This is sustainability at the ACS Group

dIn recent months, the ACS Group has focused its efforts on exposing its vision of the future. In April it held the first Capital Markets Day in its history and just three weeks later it did the same with the General Shareholders' Meeting. In these meetings with investors, shareholders and analysts, the main executives of the infrastructure giant focused on explaining its evolution, the pillars of the new strategy and its vision for the future.

Future and sustainability were words that were repeated very frequently during these meetings. And the infrastructure sector, like the economy as a whole, needs continuous adaptation to face new challenges and needs in environmental matters. During the meeting, President Florentino Pérez was clear about this: «At the ACS Group we understand that success is not only measured in terms of economic profitability, but also in the capacity we have to generate a positive impact in the world. that surrounds us. “Impact that increasingly requires being sustainable and respecting the environment.”

And if we broaden our view, if we focus on the evolution that the company is experiencing, it is clear that sustainability is an absolute priority in this new plan. Although traditional infrastructure projects will continue to be present, the Group is already a leader in new generation projects, which include projects related to the energy transition, sustainable mobility, digitalization or biopharmaceuticals. The commitment is clear. The president of ACS was precise in this regard: “We have the opportunity to make a great contribution to society and we are going to do it.”

The CEO of the ACS Group, Juan Santamaría, referred to the 2025 Sustainability Master Plan as the pillar from which the company's environmental policy is structured. Progress in this area is important, since direct emissions have been reduced by 30% in the last four years and the goal of climate neutrality is expected to be achieved in 2045, five years before the limit set by the EU. Efforts that have been recognized by the highest international indices in terms of sustainability, such as the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Energy transition and mobility

The Group has been showing for some time the importance that the energy transition and sustainable mobility sectors will have. Without going any further, Santamaría explained that “in the last year, projects related to the energy transition have doubled, reaching a total of 4,152 million euros.” Examples of this commitment to the energy transition are the contracts achieved by CIMIC, which has recently been awarded a lithium hydroxide plant in Australia, a nickel extraction contract in Indonesia, the Victorian Big Battery or the high-voltage electrical transmission project. HumeLink. Another notable milestone is the Glenrowan solar plant, also in Australia.

And in terms of sustainable mobility, the company recently announced that Iridium became an investor in Skyports, thus betting on the air taxi business, electric drones and vertiports. It's just a sample. “The infrastructure associated with sustainable mobility and smart cities is a long-term structural growth market,” said Santamaría. In San Francisco Bay, ACS has also been selected to develop a project with autonomous vehicles, while in Canada it is involved in the Calgary Green Line light rail project.

Sustainability goes further

But sustainability is not just limited to mobility and energy. During his speech before the shareholders, Santamaría stressed that the company is committed to developing all its activities in a responsible and sustainable way, reducing its direct emissions by 30% in the last four years. Furthermore, the ACS group has increased the number of women in management positions to 22.6% of the total and has experienced an increase in the evaluation of its operations in terms of human rights to above 83%.

“On the social side, our top priority is the safety and health at work of our employees and our entire value chain,” said Santamaría. In 2023, the company allocated more than 142 million euros to this area, dedicating a significant effort to training and the application of new technologies for accident prevention (such as the use of aerial drones to identify dangerous situations or the use of exoskeletons to reduce injuries).

Furthermore, the company assures that a good part of its strength lies in being a global group but with strong local roots in the countries in which it operates, which is why the company's managers seek to promote specialized and diverse talent, especially in the communities in which it works. “Effort and responsibility constitute the essence of our success, based on a corporate culture that promotes integrity, equal opportunities, respect and teamwork,” highlighted Santamaría. ACS has been recognized as the best company to work for in Spain by “Forbes” magazine.