Efficiency for the energy transition

Antonio Brufau, President of Repsol and António Calçada. Executive Managing Director of the Repsol Foundation, participated in the VII Funseam International Symposium 2020, organised by the Foundation for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (FUNSEAM).

The event gathered representatives of the international energy sector in Barcelona to analyse the opportunities associated with energy efficiency: how it affects the energy systems, how it will transform them in the future, and which solutions it can bring to businesses, consumers, and politicians in charge.

The inaugural session was attended by many companies from the energy sector and representatives of internationally-relevant public institutions, such as the State Secretary of Energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, the Ministry of Industry, the Ibero-American Association of Energy Regulatory Entities or the Spanish Energy Club.

During the business symposium called “The role of energy efficiency in achieving the ecological transition objectives”, the impacts and opportunities that the efficiency improvement process entails, business productivity, and energy savings in the context of ecological transition were analysed. The experts at the different tables talked about some subjects related to energy, such as the innovation and digitalisation of processes, the connected industry 4.0, or the empowerment of consumers in the new energy scenario.

António Calçada, Executive Managing Director of the Repsol Foundation, participated in the round table focused on transformation, transportation, and the efficient use of energy. During his speech, he highlighted the essential role that energy efficiency is playing in the decarbonisation process and the need to renew the fleet of vehicles, as well as the reduction of emissions caused by industrial activities, and he reiterated that Repsol was the first company of the sector to announce its commitment to reaching zero net CO2 emissions by 2050. Additionally, António highlighted the Repsol Foundation’s new strategy focused on energy transition and society, which is in line with the multi-energy company’s strategy.

To support this, the Foundation created Repsol Social Impact, an investment fund to promote companies that work towards the energy transition and, additionally, have a positive impact on society. Three companies have participated: Koiki, a sustainable last-mile distribution company that bets on sustainable mobility; Sylvestris a company that specializes in reforestation, and GNE Finance, a company that works to improve energy efficiency in buildings through the affordable financing for renovations.

In his speech, the Foundation’s Executive Managing Director said that “we are facing the emergence of a new economy in which financial gains are not the only thing that matters, the company must also have a positive environmental and social impact”.

Antonio Brufau, President of Repsol, was in charge of closing the international business symposium, highlighting the challenge of the transition toward this new, more sustainable energy model: ""Combining the generation of wealth with sustainability is the great challenge that is being assessed in the energy and industrial sectors, as well as in society in general"". Brufau affirmed that there is not only one roadmap, because the reality is more complex and must respond to a growing demand while guaranteeing access to energy.

Similarly, he said that the business models based on innovation and social impact will be called on to solve the problems of the world and to obtain the market’s large shares since this new economy will be “at the service of people and the planet”.

The academic symposium took place on the second day with a speech by António Calçada during the opening ceremony. The conference was attended by leading university researchers that shared their vision on the aspects that will mark the energy sector’s agenda in the upcoming years.

FUNSEAM’s International Business Symposium was born eight years ago with the objective of allowing businesses, government offices, and financial agents to debate on the challenges of the energy sector and its impact on society. Over the course of these years, relevant aspects such as digital transformation, the challenges on the horizon for 2030, the role of the markets, or the relevance of innovation in the achievement of climate-related objectives.