Leaders in driving the SDGs

Iberdrola group has incorporated the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the UN in September 2015 into its business strategy and corporate governance system.



 All information about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


To celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the approval of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals on 25 September, Iberdrola is joining the #apoyamoslosODS (we support the SDGs) campaign promoted by the Spanish Network of the Global Compact, of which the company is a member. By doing so it intends to act as an amplifier, from the standpoint of its own commitment to the SDGs, to create a multiplying effect that promotes the dissemination of these goals and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The group's contribution to the SDGs can be viewed from three major perspectives:

 We are driving the green economy and employment through SDGs 7, 9, 13 and 15

Iberdrola is firmly convinced that the recovery of the economy and employment after COVID-19 can only be green, which is why it is committed to pressing for the transition towards a new socio-economic model that is climate neutral, resilient, sustainable and inclusive. With this in mind, and in keeping with its activity, the group is putting the spotlight principally on SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 13 (climate action).

This effort has led it to become the top producer of wind power in the world and a leader in renewable energy at the global level, thanks to its investments of more than €100 bn over the last 20 years. Iberdrola is ahead of the game in the current energy transition and is an international benchmark in the fight against climate change, aiming to become carbon neutral between now and 2050.

To achieve this it proposes to accelerate its investments in renewable energy, digitalisation and electric mobility, contributing directly to SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure). The company has announced an historic investment plan of 75 billion euros up until 2025, focusing mainly on renewables and smart grids. Therefore, of the 68 billion organic investment planned, 51 % (around 34.68 billion euros) will go to the renewables area, while 40 % (around 27.2) will go to grids.

Iberdrola promotes inclusive and sustainable industrialisation as a vector for employment and growth. This has led to it investing €10 bn and taking on 5,000 new staff in 2020, as well as maintaining agreements with more than 22,000 suppliers. The investments announced for the 2020-2025 period and the purchases of goods and services from suppliers will help to sustain around 500,000 jobs worldwide by 2025. It also expects to recruit around 20,000 people during this period.

Iberdrola continues to drive innovation and is now the third most innovative utility company in the world, the second in Europe and the first in Spain in resources allocated to R+D with an accumulated investment of almost €2 bn in the last decade, increasing to 400 million per year in 2025. In addition it has created a world innovation centre for smart grids (Global Smartgrid Innovation Hub) to lead the energy transition which will act as a platform to attract innovation, combining its technological capability with that of suppliers, collaborators and startups the world over.

Iberdrola continues its progress in transport electrification with its sustainable mobility plan which, with an investment of €150 m, will install some 150,000 charging points for electric vehicles in homes and business premises and cities and on motorways over the next five years.

Similarly, as part of its commitment to sustainable infrastructure, all the group's new facilities have a comprehensive environmental plan, thereby contributing directly to compliance with SDG 15 (life on land).

 We are protecting people's health and safety through SDGs 3, 6 and 17

From the first moments the threat from COVID-19 was identified, Iberdrola put into action a global action plan comprising over 150 measures to guarantee electricity supplies — especially in hospitals, health centres and other essential services — and to protect people's health and safety, in line with SDG 3 (health and well-being). Thanks to this early and comprehensive response, its action protocols were the first to be certified by AENOR (the Spanish certification authority) at the global level and the incident rate for the illness is much lower among its employees than the average for the countries in which it operates.

The group has delivered front line health supplies and undertaken support initiatives worth over €30 m. In addition, it has earmarked over €1 m for Social Aid to help the groups most affected by the coronavirus crisis. This social program will be realised through multi-party alliances, following the partnership model proposed by SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), to which Iberdrola also contributes directly.

Elsewhere, the company is working to avoid water pollution, as a fundamental factor towards guaranteeing public health. In this way, it is contributing directly towards SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and is one of the utility companies with the best water productivity.

 We support compliance with the SDGs

Iberdrola makes an indirect contribution to all the other Sustainable Development Goals. For example, its international corporate volunteer programme is in line with the 17 goals, although it mainly focuses on SDG 7, SDG 13, SDG 3, SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 10 (reduction of inequalities).

To achieve the SDGs, the group has launched a first line of credit with a sustainable indicator. In addition, its General Shareholders' Meeting approved a long-term incentive for executive directors, senior managers and other professionals in the company: the 2020-2022 Strategic Bond, based not only on financial or business targets, but also on the contribution made to the SDGs as at 31 December 2022.

Furthermore, to ensure good performance, the company has an SDG Advisory Committee which reviews the actions taken and analyses their alignment with the SDGs as well as proposing and promoting new challenges and actions to contribute to reaching the targets set.

This effort has led to the selection of Iberdrola as a benchmark company in the first edition of the OpenODS Index, which evaluates qualification and transparency in the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The company occupies first place in the entities' ranking on this index, after achieving the maximum score in all three of the Agenda 2030 deployment phases — alignment, localisation, implementation and monitoring — of the OpenODS (Open SDG) System.

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Iberdrola group has also participated in implementing the SDG Evaluation Tool, which is developed by Trucost, a leader in carbon and environmental data and risk analysis, designed to help companies identify risks and business opportunities by aligning with the SDGs.

