudos Corazones House for heart disease patients and their families.
Ferrovial’s commitment to education is complemented by the promotion of STEM careers, so that access to this training is equal for both gender and social background.
Ferrovial has been collaborating for several years with the Junior Achievement Foundation’s Orienta-T program, in which 45 company volunteers participated in 2021, giving workshops in educational centers to awaken STEM vocations among students.
In the United Kingdom, 275 Ferrovial employees were involved in volunteer activities in 2021, most of them focused on educational activities to bring children and young people closer to the world of engineering, while at the same time carrying out activities with them to raise awareness of the importance of caring for the planet. On the other hand, in the United States the company collaborates with schools, both with educational programs, focused on promoting STEM vocations, and with support for teachers and STEM scholarships for underprivileged students.
For several years Ferrovial has been working on measuring the social impact of its investment programs in the community and also the impact generated in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by its main infrastructures.
Since 2018, all water access and sanitation projects perform an assessment of their impact in the areas of health, socioeconomic development, social and emotional wellbeing, following a proprietary methodology based on the Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework.
In addition, social impact indicators are being defined for all Ferrovial’s activities. Within others, contribution to economic growth, health improvement, generation of local employment, time savings and improved safety are some of the indicators defined to determine Ferrovial’s impact aligned with the SDGs.
An outstanding example of the social impact of infrastructure is the 153 kilometers of the Ruta del Cacao, in Colombia. This road linking the cities of Bucaramanga, Barrancabermeja and Yondó will strengthen economic development opportunities and boost employment and the supply chain in eastern Colombia. Moreover, this backbone of the territory will also help consolidate the peace process that continues to take hold in the country since 2016.
The positive impact of the road is complemented by the development of water access projects within the Social Infrastructure Program. Since 2015, 3,200 people from 7 communities in the municipality of Lebrija have benefited from the installation of drinking water treatment plants and the strengthening of Water Boards. Three of these plants have been installed in 2021.