The Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, received the BBK Sustainable Competitiveness of the Year Award this morning in Bilbao. In its first edition, these awards aim to give visibility to the citizens, entrepreneurs and institutions of Bizkaia that are committed to sustainable production and invest in it with conviction. The aim is to recognise their work.
At the event held in Bilbao, Iberdrola was awarded the Special Sustainable Competitiveness of the Year Award. The company’s Chairman, Ignacio Galán, received the award from Xabier Sagredo, Chairman of the bank.
In his acceptance speech, Ignacio Galán first acknowledged “the work of the 40,000 men and women who make up Iberdrola and who, with their effort and enthusiasm, make this century-old Basque company worthy of such prestigious awards as the one that brings us together today”.
Ignacio Galán also wanted to mention the situation in Europe, “the tragic times we are living through in Europe reinforce the need for energy self-sufficiency”.
The chairman of Iberdrola highlighted the “pride of being recognised in our own land” and added, “also for something that is at the heart of our business as a company: achieving real and lasting social progress through a safe and environmentally friendly energy model“.
“To achieve this, it was essential to break the false opposition between economic sustainability and environmental sustainability”, said Ignacio Galán, explaining that “only two decades ago, the very concept of sustainable competitiveness, which gives its name to this award, would have sounded contradictory to many”.
The Chairman of Iberdrola received the award in the presence of the Mayor of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Basque Government, Idoia Mendia, the President of the General Assembly of Bizkaia, Ana Otadui, and the top representatives of the BBK and El Correo, which organised the first edition of the ‘Sustainable Competitiveness’ awards.
Before this institutional and business representation from Bizkaia, Ignacio Galán wanted to highlight Iberdrola’s roots in the Basque Country, “Iberdrola’s activity contributes more than 2% to the Basque economy as a whole” and he wanted to make special mention of the company’s Basque suppliers: “Many of our main suppliers are here, accompanying us in our global expansion, forming a business network around Iberdrola that employs more than 17,000 people in this land”.
Among the companies mentioned, he pointed out to Arteche that, together with others, “they are our partners in a multitude of innovation projects to which we allocate 340 million euros a year, making us the private utility that invests the most in R&D&I in the world“. In this regard, the Chairman of Iberdrola stressed that “many of these projects are already being developed at the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub in Bilbao, the global centre of innovation and excellence in smart grids promoted together with the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. From its headquarters in Larraskitu, 65 companies from all over the world are developing 120 innovative initiatives to make electricity grids the backbone of decarbonisation”.
Ignacio Galán also highlighted that “we were pioneers 20 years ago in our commitment to renewable energies, smart grids and storage. Since then, we have invested 130 billion euros, driving our international expansion and making Iberdrola one of the top 5 electricity companies in the world”.
The Chairman of Iberdrola ended his speech by once again expressing his gratitude for this recognition that “encourages us to continue advancing along this path, demonstrating that the fight against climate change is an engine for growth and a source of job creation, as shown by the incorporation of 5,500 people into our company in the last 12 months”. And he did not want to fail to highlight the promotion of equality “with 34% of our positions of responsibility already occupied by women”. However, he concluded, “we have made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot to do and we are committed to moving forward with more enthusiasm”.