I am pleased to present our Sustainability Report 2019, in which we have sought to reflect and summarize the main data and events of this financial year.
It is my pleasure to present the GRI Renewable Industries Sustainability Report for the year 2019, which summarizes our main undertakings (initiatives) and their progress in meeting current and future challenges and opportunities. In addition, we reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact.
From a macroeconomic perspective, this fiscal year started with a great deal of uncertainty stemming from the tensions between China and the United States, the slowdown of the Eurozone, the Brexit conflict, the devaluation of some currencies and the energy policies in some countries, not very favourable to renewable energies.
In this complex environment, our results are showing a remarkable improvement after a highly complicated and unfavourable 2018. Turnover reached 637 million euros, with a total CAPEX investment of 31 million euros. The main investments were concentrated in China, mainly deriving from the new China IV factory, followed by Spain with improvements in its facilities, such as the new Forjas de Iraeta rolling mill.
Nevertheless, the year 2020 began with a very uncertain situation for the economy due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. After starting in China and paralysing the country, we are witnessing its spread throughout the world affecting the population indiscriminately, bringing the economy to a standstill, closing down production and distribution in most sectors and negatively affecting employment, production, distribution and consumption. The massive spread of the pandemic and the lack of information on its duration bring us to anticipate a very complicated macroeconomic scenario.
Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
Over the last few years we have seen a change in the world economy. The world’s economic and political problems, the scarcity of natural resources and the increase in global disasters resulting from climate change, require urgent adaptation in the roadmap of governments, businesses and civil society.
In line with this change, at GRI Renewable Industries we are immersed in a transformational model, aimed at contributing to a more inclusive, prosperous and sustainable world, seeking opportunities that allow us to grow as a profitable company that creates value in the environment.
In this transformational model, the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are key to change. Therefore, we align our roadmap with the SDGs directly related to our business, in order to contribute to their attainment. The Code of Ethics and Conduct was revised in 2019 and, after its approval, entered into force on 21 January 2020. Among the changes we highlight the primary management of the Ethical Channel that is now performed by an external provider, which is also the intermediary between the user of the Ethical Channel and the Compliance Committee, thus guaranteeing confidentiality as one of the channel´s principles of operation. This allows us to strengthen our contribution to more fair and equitable societies in line with SDG 16.
Providing stable and quality work, promotion and development of our professionals is a priority through which we contribute to SDG 8, promoting decent employment and job security. In 2019 we made 873 new contracts, bringing our total headcount to 4,140 professionals, 91.8% of whom have permanent contracts. Our objective is to integrate Health and Safety at all levels of the organization, as well as to establish a true preventive culture based on collaboration, teamwork, strong commitment and participation of all workers and stakeholders. To this end, we are carrying out numerous initiatives under the umbrella of the OHSAS 18001 and ISO 45001 Management Systems, and the IPRL system of excellence, under which we are improving working conditions by 8.6% overall and prevention management by 14.9% in 2019.
We are aligned with SDG 9 and the development of more efficient and sustainable industries. We accomplish this together with our clients and with the collaboration of our suppliers, adapting to their needs and the new models for increasingly powerful turbines through innovation, developing towers and flanges according to their new dimensions, improving their design with less weight, which allows us to minimize their impact.
Also in the field of innovation, the deployment of the “Digital WorkPlace” (DWP) project throughout the group is noteworthy. This project will transform the way the company operates and will promote the talent of its professionals. In June, we started the global deployment of DWP with the participation of more than 500 professionals in webinars and national and international workshops.
The fight against climate change is very present in our management model, and through our business activity we are part of the solution. At GRI Renewable Industries we mainly manufacture towers and flanges for the wind power market and renewable energy generation, which makes our business directly aligned with the SDG 7 and SDG 13 and actively involved in the fight against climate change.
2019 has been a period for analysis and reflection for GRI Renewable Industries in which a new roadmap has been defined based on the current needs and trends, as well as the demands of stakeholders, which will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions, aligned with a carbon-free future. This plan will be based on various areas such as innovation, reforestation, energy efficiency, the purchase of energy from renewable sources and mobility, among others.
Likewise, the Circular Economy plays a fundamental role in the way we manage our raw materials and waste, in line with SDG 12. In this area, our main raw material “steel” stands out for its recyclability and durability. Also in 2019 we witness a significant social demand that points to “plastic” as a protagonist due to its massive use, its impact on the environment and the difficulty in its management, which is why we are developing a plan to help minimize its consumption in the period 2020-2022.
At GRI Renewable Industries, we expect that more and more governments to embrace clean energy policies, investor interest will continue to grow, advances in innovation and new, more efficient technologies will continue to reduce installation and generation costs, and that social demands will be met, all of which require a change in the situation. Therefore, we are optimistic about our growth and development towards a transformative and cleaner future.
Without further ado, I hope that this Report will be of interest to you and that forecasts for next year will allow us to continue growing as a profitable and sustainable company.
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