In recent years there have been significant changes to the environment. Today there is a deeper understanding of the impact the present model of economic development has had on both ecosystems and society. There is greater consensus regarding the fact that this model of development is unsustainable over time and it is clear that there is a need to pursue a model based on the concept of sustainability. The aim of sustainable development is to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The key to meeting this far-reaching objective is for the various components of society to understand their role and the specific actions that will lead them towards attaining a model of sustainability.

CSR may be interpreted as the practical way in which organizations contribute to achieving sustainability. According to the European Economic and Social Committee, the CSR consists of the business community voluntarily including social and environmental concerns into their operations and into the relationships with their stakeholders. CSR, far beyond legal obligations, is a type of behaviour that Abengoa voluntarily adopted as a tool integrated into the company, because it is considered to bear positive impact on fulfilling the company’s strategic objectives.

Abengoa’s business model is based on sustainability, and following this model and considering the values that define Abengoa (integrity, lawfulness, professional rigor, confidentiality, and quality), CSR is one of the cornerstones of Abengoa’s present and future strategies.

As its method for determining relevant issues, Abengoa has selected the application of the three principles defined under the AA1000 AS 2008 Standard: inclusivity, materiality, and responsiveness; as well as the four GRI principles: materiality, stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context, and completeness. These principles, from amongst which the principle of materiality has been chosen as the core axis of the three other principles, are intertwined.