Ferrovial is making further progress in its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, which are integrated into the company’s strategy, with the launch of new “Social Infrastructure” projects in Latin America and Africa. The company will conduct a number of initiatives with NGOs in Colombia, Peru and Rwanda that will contribute to ensuring sustainably managed water supply and sanitation systems. These projects are further evidence of the company’s wish to have a positive impact on the communities in which it operates and on the environment.
The NGOs chosen for funding in this tenth edition of the program are Action Against Hunger, Ingeniería para la Cooperación and Fundación Codespa. Ferrovial’s participation in this program goes beyond the financial endowment, as it also contributes its knowledge and experience to these projects by involving its own employees, who travel to the communities where each project is being implemented. The 125 volunteers who have participated in the Social Infrastructure program to date contributed their expertise to review the designs of the distribution networks in the various projects, as well as dimensioning the water tanks, identifying the best approaches for water treatment and assessing the environmental impacts, among other tasks. The company has allocated over €6 million so far to this corporate responsibility program, which has benefited close to 250,000 people.
In conjunction with Action Against Hunger, Ferrovial will improve water access and quality in the communities of Lisboa, San Lorenzo, Cuzamán and San Pacho, all in the municipality of Lebrija, Colombia. To this end, it will install several community water taps and three drinking water treatment plants, which will benefit 800 people. This is the company’s fifth initiative along the Ruta del Cacao, an area that has suffered the consequences of armed conflict and is also a point of entry for immigrants from Venezuela. Through this project, Ferrovial has improved the living standards of nearly 5,000 people, demonstrating its commitment to this community.
In Peru, Ferrovial will work with Fundación Codespa to develop its second consecutive project in the Huaral area, north of Lima. The project involves providing access to drinking water for 1,650 vulnerable people in the El Ángel settlement by improving the water distribution network, following the construction of a new reservoir last year. This will be Ferrovial’s ninth corporate responsibility initiative in Peru, where it has benefited close to 30,000 people.
The third initiative under this year’s Social Infrastructure program will be conducted in Rwanda in cooperation with Ingeniería para la Cooperación. In this project, which will benefit some 6,780 people in four different communities, the company will build wells and 18 public fountains, as well as working on sanitation, including the installation of 330 latrines. This project is particularly important because of its positive impact on education and gender equality, since the task of fetching water normally falls to children and women.
In order to guarantee the sustainability of these initiatives, all the company’s programs include training in both the management of the facilities and the proper use of water. Rafael del Pino, Chairman of Ferrovial, and Ignacio Madridejos, the company’s CEO, attended the signature of the cooperation agreements for the Social Infrastructure and Social Action in Spain corporate responsibility programs.
Social Action in Spain
The financial crisis and growing social inequality had already forced social organizations to expand and improve their infrastructures in order to respond to the growing demand from families in vulnerable situations, a situation that has been worsened by the COVID-19 health crisis.
In order to help people at social risk, Ferrovial, through its Social Action in Spain program, will refurbish seven food warehouses of the Food Banks associated with the Federación Española de Banco de Alimentos (FESBAL) located in Almería, Ávila, Ceuta, Jaén, Murcia, Seville and Vizcaya, which serve more than 175,000 people. The work will include repairing floors, upgrading electrical installations, and purchasing and installing fridges and freezers to improve food handling.