Ferrovial considers human rights to be a fundamental part of its global sustainability strategy. Business stability and sustainable development are only possible in a fair society, without discrimination of any kind.
Ferrovial’s commitment to human rights involves the entire company and extends to its value chain and its relationship with society.
Ferrovial rejects any type of discrimination in all countries where the company operates and guarantees respect for the labor rights of all its employees and contractors. To this end, since 2014 it has had a Human Rights Policy promoted and approved by the Board of Directors, which complements the Code of Ethics. The policy is aligned with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the OECD guide for multinational companies and the regulations of the International Labor Organization.
The company’s commitment to respect human rights take into account the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which allow this commitment to be realized in the business sphere. The company is also committed to the 31 principles contained in the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights developed by the Spanish Government.
Ferrovial carries out an ongoing due diligence process to identify aspects of its activity that may have implications for human rights, both in its own activities and in all those directly related to its operations and services. To this end, it maintains an ongoing dialogue with its stakeholders and participates in forums to improve the identification of key issues. In 2021, Ferrovial has been involved in an investor dialogue program on modern forms of slavery led by Sustainalytics. The project is developed through a structured dialogue with Sustainalytics on the risks of modern forms of slavery. The aim is to raise awareness within the industry on this issue and to identify and share best practices with participants.
Other aspects that have been incorporated in recent years into Ferrovial’s monitoring of human rights include digital disconnection, the use and protection of the personal data of the people with whom the company interacts, and the implications for people’s rights of new technologies such as artificial intelligence. In fact, an internal policy for the exercise of the right to digital disconnection in the workplace was published at the end of 2020 and has been made known to all employees throughout 2021.
Internally, the company promotes respect for Human Rights among all its employees through courses on the Code of Ethics, Prohibited Conduct, and anticorruption that are renewed and updated periodically and include specific modules to understand the possible implications on human rights that may arise during the company’s activities. In 2021, the new mandatory courses included one on unconscious bias to prevent situations of discrimination in the company’s day-to-day operations.
In fact, one of the pillars of Ferrovial’s strategy is the promotion of diversity and equality, for which tools have been defined such as the Company’s Procedure for the Prevention of Workplace and Sexual Harassment and the II Equality Plan, one of the main challenges of which is to increase the number of women in technical areas, in line with key business profiles.
To respond to possible undesirable situations that may arise, Ferrovial has an Ethics Channel that was renewed in 2020 to give greater relevance to categories related to human rights, possible situations of harassment and the prevention of discriminatory practices.
One of the key aspects for the adequate safeguarding of human rights in the company’s activity is to ensure compliance with labor rights in all countries in which the company operates, paying special attention to the right to strike, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Beyond the protection of labor regulations, 68.1% of Ferrovial’s workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements.
To properly address all the needs of its employees and promote healthy habits and healthy work environments, Ferrovial has internal communication channels, internal social media and the corporate intranet, Ferronet, which facilitate the creation of collaborative, dynamic work environments. In 2021 Ferronet recorded 2,688,287 sessions and 4,030,998 page views.
In addition, Ferrovial has analyzed internally that the remuneration of its employees is above the living wage in the countries with more business (Spain, United Kingdom, Chile, USA and Poland). After this exercise, it can be affirmed that all employees have a remuneration above the living wage for each country.
Ferrovial has a due diligence procedure to prevent attitudes and actions contrary to human rights in relations with third parties, whether business partners, suppliers and candidates. There is an obligation to carry out an ethical integrity analysis process that includes the area of human rights before entering any type of business relationship. To facilitate compliance, in 2021 an online tool was implemented to facilitate this due diligence analysis by all the company’s business units.
Similarly, the company has a procedure for the approval of capital allocation operations, so that the analysis of all corporate operations carried out considers whether they may undermine Ferrovial’s ethical principles, with special attention to human rights, social, good governance and environmental aspects.
These procedures involve the extension of the company’s values set out in its Code of Ethics to its entire value chain and establish mechanisms for monitoring commercial relations.
Ferrovial is aware that its commitment to human rights must be aligned with its involvement in the societies in which it operates and, therefore, it must go beyond its own activity and become involved in initiatives that help raise awareness of human rights and promote measures to safeguard them adapted to the characteristics of each country.
For this reason, Ferrovial has become involved with the new Forética Business Council for Sustainable Development, an alliance with 25 presidents and CEOs of large companies, whose main objectives include promoting the implementation of policies that respect human rights and the integration of the values of inclusion, equality, diversity and the elimination of any type of discrimination.
Ferrovial also continues to participate actively in other networks and working groups to promote human rights in the business world and the rest of society, such as the Human Rights Lab of the Seres Foundation, the Executive Committee of the Global Compact Network, the CEO Alliance for Diversity initiative, led by the Adecco Foundation and the CEOE Foundation, and the Diversity Charter, a European initiative that is part of the European Union’s anti-discrimination directives, to which Ferrovial has been a member since 2011. In the United Kingdom, Ferrovial is committed to the Modern Slavery Act of the UK Parliament, which guarantees the prevention of acts related to slavery in any form and human trafficking.
One of the most painful violations of rights in society is gender-based violence. Since 2013, Ferrovial, in line with SDG 5 of the United Nations, has joined the project “Companies working towards a society free of gender violence”, promoted by the Spanish Government, to raise awareness in society about equality between men and women and respect for the fundamental rights of women. To make this support visible, the company collaborates annually with the race against Gender Violence, which in its VIII edition held in 2021, counted with the participation of the CEO and 57 other employees. Ferrovial also showed its support for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th.
In addition to its public commitment, Ferrovial promotes the reintegration of women victims of gender-based violence into the labor market through direct hiring and has developed an internal protocol for action against gender-based violence that provides guidelines to promote the protection of female colleagues who may be victims of this type of violence, within the framework of the II Equality Plan.
Ferrovial also makes its support for diversity visible with the commemoration of the International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3rd, together with the agreements it has with organizations specialized in promoting the incorporation and inclusion of people with disabilities in the different countries in which it operates. In Spain, it collaborates with the Adecco Foundation in the Family Plan, a guidance program to assist people with disabilities and improve their development, autonomy, labor inclusion and employability.
To make effective the preservation of human rights in the value chain and respect for the company’s ethical standards, Ferrovial has published a Code of Ethics for Suppliers in 2021 to establish the basic principles that should govern the behavior of suppliers in their business relationship with the company.
Ferrovial requires its suppliers to absolutely reject any act that could be considered corruption or bribery of any kind. In addition, the company always requires strict compliance with the anti-corruption legislation applicable in the countries in which it operates.
Ferrovial’s Code of Ethics for Suppliers places special emphasis on respect for human rights and commitment to good labor practices, involving them in its commitment to health and safety, equal opportunities, respect for diversity and the prevention of forced labor situations. Ferrovial has enabled access to the ethical channel for all its suppliers.
Ferrovial promotes and expects these principles to be shared by all its suppliers, to assume them and, at the same time, to pass them on to their own suppliers and subcontractors in their commercial relations with the company.