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Interview

José Manuel Entrecanales, ACCIONA Chairman

Our main objective in this 2018 Integrated Report is to describe how we contribute solutions to the needs of the society of today without losing sight of tomorrow's, creating value in the short, medium and logn term for all our stakeholders. We wish to translate, in a credible way, our commitment ot sustainable develoment and our vocation to be the agent of social and environmental change our society needs.

This report is structured around our offer of sustainable development solutions. Solutions on which the business model of our company is based. An advanced model, which looks to the future and is capable of generating stable and predictable returns over time.

How would you describe ACCIONA?

We are a unique company, vocationally structured to respond to some of the main challenges society faces. Our business opportunities lie in the intersection between what society needs and what the sustainable future of the planet requires.

The challenges we face as a society are urgent, complex and involve, in equal measure, governments, the private sector, social organizations and citizens. They require solutions which cannot be tackled in isolation. As a result, neither is our conception of the company an activity or set of activities carried out alone. Our company cannot be defined as a sole activity. We are, in essence, greenfield developers and operators of essential infrastructure assets, with a special emphasis on renewable energy.

"We are a unique company, vocationally structured to respond to some of the main challenges society faces. Our business opportunities lie in the intersection between what society needs and what the sustainable future of the planet requires."

This report aims precisely to reflect in depth on this question to persuade the reader about how our company is part of the solution - and not the problem - to the challenges we as a soceity must face.

What solutions is the company working on?

The way I see it, the planet’s challenges are formally described in two recent and very interrelated landmark texts: the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. The planet we leave to the next generations will depend in large measure on us realizing both. Success means none other than a socially and environmentally more sustainable planet. It will require the combined effort of governments, companies and citizens and an unprecedented mobilization of resources.


Responding to the challenges of sustainable development is the essence of ACCIONA’s business model. This is why we facilitate cleaner energy, manage the water cycle, create infrastructure that facilitates ecological transition, and offer electric mobility services, among others. It is also why we are constantly alert to new opportunities that help us to generate business while contributing to sustainable development.

“We are contributing to building a more sustainable society”

The fact that we are so in touch with the real needs of society makes us attractive to long term investors, who see our commitment, not only to the present, but also to the future. Our business model also helps us attract the best talent. We at ACCIONA like to know that our work is contributing to building a more sustainable society. I would like to think that our customers also see us as a unique company offering unique value.

What is your view of ACCIONA’s performance in 2018?

We have fulfilled and exceeded the objectives we set at the start of the year. During the year, the company has maintained an investment rate in line with its strategic plans, increased operational cashflow and significantly reduced net financial debt.

Our business model generates stable cash flow; over 65% of our EBITDA comes from long-term assets. 95% of the capital we use is backed by the same assets, demonstrating the financial prudence that helps us to manage investment risks.

“Over 65% of our EBITDA comes from long-term assets”

Beyond what that means in the short term – in terms of financial evolution, shareholder remuneration and confidence-building among our investors – the achievement of the objectives allows us to continue further along the path of our strategy of investing in the planet and responding to the requirements of sustainable development.

What makes a company like ours different?

Our main skill is to design, build and operate complex assets for third parties and for our own portfolio.

I firmly believe that we are company with many distinct capabilities, where talent, technical capacity, sustainability and innovation are the energy that allow us to transform ideas into assets. We are convinced that, in the future, there will be no room for business models that do not offer a double dividend, conserving the planet while generating value for their investors, employees, customers and the rest of their stakeholders.

This conviction is what has driven us to construct a company model which is configured to anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s society.

“Talent, technical capacity, sustainability and innovation are the energy that allow us to transform ideas into assets.”

Our competitive advantages are established on the basis of this belief. And I would wager that we will continue working in this way for a long time to come.

Finally, where is ACCIONA heading?

We find ourselves in a dynamic environment in which the needs of society change rapidly, but the general trends leave no room for doubt. Just a decade ago, environmental risks were not important. Today, according to the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report, they are the most critical factor for the planet’s prosperity. Everything points to this continuing to be the case for some time. Access to energy, water and the need for infrastructure that improves the lives of people, will represent urgent needs over the next few decades.

It is in this changing environment that we have continued to advance our solutions, gaining new contracts for assuring water supply in some of the countries with the highest water stress – present and future – such as United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Also, thanks to our use of advanced technologies with minimum environmental impact, we are developing new transport infrastructure in advanced countries such as Norway and Australia.

“Access to energy, water and the need for infrastructure that improves the lives of people, will be urgent needs over the next few decades.”

All this, without forgetting our leadership in decarbonization through an energy model that relies firmly on renewable energies and which, during 2018, resulted in a growth in total capacity, offering in addition historic levels of competitiveness and availability.

The global will to cross over to sustainable growth models sustains, in turn, our future growth. Our opportunity is called sustainable development and we assume it, only too aware or our capabilities and limitations. We do not know what the future will be like.

What we do know, however, is that we will be there wherever there the need arises for more sustainable development.