Approximately 16% of investments in our portfolio are road- related, including projects in France, southern Europe, Germany, Netherlands and the US. At DIF we recognise that the stakeholders for our roads are not just their users but all those impacted by their vehicle emissions – both now and in the future.
Roads is an asset class where we believe considerable cross- pollination is possible, so we actively share sustainability best practices across our portfolio investments to raise standards of safety, energy efficiency and techniques for community investment.
The creation and maintenance of roads remains central to economic growth across the world, but they must be fit for the electric vehicle revolution and be made as safe and sustainable as possible. Benefits emerging from some of our road projects include:
- Improved safety: We are seeing improved safety performance across our road portfolio by using technology such as ‘Connected glasses’ to prevent drowsiness, on the A63 in France, or by putting workers at the heart of worker safety as the Norte Litoral toll road in Portugal do.
- Energy saving: Innovations such as replacing 100,000 street lights with modern LEDs in Walloon, Belgium or integrating solar panels to power smart signage as our US roads team have done are making roads more environmentally-friendly.
- Conservation: Our roads are minimising biodiversity impact through initiatives such as converting vegetation cuttings into usable biomass in Aragon, Spain, enabling sheep grazing in the Netherlands or modernising wastewater treatment in Chile through a plant that uses treated effluent for irrigation and biogas recovery.
- Driving community investment: Our projects put communities at the heart of their development. From initiatives to help the long-term unemployed back to work in constructing the A1 and A6 in the Netherlands, to organising collections for local charities across the world, or integrating absorbent noise barriers to prevent noise pollution such as in residential parts of the A150 in France.
“Our projects have the technical know-how, standards and systems to build and maintain safer, more environmentally-friendly world-class roads. As responsible stewards we actively share best practices across our global portfolio to lift the ESG performance of all and benefit not just the users of our roads but all those impacted by them.”
Head of Asset Management, DIF Capital Partners