- The prize-giving ceremony was held in Brussels as part of European Green Week, the largest annual conference on European environmental policy. This year's focus was biodiversity.
- Ferrovial, together with African NGO AMREF, is building sanitation and water supply infrastructure for more than 50,000 people in Tanzania.
|Ferrovial, a leading global infrastructure company, received one of the 2010 European Business Awards for the Environment from the European Commission at a ceremony today in Brussels. Specifically, Ferrovial received the International Cooperation Award, presented by Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for the Environment.
The European Commission granted the award in recognition of the Maji ni Uhai (Water is Life) project that Ferrovial is developing in Tanzania, which will supply drinking water to more than 50,000 people, i.e. 40% of the Serengeti population, according to the World Health Organisation.
Íñigo Meirás, CEO of Ferrovial, collected the award on behalf of the company. Also attending the event were other representatives of Ferrovial such as the Director of Quality and Environment, Valentín Alfaya, and the Director of Communications and Corporate Responsibility, Juan Francisco Polo.
Ferrovial, which is cooperating with African NGO AMREF on this project, is building sanitary and water supply infrastructure in five municipalities in the Serengeti district: Issenye, Kyambahi, Kebanchebancha, Rin 'Wani and Natta. The goal is to improve health and living standards in local communities by providing them with safe drinking water and sanitary installations and teaching good hygiene practices.
Íñigo Meirás, CEO of Ferrovial, expressed his gratitude for the distinction, stating: "This project responds to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which Ferrovial adopted in 2002. Two of those goals are to involve companies in the fight against poverty and to develop a global partnership for development. As a result, Maji ni Uhai involves direct participation by Ferrovial in a development aid project".
The project includes the construction of infrastructure in Tanzania which will promote sustainable economic development in the region. Ferrovial and AMREF are working in parallel to enhance women's skills and train local communities.
When the project is completed, the company will have trained 131 water and health technicians and almost 1,300 people (half of them women) in good hygiene and health practices.
Tanzania's government is promoting infrastructure development to improve the supply of drinking water in rural areas. Ferrovial's initiative will increase access to drinking water in the area from 23% to 40%.
Maji ni Uhai, which represents cooperation between the local authorities, a local organisation and a private company, will be completed in 2011. The project model is innovative in that Ferrovial is not only funding the project (1.8 million euro over 3 years), it is also providing technical and technological expertise, and company specialists are participating through the corporate volunteer programme. Twenty-three volunteers have participated.
European Business Awards for the Environment
The European Business Awards for the Environment aim to promote the fight against climate change and help solve current environmental problems, from loss of biodiversity through to unsustainable use of natural resources. This award is a distinction for companies that include sustainable development in their business strategy.