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Spanish water management company recognised as world’s second-best company of the year

  • Spanish water management company recognised as world’s second-best company of the year
  • Aqualia has just received the "Distinction Award" in the category of Best Water Company of the Year, the highest level of the Global Water Awards 2022 (the "Oscars" of water) awarded by the British communication platform GWI.

  • In the same awards, the company has been included among the four finalists in the Net Zero Carbon Champion category, for its global decarbonisation strategy through numerous R&D projects and its recently presented 2021-2023 Strategic Sustainability Plan.

  • In addition, Víctor Monsalvo, head of the Eco-efficiency Area in the Innovation and Technology Department, received an award at the Water Tech Idol for his MIDES project presentation, a water desalination system without energy costs that is unique in the world.

About the entity

Aqualia
Aqualia is the water management company owned by the citizen services group FCC (51%) and by the Australian ethical fund IFM Investors (49%). Aqualia is Europe's fourth largest private water company in terms of population served.

Themes

Aqualia has received triple recognition at the Global Water Awards 2022, awarded by the British communications platform Global Water Intelligence. They are known as the "Oscars of water". The water management company received a Distinction Award (which is equivalent to second place) in the main category of "Best Water Company of the Year". Aqualia was also selected among the four finalists in the Net Zero Carbon Champion category. Finally, Víctor Monsalvo, head of the Eco-efficiency Area in the Innovation and Technology Department, was recognised with the "Distinction Water Tech Idol" for his MIDES project presentation, a water desalination system without energy costs that is unique in the world.

The Global Water Awards 2022 (see list of winners), one of the main awards in the international water sector, were unveiled at the gala dinner of the Global Water Summit, held in Madrid this week. The award given to Aqualia as the word’s second-best water management company after Manila Water, the operating company in the capital of the Philippines, is a recognition of the company's achievements in 2021, as well as its contributions to the development of the sector worldwide.

With its inclusion on the short list of four finalists in the Net Zero Carbon Champion category, the jury of the Global Water Awards 2022 endorses Aqualia's global strategy in favour of decarbonisation. To this end, the company is developing numerous R&D projects and presented, at the end of 2021, its 2023 Strategic Sustainability Plan, focused on reducing consumption, creating alliances, and developing technology.

2021, an exemplary year for Aqualia

In a context of crisis resulting from the pandemic, Aqualia has managed to achieve a renewal rate of almost 100% in its national concessions. The company also reached agreements with different public operators such as the Bilbao-Bizkaia Water Consortium (CABB), which provides drinking water and sanitation services to nearly 1 million people in the Basque Country.

On the international scene, Aqualia maintained and even accelerated the growth rate of previous years. The award of three contracts to manage water for 90,000 inhabitants near Paris, the acquisition of 80% of the operator Georgia Global Utilities, which operates the water cycle for 1.4 million people in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, and the award of the O&M (Operation and Maintenance) in the water facilities of the Jizan Industrial Area (Saudi Arabia) are some of the most important achievements of the company in 2021.

The company is working on more than 20 R&D&I projects related to the transformation of waste into resources, water circularity and carbon neutrality

The good pace of construction of the mega-infrastructures in which the company is involved, such as the Abu Rawash Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Cairo, the desalination plant in Guaymas (Mexico) and the El Salitre WWTP in Bogotá - which came into operation at the end of 2021 - confirms the reinforcement of its leadership position and Aqualia's reliability in all stages of the end-to-end water cycle.

Commitment to sustainability and decarbonisation

Aqualia seeks to provide environmental, social, and economic solutions, and strives to provide a quality service at all stages of the end-to-end water cycle, preserving water resources and the environment and improving management efficiency.

The company is working on more than 20 R&D&I projects related to the transformation of waste into resources, water circularity and carbon neutrality. Some good examples are the H2020-MIDES project, which has developed a desalination system that is unique in the world with no energy cost; the Life-Metamorphosis project, which can reduce energy demand by up to 73% and associated CO2 emissions by 80%; or the AD-VISOR project, which transforms meat industry by-products into sustainable fuel and other value-added products in wastewater treatment plants.

The 2021-2023 Strategic Sustainability Plan, on which Aqualia has been working intensively this year, is based on adapting to and minimising climate change. The launch of this plan is a milestone for the company, as it defines projects, actions and performance indicators and measures Aqualia's contribution to the SDGs.

The company is working to achieve the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, as well as achieving 100% water circularity, among other important objectives.

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