Cintra announces the winner and finalists of the ESG Make a Difference Challenge

Local news

The winner has been named in the Make a Difference challenge: Carles Franch, operations manager at Autema, took the first prize in the ideas contest organized by the Innovation Office.

This time the focus was on finding specific solutions that can improve day-to-day operations or contribute directly to social or environmental improvement of the assets. The ambitious search for ideas to contribute to ESG at Cintra, the challenge sponsored by Brooke Akins, who recently joined the company as Cintra’s ESG Director, sought new initiatives, ideas and solutions in the areas of the environment, society and governance that would improve day-to-day operations on our assets or make a contribution to enhancing their social or environmental impact.

On this occasion there were three runners-up: José Miguel Sancho Hinarejos (D&C Manager – Europe and New Markets), Alexandre Olivera Matamala (Project Manager) and Antonio Furtado (supervisor on the Azores toll road).

The winner of this third challenge in the Make a Difference program is Carles Franch, Operations Manager at Autema, with his solution entitled “RECYCLING E-WASTE / KNOWLEDGE PROGRAM”.

His proposal is to implement programs that reuse some of the electronic waste (e-waste) produced in Cintra’s businesses while, at the same time, putting the knowledge of the technicians we have in-house at the service of the community in order to discover talent that could be hired by the company. In this way, we can contribute to employability in the assets’ area of influence.

Based on the type of material available, content could be created for training/information sessions on this subject, which would be given by company personnel at schools and other institutions. This type of training is aimed at young people interested in the world of Operating Technology (OT), a set of specific skills that are increasingly in demand in our industry.

This solution would meet three fundamental objectives:

  • Search for internal talent as Operating Technology (OT) is increasingly being deployed on toll roads. This type of knowledge is very specific to our industry.
  • Contribute to the commitment to the environment by giving a “second lease of life” to some of the e-waste that our toll roads produce, by using it for educational purposes.
  • Helping communities in our toll roads’ areas of influence by creating jobs and training young talent.

Carles himself describes his idea in this video:

In this ambitious and complicated challenge, Cintra’s Innovation Office received 33 solutions sent from all Cintra’s concessions. This challenge had two complicated missions: find solutions for reuse with a purpose since “approximately 90% of the waste produced by our assets cannot be recycled easily. This includes plastics, glass, vegetation, and wood materials such as pallets and fencing,” explained Brooke.

The second challenge referred to rainwater harvesting. “Drinking water is a scarce resource and faces growing demand. Climate change will only worsen this situation.”  

This is the third challenge in the now firmly established “Make a Difference” program, which seeks tangible solutions to day-to-day operational problems at our assets.

ESG has become a strategic objective for Cintra and its assets. For this reason, the company must devote all its efforts to providing visibility and support to the environmental objectives, as well as objectives connected to supporting social movements, and those related to hiring in a way that is consistent with diversity, equity and inclusiveness. The Innovation Office expresses its gratitude to all Cintra concessions and their employees for participating in the program. Ideas that can solve problems in the day-to-day operation of our assets are of great value to the business.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the winner and finalists, and a special thanks to everyone who participated.


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