March 14, 2024

Técnicas Reunidas drives sustainability as the foundation of its global strategy

Laura Bravo, Secretary General of the Council and Director of Legal Advisory and Sustainability of Técnicas Reunidas, spoke to Co-Leaders about her company’s ESG policies, priority Sustainable Development Goals in its performance, identification of sustainability-related risks, and its commitment to innovation and technology.

Técnicas Reunidas is a leading international company in the engineering sector that specializes in offering its customers worldwide sustainable solutions for the development of their activities.

The company has more than 60 years of experience and is staffed by more than 9,000 project workers in more than 50 countries. Strongly committed to the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, Técnicas Reunidas has as one of its objectives to work towards achieving energy transition and decarbonization.


How is social and environmental responsibility integrated into your company’s governance structure and what role does senior management play in promoting sustainable practices?

For Técnicas Reunidas, both social and environmental perspectives are priorities in the field of Sustainability. We are very focused on generating a positive impact on stakeholders. Not only for the people who are part of our staff for whom we have established a flexible working day and telecommuting days, but we also focus on customers, with whom we have a recurrence rate in terms of awarded projects of more than 99%.

Besides that, our environmental impact also translates into a very good position in the ESG analyst rankings, something we are very proud of. We have recently been validated by the SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative), with which we have committed to continue reducing our emissions, and will be NET Zero in 2040. In the same way, Carbon Disclosure Project has granted us the highest grade, an A. To achieve this, Técnicas Reunidas has shown a very strong commitment to transparency in climate action and responsible management in each of its environmental impacts.

In order to make a positive impact on each of the projects we have created, within the Sustainability department, a project sustainability unit, which strengthens our relationship with customers, suppliers and local communities. In this way, we facilitate daily proximity to everyone who works outside the company’s borders.

The corporate governance structure of Técnicas Reunidas has a fundamental role in providing visibility to all these initiatives, and in highlighting and transmitting the commitment by the Board of Directors.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Técnicas Reunidas has identified as priorities in their performance?


Técnicas Reunidas has been a signatory to the UN Global Compact since 2011, and it is about a commitment to which we have voluntarily adhered.


Our contribution to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is comprehensive and it manifests itself not only in our business approach, but also in the daily execution of our operations.

We focus our efforts on those SDGs where we have the greatest potential to contribute, and are most linked to the operation of the company. These are SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy, SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure, and SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities. These goals reflect our commitment to a more sustainable future, in which we not only generate prosperity, but also aim to leave a positive mark on society and the environment.


How do you identify and manage sustainability risks, especially with regard to climate change and energy transition?

In 2023 we carried out, together with Mars Consulting, a specific analysis of identification and assessment of relevant risks in terms of sustainability for Técnicas Reunidas. We did it with the perspective of double materiality. Among these risks, in addition to climate change and energy transition, other relevant risks in ESG have been assessed as they represent two areas in which the company plays an important role. In addition to this double materiality study, we have professionals who assess the risks of performing a job based on different and very diverse geographical areas, since we can perform infrastructure in places that may be more vulnerable to climatic threats. As a matter of fact, we work in countries that are immersed in particular climate stress.

From the Sustainability department we report in the comprehensive report, as required by environmental taxonomy, the physical climatic risks, which are those that refer to the direct impacts of climate change on natural and human systems. And also transitional climate risks, which relate to changes in policy, technology and regulation, and seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. Assessing these risks gives us the opportunity to continue to grow and anticipate a real transition, adopting more sustainable practices. Likewise, the company’s concern for climate risk management is manifested, for example, in the purchase of environmental liability insurance, which is voluntary, and which guarantees coverage of potential environmental damage that may arise from the company’s activity. Including environmental liability of on-site and off-site facilities, as well as civil liability for pollution to liability arising from transportation to third-party facilities.


How does Técnicas Reunidas use innovation and digital technology to improve its environmental and social performance?

At Técnicas Reunidas we know, and want, to adapt ourselves to the new times. We have sought to highlight the opportunities provided by artificial intelligence, and data-driven decision-making, to optimize the planning, execution and lifecycle of our projects. We do this through innovative solutions that we make available to our customers, such as TRIA (Técnicas Reunidas Artificial Intelligence), the digital twin, or the TR Live Site approach, which is used for construction.

Artificial intelligence is part of our daily life, we are an engineering company and, of course, everyone is very advanced in the use of these technologies, making responsible, complete and partial use of them.

Técnicas Reunidas has developed and approved, in July 2023, its ethical principles of Artificial Intelligence. Through them the company is committed to using artificial intelligence in its operations with human supervision and in a fair, inclusive and strict governance criteria. In this context, we have created a specific corporate data and artificial intelligence area, which works hand in hand with business areas, to strategically manage all company data and thus make the most of these new tools.

