In 2015, environmental concerns will continue to be at the center of attention worldwide in a climate of progressive recovery from the economic and financial crisis. This will contribute to continued growth of Abengoa’s potential markets and opportunities. According to the International Energy Agency, the global demand for energy will rise by 37 % to 2040, and this year’s global energy supply will come in equal proportions from oil, gas, coal and low-carbon sources. In the midst of serious tensions affecting the international energy system as the result of conflicts in the Middle East, Russia and the Ukraine, the electrical power generation sector will lead the transformation of the world energy map, where renewables will prove the drivers of change. Renewable energy sources will represent nearly half of the increase in electricity generation until 2040 and biofuel use will triple. The water sector will continue to be characterized by shortages and the need for major improvements in water infrastructure and management. The report published by Global Water Intelligence indicates an anticipated 3.9 % increase per annum until 2018.
The environmental challenges facing the world today remain pressing. Putting the brakes on rising temperatures and cutting greenhouse gas emissions continue to be prevailing objectives, as described in the latest report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). This is a huge responsibility that is shared by all of the world’s economies. At the Conference of the Parties (COP-20) held in Lima, a draft agreement was drawn up for signing in 2015 at the decisive Paris conference: an international gathering that will set out a new Kyoto Protocol, which should emerge as a momentous milestone in the struggle against climate change.
All of these trends are fully in concert with the Abengoa philosophy and facilitate the forward-looking prospects of the portfolio of opportunities which the company has been making the most of as the product of its commitment to technology and solid position in the markets.
Over the course of 2014, Abengoa succeeded in executing the envisaged strategic plan, and the company’s technological advancements led to the completion of highly innovative projects such as the Solana solar plant with energy storage capability located in the Arizona desert and the KaXu facility in South Africa, and new contracts that include the Atacama molten salt tower in Chile. At the same time, we have expanded the project map to include new regions like Costa Rica and Colombia, while maintaining our position of leadership in the U.S., Brazil, South Africa, Chile, Peru and Uruguay.
The essential role Abengoa attributes to the team of people who make up the company was recognized with the awarding of the +500 EFQM Gold Seal for European Excellence for our management of human resources. We obtained a score of over 600 points.
We know that the future depends on the creativity of the present, which in turn depends on the training and engagement of the people that are part of the company. Keenly aware of this, we carried out more than two million hours of training this year. Many of these training instruction hours took place in collaboration with some of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Constant concern for the safety and security of our teams and operations around the world is part of our corporate culture, which results in a demanding system of quality and occupational risk control and prevention on all company levels.
In keeping with our commitment to transparency and rigor, the Annual Report incorporates seven components of independent verification. Some are groundbreakers and attest to our desire to be a point of reference in transparency and ensure the reliability of both financial and non-financial information. These components encompass the following areas: annual accounts, the internal control system for preparing financial information in accordance with U.S. SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) requirements, the Corporate Social Responsibility Report, the Corporate Governance Report, design and application of the company’s Risk Management System in line with ISO 31000 specifications, design and implementation of the compliance system for the prevention of corruption regulations and fulfillment of the criteria for use of funds obtained through Green Bond issuance.
As a product of our commitment to responsible business management, we have drawn up a new Strategic Plan for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), with an outlook to 2020 and including impact reduction targets.
In relation to the struggle against climate change, this year we were one of the first twenty businesses to commit to setting an internal carbon price within the United Nations Caring for Climate framework with the aim of gearing company activity toward a low-carbon economy. In addition, through the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, we carried out the initiative of launching the Energy Transition and Climate Change Forum, a platform for observation, analysis and debate regarding the energy transition process within the context of combating climate change.
In 2014, we became a component of the London Benchmarking Group in order to continue to improve return on our social engagement efforts and increase the value generated in the communities where we operate. This year, our investment in social action totaled € 9.5 M.
This report was prepared for the first time in accordance with the G4 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative and was verified by an independent third party to a reasonable level of assurance. With these intentions, you will find the following at your disposal: the Corporate Social Responsibility mailbox(firstname.lastname@example.org), our website (www.abengoa.com), the Energy Transition and Climate Change Forum website (www.transicionenergeticaycc.org), our profile on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Google +, Youtube, Pinterest and Slideshare and our corporate blog (www.theenergyofchange.com).