INCA: Pioneering innovation, sustainable infrastructure


Arco de la Regenta

Ferrovial’s Innovation and Sustainability teams addressed the challenge of developing a solution for analyzing the risks and environmental impact of the various types of infrastructure prior to construction: ‘Integrated Natural Capital Assessment’.

In this vein, Ferrovial is working to ensure that its projects are increasingly sustainable. We cannot stop building infrastructures since humanity cannot live without them; they are vital for the development of society. Aware of the impact this activity has on nature, the company seeks to minimize effect on the environment and to integrate them with the landscape. Building in the broadest sense of the term.

For that reason, INCA, which was developed in conjunction with Creando Redes, environmental consultancy specialized in natural capital restoration, provides an innovative approach for measuring the impact of projects  and assessing the different alternatives to achieve a lower impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. This environmental assessment is always respectful of what nature offers, including ecosystem services,

which benefit people’s health and living standards. Preserving nature’s bounty.


This scientific methodology, which has been tested on such projects as the Pulpí- Vera highway in Almeria (Spain), the NTE extension in Texas and the I-77 in North Carolina, compiles and analyzes updated, interconnected information about all the resources provided by existing ecosystems.

Fundamental data for engineering design. This is natural capital, quantified in over 25 ecosystem services and 80 environmental variables.

Ferrovial is currently working on the design of a digital tool to automate the entire methodology so that it is easy and intuitive for project teams to apply. With just the project plans, the software provides an estimate of the impact, providing support for decision-making and assessment of the best approach to minimize the project’s ecosystem impact.

It is designed mainly for use on lineal infrastructures such as roads and railways, but it will also make it possible to improve the impact of other large projects that are essential for society’s development.

Sustainability is increasingly a priority for business, and it also offers opportunities for new businesses and approaches that respect our planet.

This initiative, which is a first in terms of both the methodology and the technology, will enable the company to stay ahead of emerging  regulations on environmental impact. If sustainability now is the key to our future, the digital transformation is essential to make these changes possible, to achieve a better planet. These are essential objectives in Ferrovial’s social commitment.


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