Valentín Alfaya: “In Europe, maintaining a competitive edge consistently requires involvement in the circular economy, the green economy, and renewable energy”


Project Zero El Pais sustainability circular economy

Valentín Alfaya, Director of Sustainability at Ferrovial, participated in the virtual conference Proyecto Zero (Project Zero) organized by El País. This series aims to analyze and promote moving towards energy decarbonization and contributing to curbing the climate crisis. This is especially important in a global context with the additional health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19

What steps must be taken to move towards new circular production and consumption models? What role will cities play in implementing circular economy? What innovations beyond technology are possible to support the development of the circular economy and citizen involvement? Proyecto Zero aimed to answer these questions with different experts.

In his speech on the panel Companies as driving forces behind the green revolution: strategies and incentives, Valentín Alfaya, Director of Sustainability at Ferrovial, defended the need for a change in our production model: 

“In Europe, maintaining a long-term competitive edge consistently requires involvement in the circular economy, renewable energies, and the green economy. Because of the pandemic, we’re now aware of our environmental shortcomings and how these allow pandemics to be more aggressive than they could be. We’ve also seen that destroying the planet to maintain linear economic models will only lead us to self-destruction.”

According to the annual Circularity Gap Report released by the World Economic Forum, the world economy is currently only 8.6% circular. For that percentage to grow, companies and their commitment to supporting new technologies play an essential role in the development of the circular economy. Boosting new systems of sustainable production, creating new reusable materials, coming up with new solutions to optimize products life cycles while using less raw material, and committing to low-impact consumption are a few keys to supporting the circular economy.  

Ferrovials commitment to the environment 

At Ferrovial, climate strategy and governance are integrated into our business strategy. Theyre also aligned with the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development. One example of this is our carbon footprint. Our 2030 goal has been approved and endorsed by SBTi. That goal is to reduce our 2009 emission levels (scope 1 & 2) by an absolute value of 32% and by 42.9% in terms of intensity. In 2019,  our scope 1 & 2 emissions were 59% lower in relative terms and 19.5%  lower in absolute terms than in 2009. This demonstrates Ferrovials commitment to meeting the goals weve set on this roadmap. 

 The SDGs on Ferrovials Agenda 

Ferrovial was on board with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved by the United Nations in 2015 from the start. We joined other companies from the private sector in the advisory group organized by the United Nations. While we are working on all 17 SDGs, were focusing on the three that are closest to our business activity. 

  • Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation. From its launch to 2019, the Social Infrastructure Program has worked on 25 water and sanitation projects in Latin America and Africa. More than 220,000 people have benefited from these initiatives. Cadaguas facilities have also treated over 400 million m3 of water. 
  • Goal 9: industry, innovation, and infrastructure. Ferrovial is managing 23 concessions with an investment of €21.949 billion. Managed Lanes are a sustainable solution in areas with significant urban management. 
  • Goal 11: sustainable cities and communities. Ferrovial is helping achieve this goal with urban mobility solutions (Zity and Wondo) by managing traffic of some 95 million passengers at its airports.


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