At Técnicas Reunidas, we also have a very firm commitment to artificial intelligence as a key and differential element to provide value to our customers and society, minimizing the environmental impact. In addition, we have a division of our own technologies and a technology center associated with it, which is the engine of innovation in the company and which works to ensure its sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness. It is a strategic and differentiating element for our businesses and activities.

The company has the vocation to lead in innovation the engineering sector with a focus on the energy transition, contributing to reduce the environmental footprint and promoting sustainable business models and the efficient use of resources.


How does your company position itself in developing hydrogen technologies and integrating them into the energy transition?

At Técnicas Reunidas, a new strategic development area called Track has been launched, and it is dedicated exclusively to energy transition and decarbonization. Currently, this division contemplates a portfolio of opportunities of more than 9 billion euros in low-emission technology projects. Track is providing new services in growing markets and expanding into new sectors to enable acceleration towards the global energy transition.

In the field of hydrogen, Técnicas Reunidas reuses production technologies developed by third parties in its projects. The company establishes collaborative relationships with leading suppliers of electrolyzers and licensors of hydrogen production technology without exclusive commitments. With these collaborations we are able to assist our clients in defining the best hydrogen production strategy for each project. And that considering the particularities of each customer, such as location, production capacity, or the type of integration with renewable energy sources, among other aspects.


How do your circular economy and bioproducts projects contribute to a more sustainable industry and carbon footprint reduction?

Técnicas Reunidas provides design and construction services for plants for the production of biomethane from waste and biorefinery plants for the production of bioproducts, thus contributing to the circular economy.

The company also has the ability to help its customers execute their decarbonization policies and strategies, thanks to its overall expertise in engineering design and processes. In addition, we have a team of specialists dedicated exclusively to tracking technologies related to energy transition and decarbonization, as part of the Track team, which I mentioned earlier. In the company we actively participate in the structuring of projects of these technologies for integration into the existing value chains of clients.

The role of bioenergy is critical to reducing carbon emissions in the global economy. Biomethane is another relevant resource, as its composition is identical to natural gas and can therefore benefit from existing gas infrastructures and replace natural gas in any of its current uses. In this way, the use of biomethane leads to a reduction in direct emissions, without the need for additional investments. Likewise, Técnicas Reunidas, in collaboration with other companies, is participating in the Plastics2Olefins project, in which it works jointly, and with European funding, in the development of its own plastic recycling technology, fully aligned with the objectives of circularity and sustainability, both ours and our customers´.

Other circular economy projects in which the company participates are focused on the use of biomass for electric power production, or the reuse of vegetable oils for biofuel production. Another area, also along this line, less known, is that the company has developed its own technologies of recycling critical raw materials put on the market to help our customers meet their circularity objectives. These patented technologies, developed by area and the proprietary technology center mentioned by me before, are called Zincex, EcoLead, and Phos4Life.


What is your approach to supporting social and economic progress in developing countries through your operations and products?

Técnicas Reunidas is an engineering services company and our presence in the countries is necessary to develop and build the facilities we design for our clients. This directly affects social and economic progress, because we contribute to the improvement of the situation of all stakeholders involved in these developments.

In addition, the amount of local purchases and contracts is very high, as we exceed 70% of the company’s local purchases and global subcontracts, which translates into an annual figure of around 2 billion euros. The impact, therefore, on apprenticeship, training, employability and improvement of the income level of the area is direct.


With employees of 64 nationalities, how do you foster inclusion, diversity and talent management and retention?

As I have said before, we consider ourselves to be an innovative and, of course, diverse company, and we try to encourage eradication of barriers. To achieve this we organize activities for employees such as internal mobility initiatives, where they have the opportunity to know what is done in other areas to understand more deeply the company, since we are a very large company. Interdisciplinary training courses are also conducted, which promotes person-to-person knowledge and integration.

Among our goals in 2023 was the attraction and retention of talent, as it is a very attractive sector and in which there is a lot of mobility. To achieve this goal, investments into training have been made, flexible working hours have been introduced and teleworking has been promoted very strongly.

Técnicas Reunidas, in collaboration with McKinsey, has recently conducted an organizational health survey, as part of these employee communication mechanisms, to measure satisfaction and assess confidence, safety and occupational health. The Report resulting from this Organizational Health Index, which addresses our practices related to this issue, represents another way in which we maintain active listening approach towards all company members.


This interview has been made to Laura Bravo by the magazine corresponsables, you can find it here:

back to top