A sustainable future for all


Since is foundation in 1916, Zona Franca has acted as an economic driving force for Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain, while also converting the city into an international benchmark for industry, business and logistics. 

We have gone one step further in 2020 and incorporated compliance with the SDGs espoused by the United Nations into our philosophy; goals which represent a roadmap to alleviate the effects of climate change and to fight the against the main challenges facing society at present.

Sustainability — both environmental, social and economic — has served as a compass to guide our activity, developing all the mechanisms required to carry out actions that truly impact on the environment, on business and on our alliances.

«El Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB) has a key role to play in the development of the economy of Barcelona’s metropolitan area and in the transition towards an economy committed to innovation, technology, ecology and the generation of quality employment.»

Ada Colau

The outbreak of COVID-19 saw us immediately get down to business, putting ourselves at the service of the city by establishing collaborations with different entities through our European High Technology Centre 3D Incubator to make up to 400 ventilators and 1,783 splitters that were distributed among Intensive Care Units suffering from shortages of apparatus for COVID-19 patients.

We continue to be a centre that creates jobs and attracts talent by managing incubators that provide start-ups with the ideal setting in which to prosper and transform our innovation and new technologies based economy. Firm steps have been taken to decarbonise the economy, allying our organisation with TMB to implement a hydrogen station in our industrial estate, promoting different initiatives to contribute to environment care, creating new greenfields and integrating a new, more sustainable industrial culture that co-exists with the Barcelona urban landscape.

Our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda permeates our activity, our decision-making and our vision of the future. A more sustainable future for all.

Environmental declaration

Sustainable Development Goals

Our roadmap

Priority SDGs

Economic sustainability

The Zona Franca acts as an economic driving force for Barcelona, converting it into a benchmark in southern Europe, promoting as it does the region and investing in goods and services that boost development. Throughout 2020, we continued to generate economic and social value through lines of business that directly dovetail with our commitment to sustainability.

We have worked to good governance practices by taking initiatives against corruption and money laundering. To this end, we have drawn up several reports in recent financial years and given training about these documents to the management team.

Our Transparency Portal, which brings together our institutional, regulatory and financial documentation and information, serves as a channel of communication with the general public and provides them with any information they may require. Not to mention the publication of our Annual Corporate Report — both in hard copy and digitally — in three languages, which provides a detailed guide to our management and explains our projects.

Zona Franca is careful to avoid the use of mistaken information or misinformation aimed at manipulating its recipient so as to avoid unfair competition and to encourage responsible publicity. 

Moreover, we protect the privacy of our users by strictly controlling personal data in application of European Parliament Regulation (EU) 2016/679 to avoid the disclosure or unauthorised processing of the same.

For the Zona Franca, economic stability must be tied to improvements in social conditions by driving economic activity. That is why we have regulated business actions so that management mechanisms are fairer and more transparent. Our work seeks to unite all initiatives of this nature with the fostering of economic activity, thereby linking it to meeting and aligning with the 2030 Agenda 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Priority Sustainable Development Goals for our organisation

Environmental sustainability

As part of our commitment to the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, it is essential to identify the main direct and indirect impacts our activity and that of the companies that operate from Zona Franca.

We have generated two systems for this purpose. Firstly, certification under the European EMAS Regulation, which identifies, pursues and proposes improvement targets to reduce and control the impact caused by Zona Franca activity. The following are just some of the areas in which we have enhanced our environmental effectiveness:

Secondly, the system seeks to alleviate the indirect impact of business activity at the industrial estate through the circular economy. EcoCircularZF, in operation since 2017, has managed to find opportunities to improve the management of the resources available at the industrial estate in the pursuit of zero waste.

Its endeavours in 2020 have prioritised six particular work areas:

  • Recovery of industrial packaging
  • Energy resource
  • Water resource
  • Recovery of organic material
  • Mobility
  • Other synergies

Materiality analysis

We listen to our stakeholders

Since 2018, we have been conducting an analysis process to determine and attend to the expectations of our stakeholders, which also provides us with a useful tool to study the most important and material management aspects and results at Zona Franca.

This year we carried out a preliminary analysis of 41 material aspects and the importance they have for our organisation as well as our stakeholders with a view to sounding out our respective visions of social, economic and environmental sustainability to enable us to take a deeper look at the future and better engage with our external stakeholders.

In our sample materiality matrix, there was notable consensus with respect to the importance both stakeholders and Zona Franca give to particularly key issues, such as:

  • Driving the regional economy.
  • Collaborating and reaching consensus with public and private actors.
  • Circular economy (environmental context).
  • Ethics, transparency and good governance.
  • Services efficiency.
  • Promoting new technologies (digitalisation, 3D, IoT).
  • Presence of and collaboration with local entities.
  • Fair payment terms and conditions for suppliers.
  • Protecting information privacy.
  • Safekeeping public assets.
  • Occupational health and safety (risk prevention, etc.).
  • Non-discrimination and equal opportunities at work.

These aspects are inherent to Zona Franca activity, and to the chain of value, community and social-labour context in which the organisation pursues its activity. This is just a further example not only of the commitment to, but also of Zona Franca alignment with its stakeholders, while actively listening to them to better target its impact on those strategic points where it has most to offer.

Sustainability Report 2020
Communication on engagment – Global Compact