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ACCIONA, first construction company in the world to certify the environmental footprint of the entire life cycle of their infrastructures

23/04/2014

ACCIONA is the first construction company in the world to obtain the Environmental Product Declaration or "EPD" that certifies the environmental footprint of infrastructures during their entire useful life.

ACCIONA Infrastructure has obtained this certification in two projects: a railway viaduct located in the high-speed rail stretch between Madrid and Galicia and the N340 highway in Elche. 

An Environmental Product Declaration is an internationally valid environmental certification that has the purpose of providing quantitative, transparent, verified and comparable information from environmental impacts that a product may cause throughout its life cycle.    Obtaining these first EPDs certifies that the company has a tested and validated methodology that is applicable to any project. ACCIONA expects to progressively extend its use to the rest of its infrastructures.

EPDs are considered to be a useful and strategic tool in bids and acquisitions in the public and business sectors because selecting suppliers who meet sustainability criteria is increasingly valued both in domestic and international tenders, and it is gradually becoming a requirement or an extra qualification for bidding.

The railway viaduct, the infrastructure to which this methodology has been applied for the first time in the world, crosses the Valchano Stream and is located along the stretch of road that connects Zamora and Lubián. It is 295 meters long, 14 meters wide, and is designed for railway transportation for passengers going both directions. The stretch of certified highway, along the E-40 sector of the N-340, is a four-lane, one-kilometer stretch, with ramps and roundabouts.

The Environmental Product Declarations of these two infrastructures take into account the materials and energy employed in building them (including the creation of raw materials or obtaining them, as well as the environmental footprint resulting from transporting them to the site). They also take into account the materials and energy necessary for their maintenance and operation and the eventual tasks of demolishing or substituting them once their useful life has terminated.

The report endorsed by the EDP System enhances the additional initiatives for preserving the environment adopted by ACCIONA Infrastructure along this stretch, mainly aimed at avoiding spills or contamination of any kind in the watershed and to counteract an eventual "barrier effect" for native fauna. Pollution has also been minimized, as well as inconveniences caused by dust generated during highway construction.

The analysis for awarding these certifications was performed in ACCIONA Infrastructure's Technological Center in collaboration with ACCIONA S.A. Environmental and Quality Management.

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