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Principles of the Global Compact

Since 2005, Abengoa has been publishing an annual progress report on the Global Compact website in which the company reports to its stakeholders on its ongoing implementation of the 10 principles, underscoring the year-to-year goals and objectives set.

Consolation award in the 3rd edition of the “Sustainability photography contest” taken by: Irene Otemín.


Principle 1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed fundamental human rights within their sphere of influence.

Abengoa has undertaken in its labor practices the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations and aligns professional conduct with all of its protocols, in addition to international agreements approved by the UN and, in relation to labor rights, by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Principle 2. Businesses should make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Abengoa’s Common Management Systems, which contain rules that are binding on all employees and apply throughout the organization, without exception, set forth the company’s guidelines and policies on the protection of human rights.

To guarantee the integrity of those who may have an influence on company activities, Abengoa requires all providers to sign up to the Social Responsibility Code (SRC) for suppliers and subcontractors, which includes eleven clauses based on the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and inspired by the international SA 8000 Standard.

In 2011, Abengoa developed a system of responsible purchasing that will be implemented in four stages and whose fundamental objectives are to incorporate sustainability criteria into supplier assessments and to standardize and endorse these processes, which currently vary due to the diverse characteristics of the suppliers contracted and the variety of company activities.

Principle 3. Businesses should uphold freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

Within an open atmosphere of ongoing dialog, Abengoa supports the free association of its workers and considers this an inalienable right.

Principle 4. Businesses should support the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor.

Abengoa’s Common Management Systems establish the company’s guidelines and policies on recruitment, as well as employee procedures and working conditions, all of which are intended to ensure efficient work and a suitable personal and professional life balance.

Abengoa analyzed approximately 17,500 suppliers in terms of human rights-related risk over the course of the year. In the SRC is included a specific clause to prohibit coercive hiring practices.

Principle 5. Businesses should support the abolition of child labor.

Abengoa condemns all forms of child labor, in accordance with the terms specified under Convention 138 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) concerning minimum age.

In the SRC, an agreement was reached to include the prohibition of child labor as a contracting prerequisite and a specific requirement to comply with the norms of the International Labor Organization.

Principle 6. Businesses should uphold the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation..

Abengoa has its own Equality Framework Plan, which applies to all company personnel, and which seeks to ensure equality in the treatment and opportunities between men and women, while preventing any situation that may imply or constitute direct or indirect labor discrimination for reasons of gender.

In 2009, a work harassment whistleblower protocol was put in place at Abengoa to deal with any potentially discriminatory situation occurring within the company.

This protocol addresses whistleblower procedures and defines situations that could constitute harassment. It is applied in accordance with the principles of confidentiality, credibility and timeliness in order to ensure and protect the privacy, dignity and rights of company employees.

Principle 7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

Abengoa has a sustainability policy that is clearly defined under internal rules and regulations, in addition to a risk management system that includes environmental aspects, a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory, and specific emission reduction targets for all business groups, and specific Environmental Indicator system. All of this helps to detect environmental risks, present them, evaluate business sustainability, and set improvement targets..

Principle 8. Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

Abengoa bases its business and management model on innovative technologies for sustainable development, thus ensuring the sustainability of not only products and services, but also processes.

Since the introduction of the Greenhouse Gas Inventory in 2008, Abengoa has required all of its suppliers to report the emissions attributed to the products and services acquired by the company, and therefore suppliers are under the obligation to provide information on the emissions associated with every order placed by the company. This enables the company to convey its policy and culture of helping to combat climate change to its supply chain.

Principle 9. Businesses should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

Abengoa is an international company that applies innovative technological solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, generating energy from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating sea water, and recycling industrial waste, while bringing long-term value to its shareholders through a management model that champions enterprise, social responsibility, transparency, and rigor.

Abengoa upholds an ongoing commitment, through its innovation policy and strategy, to promoting sustainable use of resources and raw materials that spans their entire life cycle. Abengoa focuses efforts on innovation involving renewable energies. The drive towards and implementation of these technologies are based on sources characterized by low environmental impact and higher energy efficiency.

Principle 10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Abengoa fights corruption through its Code of Professional Conduct, which governs the conduct and working relations of Abengoa employees, directors and officers with all stakeholders. This code demands the highest standards of honor and ethical conduct, includes procedures for dealing with personal and professional conflicts of interest, and requires suitable disclosure in the reports which Abengoa must present on a regular basis to government bodies; requires compliance with applicable laws, standards and regulations; addresses improper use or poor application of assets and business opportunities; demands maximum confidentiality and fair treatment both inside and outside of Abengoa; and demands immediate internal communication of failure to comply with the code, as well as appropriate communication of any illegal conduct.

In 2010, Abengoa implemented the external whistleblower channel, complementing the internal channel already in place and serving as an instrument for reporting any potential irregularity, non-compliance, or conduct in violation of the ethics, lawfulness and norms governing the organization.

Furthermore, Abengoa has signed up to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which regulates the actions of all international companies that conduct any type of business in the USA, and makes it a crime for companies, as well as their directors, board members, employees, and representatives, to pay, promise, offer or authorize the payment of anything of value to a foreign official, foreign political party, officials of public international organizations, etc., for the purpose of obtaining any kind of improper advantage.