I am pleased to present the Sustainability Report of Gonvarri Industries for 2018, in which we gather the most relevant information and events that have taken place during this financial year. Our goal is to combine the economic results with the sustainable value we have generated in the long term.
This Report has been prepared under the Global Reporting Initiative Standard (GRI) guidelines and “Drive”, our Management System. We have also renewed our commitment to the UN Global Compact.
Our business had a positive balance in 2018, with a turnover or 3,575 million euros, an EBITDA of 209.5 million euros. This further strengthens our leadership in the sector.
We are a company with more than 60 years of history with 44 operational plants and various offices and distribution centres spread across 24 countries, where we employ a workforce of more than 5,000 professionals. In terms of our activity, we are immersed in the development of new products and new raw materials such as aluminium, as they become more high profile.
Investments exceeded 250 million euros, which allowed us to diversify and increase our global presence, noteworthy being the acquisition of Gonvarri Material Handling (Constructor Group) in northern Europe, and Flinsa (Flejes Industriales S.A.) in Spain. In addition, we have completed significant expansions, primarily with new hot stamping processes at S&A Popes Lane (UK), Gonvauto South Carolina (USA) and Navarra (Spain), and laser cutting processes in Thüringen (Germany) as well as in Barcelona, Valencia and Zaragoza (Spain), expanding our aluminium solutions.
In order to adapt to the current market reality, we have redesigned our brand, now known as “Gonvarri Industries”. This new name still represents the core of the company, its strength and commitment of its employees, in line with our aim of becoming industry leaders, providing metal solutions, beyond steel, in order to achieve a safer and more sustainable future. A solid and reliable brand which will be fully operational in 2019.
It is worth noting UK’s Steel&Alloy’s 50th anniversary. The company started up in 1968 and was later acquired by Gonvarri in 2012. This commemorative event also provided the opportunity to officially inaugurate the new S&A Popes Lane plant.
Beyond our financial and corporate results, we commit to helping and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including them in our “Drive” Management System.
Our firm commitment to society is emphasised through objective 3.6 “By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents”, actively working on road safety via the various initiatives of the Emotional Driving project.
This financial year we have reinforced our commitment with education and early awareness, through informative talks and workshops in various schools and in collaboration with different motivational conferences of the “What Really Matters” Foundation, with an area aimed at promoting road safety amongst young people.
I would like to highlight the perception research study on “Young drivers, distractions and the use of mobiles” carried out in collaboration with Movistar, which includes the opinion of more than 1,000 Spaniards between the ages of 18 and 30-years-old.
The main conclusions show that 8 out of 10 young Spaniards admit to being distracted at the wheel, 67% of them using their mobile phone while driving which, not by chance, is the leading cause of road deaths among young people.
The results of the study confirm that positive emotions, such as driving people and reflecting on their families, help young Spaniards to drive more safely and responsibly. The success of the study encourages us to delve deeper into its findings and to hold a second edition in 2019, extending the sample to the entire Spanish population, allowing us to further analyse the differences with young people.
At Gonvarri, we believe that attracting and retaining talent is fundamental to our growth. For this reason, we have developed numerous training initiatives such as “Gonvarri Young Talent”, devoted to helping young people find their first job, which includes CTE programmes Dual and Jóvenes Ingenieros (Young engineers). Likewise, we have increased the training hours per employee by more than 30%.
We adhere to a proactive role in the battle against climate change, developing Energy Efficient projects focused on reducing energy consumption in our plants. This year we have implemented 15 new MAES in order to save an estimated 3.12GWh. In addition, by using our highly efficient solar photovoltaic mounting structures, we estimate that we will indirectly avoid more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere.
We are living in a truly transformational time, where new technologies, digitalization, connected devices, among others, present us with an essential challenge for the future. Innovation plays a key role in this evolution, both in the communication and integration of the new innovation model, as well as in the participation of our teams and in the development of more efficient and sustainable products that contribute to differentiate us and improve our environment.
In line with the above and with the aim of advancing in the digital transformation of the workplace, we are implementing the “Digital Workplace” project. This means a cultural change for the improvement of our digital skills, the definition of new technologies to improve work and digital agility.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate our team of professionals, whose experience, knowledge and enthusiasm help us grow and lead the market.