Convened by the company and the Sustainable Excellence Club
Ferrovial, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias and Obra Social ‘la Caixa’, receive the 3rd Iberdrola International Energy Cooperation Awards
- The awards were handed out by State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean Juan Pablo de Laiglesia and the chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, at an event attended by the director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, AECID), Aina Calvo, and the secretary general of the Club de Excelencia en Sostenibilidad (Sustainability Excellence Club), Juan Alfaro
- This is the third edition of these awards, which are in line with objective 7.1 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and which set out to recognise projects that guarantee universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
Today, Iberdrola and the Sustainability Excellence Club announced the winners of the third edition of the Iberdrola International Energy Cooperation Awards at an event held at the company's headquarters in Madrid.
The winners chosen from the latest group of candidates are Ferrovial, in the Private Sector: Large Company and SME category, while the Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias won the Public Sector: Administration and Public Companies category and Obra Social ‘la Caixa’ was the winner of the Tertiary Sector: no profit and non-governmental bodies category, with a special mention for Fundación EKI in this area.
The awards were handed out by the State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, and Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galán, accompanied by the director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Aeacid), Aina Calvo, and the secretary general of the Sustainable Excellence Club, Juan Alfaro.
After congratulating the winners, Galán said that “all the projects submitted in this call for entries are evidence of the global benefits of understanding and teamwork by companies, governments and civil society to solve global problems, such as the fight against climate change and universal access to energy”.
According to the president of Iberdrola, the award-winners “embody all the qualities and attitudes necessary to guarantee access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy services for everyone on this planet. Their initiatives are the result of expertise coupled with the imagination necessary to find truly innovative solutions. In other words, they are the pinnacle of technical excellence, seasoned with idealism. They also show that solidarity should be at the heart of long-lasting empowerment to make a difference. And finally, they prove that cooperation is always the best way to connect good intentions”.
Ignacio Galán ended by pointing out that “the number of people living without electricity has fallen by 40% since 2000, but there are still almost 900 million people without power. Hence Iberdrola’s long-standing commitment to driving activities that foster the use of modern forms of energy, with environmentally sustainable, economically affordable and socially inclusive models.
The Iberdrola International Energy Cooperation Awards aim to draw attention to outstanding initiatives carried out by companies, public authorities and the tertiary sector that show an active commitment to universal access to energy. All this contributes to achieving the 7th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) under the UN 2030 Agenda, in particular goal 7.1, which aims at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services. More than 75 Spanish and global organisations have presented their candidatures in the three editions held to date.
The winning projects
The jury decided to acknowledge the work done by Ferrovial in the business category. The accolade was accepted by Juan Francisco Polo, the company’s Corporate Communication and Responsibility director, for its Water - Energy Binomial project.
This initiative sought to rebuild peace in El Salado, Colombia, an area to which 200 families decided to return to reclaim their land. As part of its international infrastructures cooperation programme, and in collaboration with Ayuda en Acción and the Fundación Semana, Ferrovial helped to restore and lengthen an aqueduct and to install a solar photovoltaic pump system that guarantees a constant supply of water to 1,200 people.
Carolina Darias San Sebastián, Minister of the Economy, Knowledge and Employment at the Government of the Canaries accepted the award as president of the Board of Directors of the Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, the winner of the Public Sector category, for the Clima-RISK project (Adaptation to climate change, prevention and risk management), a technical and institutional cooperation initiative between Canaries and Mauritania, Senegal and Cape Verde to strengthen logistical and management capacities and risk management expertise to respond to environmental catastrophes in these African countries.
The Clima-RISK project has a budget of around 2.5 million euros until 2020, 85% of which is jointly financed by the European Commission’s Interreg MAC 2014-2020 programme through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is notable that the actions, studies and technological developments can be extrapolated to any region of the world affected by or at risk of natural disasters caused by climate change.
The Work4Progress project by Obra Social ‘la Caixa’ promotes transport micro-companies using tricycles or rickshaws and won the Tertiary Sector category. These e-rickshaws are powered by electrical energy and led and driven by women who offer services to other women and children. They are quieter, cheaper to maintain than the traditional models that use fossil fuels, and help to reduce pollution by lowering CO2 emissions. Ariadna Bartholet, director of International Programmes for Fundación Bancaria ‘la Caixa’, accepted the award.
In this category, the jury wanted to make special mention of the Fundación EKI, which supplies, finances and installs photovoltaic solar systems for schools and health centres in Sub-Saharan Africa, in line with the SDG. The facilities are funded by 20-year, interest-free loans. EKI uses a scalable model whereby beneficiaries are responsible for the durability of the equipment. All facilities are monitored from the Foundation’s headquarters in Getxo. The Chairman of the Board, Jose María Galíndez Zubiría accepted the award.