In February 2012, together with the main European utility companies, Enel set up BetterCoal, a global initiative with the aim of promoting continuous improvement in companies’ responsibility in the coal production chain. Bettercoal intends to enhance ethical, social and environmental practices in the coal production chain, so as to bring improvement for workers, communities and the environment.
Since the creation of Bettercoal, the founding companies have contributed to the definition of a code, with the aim of creating a global reference for ethical, social and environmental practices in the management and operation of mines. The alignment of operations in the various mines to the principles contained in the Bettercoal code can be done through self-assessment by mine operators and verified by an independent auditor appointed by Bettercoal. Should cases of non-compliance be found compared to operational best practice, an action plan is jointly drawn up.
During 2015, the association undertook 3 on site audits at mines which had adhered to the project and completed the self-assessment of 12 mines (another 4 are about to complete it). In addition, the number of members of the association rose to 13 (11 in 2014), plus 4 associate members (3 in 2014).
Alongside its own operational development, Bettercoal is increasingly becoming a role model for collaboration that seeks to improve socially responsible practices in the coal production chain. In all these activities, Enel has been an active participant and has strongly promoted, among other things, involvement in the initiative among its own suppliers and at the main institutional and coal-sector organizations.
In addition, Bettercoal’s involvement in various forums relating to coal and sustainability continued to grow to the point that the initiative became a reference point used by European governments as an example of improved collaboration on responsibility in the supply chain. Finally, Enel, in relation to purchases by sea from the international market, in 2016 will adopt a procedure which will include the Bettercoal analysis in the process of selecting counterparties.