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals divided into 169 targets [PDF] that call for global action to end poverty, preserve the planet and improve the lives and prospects of all people by 2030. They were approved on 25 September 2015 by the United Nations Member States as part of a new sustainable development agenda: Agenda 2030.



Iberdrola was the only private company invited to participate in the latest meeting of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF), whose mission is to monitor the follow-up of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

The company also sponsors the SDG 2030 digital encounters series of talks organised by Expansión. The first, held on 30 September, focused on social goals and it was attended by Iberdrola's Development, Selection and Training manager, Javier Azorín, who spoke about the group's initiatives to achieve its social goals.

Through its foundation in Spain, Iberdrola has also presented the book La Agenda 2030 y los ODS: Nueva arquitectura para la Seguridad [PDF], which provides a multifaceted analysis that is essential in a globalised world characterised by underdeveloped geopolitical regions. In this partnership, Iberdrola demonstrates commitment to the SDGs, to the fight against climate change and to gender equality policies through women's empowerment.


Iberdrola has been recognised as a LEAD participant company in the United Nations Global Compact for its continued commitment to this agreement and to the UN's 10 responsible business activity principles. The group joined the Global Compact in 2002 and in 2004 became a constituent member of the Global Compact Association of Spain (ASEPAM), now called the Spanish Global Compact Network (Red Española del Pacto Mundial).

To coincide with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN on 21 September 2020 business leaders from over 100 countries — among them Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galán — approved the declaration United in the Business of a Better World [PDF], by which they commit to the principles of the organisation and promise greater international cooperation to protect all citizens, promote peace and save the planet.

Also in 2020, the fifth anniversary of the approval of the SDGs, the United Nations so-called Decade of Action began. To address the 10 years remaining to achieve the 17 goals, a series of webinars has been promoted — organised by Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership and Canvas Estrategias Sostenibles, with the participation of Iberdrola and the Spanish Network of the Global Compact — in which the different trends in reputation, brand, sustainability, ethics and transparency identified were examined in depth in the report: Approaching the Future 2020: Trends in Reputation and Intangible Management. The first of these, Agenda 2030: A decade for action, held on 30 June, analysed the main challenges that society is facing and the important role of business in this context after the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

In 2019, to mark the fourth anniversary of the approval of the SDGs, Iberdrola joined the campaign #aliadosdelosODS (Allied with the SDGs), promoted by the Spanish Global Compact Network to foster knowledge and dissemination of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined in Agenda 2030.

All members of the Spanish Global Compact Network must complete an annual public progress report. These reports, including Iberdrola's, are available on the Global Compact website. As a member, the company has been collaborating on different activities for over a decade, and these efforts have been recognised by the organisation.


In partnership with financial daily Cinco días, Iberdrola organised the SDG Observatory at the end of 2019, a series of meetings that analysed the way in which the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be transformed into tangible realities that benefit society and generate opportunities for the change of model.

During these seminars, the 17 SDGs were reviewed with the aim of identifying the assessment carried out for each of them and the decisions that must be taken in the medium and long term to achieve realistic and balanced growth of the companies, as well as the distribution of these goals in the 2030 Agenda.

On the closing day, the chairman of Iberdrola group, Ignacio Galán, who participated in the event along with Cristina Gallach, high commissioner for the UN 2030 Agenda in Spain, summarised the role of the business sector in the fight against climate change, stressing that "it is not time for words, but for action." With respect to the SDGs, he also noted that "they have made our lives easier. They have enabled us to set very clear goals and pursue them."

Data extracted from the 2019 Sustainability Report [PDF].


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Why are the SDGs so important?

The importance of the SDGs lies in the vision of achieving a sustainable future for everyone in a medium-term time horizon. The 17 objectives are interrelated and present global challenges such as the eradication of poverty, the fight against climate change, peace and prosperity for all, education, women's equality, environmental protection and sustainable urban development.

They therefore represent a unique opportunity to better respond to the changing expectations and aspirations of the society in which we live and to develop strategies and innovative business models adapted to a world undergoing profound changes.

How can the SDGs be achieved?

Action by all sectors of society is essential to achieving the SDGs: governments, the private sector, civil society and citizens. It requires everything from global actions that ensure resources and solutions for the benefit of everyone, to local actions that affect each country's policies, budgets and institutions, to small things that can be done from the comfort of your own home (see the guide 170 daily actions to transform our world [PDF]). Partnerships among all sectors are essential to achieve the objectives.

What is the 2030 Agenda and why is it so important?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the most comprehensive action plan agreed to date to eliminate extreme poverty, reduce inequality and protect the planet. The 17 SDGs defined by the Agenda are a fundamental part of it, as they help translate its fundamental values and principles into concrete and measurable results. In adopting it, Member States pledged to mobilise the resources necessary for its implementation through partnerships that focus especially on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

What content does the 2030 Agenda cover?

The 2030 Agenda is based on five fundamental dimensions, also known as the 5Ps: people, planet, prosperity, peace and collective participation. With the inclusion of peace and collective participation in the traditional approach to sustainable development, the 2030 Agenda has given more depth to this concept. Sustainability is the essence of these five dimensions, which will guide development policy decisions until 2030.