As done every year since 2014, I am pleased to present our new Sustainability Report 2019, in which we gathered and synthetized the main data and events happened during this exercise.
For the seventh consecutive year, I am pleased to present Gonvarri Industries’ Sustainability Report for 2019. It outlines our main commitments and achievements, as well as our expectations towards consolidating ourselves as a world-class industrial group.
This is the first year of our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, which is aligned with the Drive Management Model, the evolution of which is summarized in the various chapters of the Report.
Numerous external aspects have influenced the course of this year, where, after a period of growth, a change in trend can be observed, primarily due to the decline in the automotive sector in the last half of the year, in addition to other factors such as the rise in tariffs and the devaluation of some currencies.
With all this in mind, our vision at the end of the year shows stable financial results in line with those of the previous year and a significant improvement in non-financial and sustainability objectives, particularly the progress made through the “Emotional Driving” road safety project, such as the successful “Ponle freno” initiative.
Adapting to the changes, challenges and opportunities in our environment is crucial for the sustainability and profitability of our business. In this context I would like to highlight two aspects which, due to their relevance, will be key to our future development: the digital transformation, through the Industry 4.0 project, and the fight against climate change, with a roadmap for an emissions neutral future. Both are aligned with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly SDG 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” and SDG 13 “Climate Action”, respectively.
Industry 4.0 and digitalization
Gonvarri 4.0, framed within our strategic axis of Innovation, represents our commitment to digital technologies. The objective of Gonvarri 4.0 is to seek efficiency in our operations and safety in our factories. To meet these objectives, we have a portfolio of 20 projects in different stages of execution, from those in the conceptualisation phase to others that are in the global deployment phase. In Gonvarri 4.0 we are developing projects that range from the digitalisation of our production lines through a production execution system, to the elimination of paper in the maintenance function or the incorporation of elements for handling goods with automatic detection of objects and people to increase security. In conclusion, Gonvarri 4.0 is a transversal and global project.
Through innovation and new technologies, we are more efficient in our processes and improve our products according to the customer needs. A clear example is the search for lighter and more resistant materials, such as high-strength steels and aluminium. Also, in this field, the advances in the design and production of metal parts through additive manufacturing, carried out in our facilities in Addimen, stand out.
In recent years we have seen the growing need to adapt to a world that is moving exponentially towards a digital and innovative way of working. This directly affects our business, both in the way we produce and in the way we relate to our employees, customers, suppliers and society at large.
We are experiencing a process of change through the deployment of the “Digital WorkPlace” (DWP) project, adopting Mi crosoft technology and Office 365 work tools throughout the group. This project is transforming the way that the company operates and empowering the talent of the professionals working within it.
A rigorous implementation and training plan was established for its development, with numerous initiatives and support materials, which helped to conclude the first phase of the DWP adoption project with great success.
Roadmap to a carbon-neutral future
This year the COP 25 met in Madrid where the situation and progress in the fight against climate change was presented, discussed and analysed. There, numerous reports from scientists and experts were presented, warning us of a complicated future, where the rise in temperatures and the increase in natural disasters continue, unless urgent action is taken by governments, businesses and society in general. Along these guidelines, the European Union’s “New Green Deal” is beginning to define the main courses of action for the coming years, in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 as an opportunity to modernize, facilitate innovation and improve the competitiveness of the European economy and generate quality employment.
Therefore, evaluating the demands of the environment, the risks and the expectations of our stakeholders, this year represents for Gonvarri Industries a period of analysis and reflection in which a new roadmap can be defined in accordance with current needs and trends, where the fight against climate change, the reduction of CO2 emissions and a future without carbon emissions play a fundamental role.
The plan will include improvements in reporting and control of information and data, energy efficiency measures, promotion of the use of renewable energy and the purchase of energy certified in origin, as well as other measures aimed at reducing and improving travel, and other compensatory projects such as reforestation. In the next report we will detail these plans and measures.
Gonvarri Industries and its four divisions
With regard to our business, to improve our services, we have rearranged all our activities and lines of work under the umbrella of four divisions:
・ Gonvarri Steel Center, including “Automotive” where we are making progress in the use of new lighter and more resistant materials and “Industry and Household Appliances” focused on the supply of flat steel and high quality profiles for very diverse sectors (household appliances, construction, etc.).
・ Gonvarri Metal Structures, including ” Road Safety” which develops a very wide range of vehicle containment systems for roads and safe supports for lights; “Energy” aimed at designing and supplying innovative solar structures, fixed and mobile, with wireless communication and self-powering technology, as well as street lights and electrification towers, and “Mecano” for the development of cable carrier systems, buss enclosures and profiles, with their accessories, adapted to the needs of the clients.
・ Gonvarri Material Handling, in charge of the design and manufacture of storage and handling systems for all industrial environments, offering a comprehensive service.
・ Gonvarri Precision Tubes, dedicated to the manufacture of low carbon steel and stainless-steel pipes, which are adapted to the customer’s requirements.
People, safety and talent
At Gonvarri, our people and the attraction and retention of talent are key aspects, which is why, among the different initiatives, we are committed to the training and qualification of young professionals, to give them an opportunity for development and growth. Through the programmes: “FP Dual” where the educational centre and the company are jointly responsible for the training provided, and “Young Engineers”, focused on attracting young people with high potential to broaden their experience by assigning them to a certain region of the group in which they rotate through different companies, contributing to their employability.
Health and Safety training and awareness is also key to reducing the number of accidents and mishaps and creating a safe working environment. Therefore, the training provided by the plants to their own and external personnel has increased significantly this year. This year, the training of the “2nd State Collective Agreement for Industry, Technology and Services in the Metal Sector” for the plants and offices in Spain, given by approved suppliers and with a high level of participation, stands out.
I do not want to say goodbye without mentioning the serious crisis arising from the health, social and economic impact of COVID 19 throughout the world, which has affected us since nearly the beginning of 2020 and which has led to the enormous tragedy of this disease with the loss of so many lives.
The risk of infection for our professionals and society at large, the stoppage of non-essential activities for significant periods of time in almost every country and the severe crisis that will remain as a result of this pandemic, suggest a complex scenario for Gonvarri in the coming years, which forces us to rethink our plans and strategies, in a very uncertain environment.
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