IBERDROLA SUPPORTS THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)
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 its Governance and Sustainability System.
THE SDGs AS PART OF IBERDROLA GROUP'S BUSINESS STRATEGY
INDIRECT CONTRIBUTION TO ALL OTHER SDGs
OUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The Iberdrola group's contribution to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals 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 €120 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. At the close of the First Quarter 2021, its emissions in Europe have now reached historic minimums (28 g CO2/kWh) and are a tenth of the emissions released by its European and American competitors.
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 a historic investment plan worth 75 billion euros up to 2025, now extended to 150 billion until 2030, focusing mainly on renewables and smart grids, 90 % of which is aligned with the European Union green taxonomy. Of the 68 billion in organic investment planned for 2025, 51 % (some 34.68 billion euros) will go to renewables, while 40 % (some 27.2 billion) will go to grids, which will allow its installed renewable capacity to be tripled — as opposed to the more than 35 GW current capacity, after adding around 5.7 GW during the 2019-2020 biennium — and grid assets to be doubled by 2030.
Iberdrola promotes inclusive and sustainable industrialisation as a vector for employment and growth. The company closed the First Quarter 2021 with record investments in the same period of 2.507 billion euros (+45 %), contributing to the reactivation of the economy and employment, and having taken on around 6,000 new workers in the past 12 months, in line with its goal of reaching nearly 20,000 new hires between 2020 and 2025. This increased investment has also been a source of new opportunities for Iberdrola's suppliers, creating 30,000 jobs in Spain alone. Globally speaking, the company's operations help to support 400,000 jobs, which will rise to around 500,000 by 2025.
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 more than €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 more than 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, including the donation of 400 respirators, 4.6 million masks, 120,000 overalls and 20,000 safety goggles. 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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WHAT ARE THE SDG?
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.
COMMITTED TO THE 2030 AGENDA AND IMPLEMENTING THE SDGs
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 has also participated in producting the report Sector Transformation: An SDG Roadmap for Electricity Utilities from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which sets out the roadmap to be followed by energy companies and their value chain with a view to achieving compliance with the SDGs. "This roadmap shows how electrification plays an essential role in contributing to the SDGs," Iberdrola group chairman Ignacio Galán explains. "We have been working to drive towards decarbonization for decades, generating progress and employment, while promoting equality, innovation, health and partnerships to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda."
Iberdrola has also joined the 2030 Observatory of the Higher Council of the Spanish Architects' Associations (CSCAE) to help the building sector comply with the SDGs in the 2030 Agenda. The energy company will advise the organisation and promote projects and initiatives that boost urban regeneration and rehabilitation, especially in the field of energy and its potential to advance towards climate and decarbonisation objectives.
The company also sponsors the SDG 2030 digital encounters series of talks organised by Expansión. The first, held on 30 September 2020, 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.
WITH THE SPANISH NETWORK OF THE GLOBAL COMPACT
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 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 a similar vein, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the SDGs on 25 September 2020, Iberdrola joined the campaign #apoyamoslosODS (We Support the SDGs), with the aim of acting as a vehicle, using its own commitments to the SDG as a starting point, towards achieving a multiplying effect to promote the dissemination of these goals and compliance with the 2030 Agenda. The company also joined the 2019 campaign, #aliadosdelosODS (Allied with the SDGs), promoted by the Spanish Global Pact Network.
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 Sustainability Report.
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THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)
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.
- By 2030, Iberdrola will bring electricity to 16 million people in emerging or developing countries who at present live without it
- Salamanca hosted the first Ibero-American Conference on Sustainable Development Goals from June 27 to 29 2018
- Iberdrola is joining the Plataforma x Aire Limpio initiative, a platform for clean air that intends to improve air quality in cities across Spain