At Enel Sustainability is a strategic, integrated part of business management, growth and development with a view to creating long-term value for the Company and for all its stakeholders. Being sustainable means being competitive today and tomorrow and environmental, social and economic Sustainability is the key to growth in the energy sector. For this reason the Group is focusing on a strategy to unite business and Sustainability, to combine the interests of stakeholders and the needs of local communities, and to promote the development of renewable technologies while respecting the environment. The objective being pursued is a complete vision based on dialogue and involving populations and on the rational use of resources that does not cause a divide between social and economic progress.
The organizational model sees a dedicated Innovation & Sustainability unit reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, in order to highlight that these two areas and their specific activities make an integral contribution to the creation of a new business model and to the Company’s competitiveness. In addition, in the different countries Sustainability managers report directly to the country manager, in order to implement the Group’s strategic guidelines and policies at local level and to develop specific Sustainability activities and projects for each area.
Sustainability is integrated into the business model along the whole value chain and interprets and translates the Group’s strategy into concrete actions, through a precise, challenging and agreed Sustainability Plan, and periodic communication of the key information both inside and outside the Company and in order to increase the ability to attract long-term, socially responsible investors (SRI). The essential point in this approach is the introduction of ESG (environmental, social and governance) Sustainability indicators across the whole value chain, not only for ex post assessment, but above all to take decisions in advance and to strengthen a proactive and not reactive attitude. In this light, Enel intends to leave behind, both internally and externally, the concept of “compensation”, which implies a negative sense of the Group’s presence in the areas where it operates and in regard to its stakeholders.
Enel wants to lead the change and take early advantage of new market opportunities, aware of the fact that the starting point is knowledge of the context in which it is operating.
The integration of sustainability into business processes takes account of, and extends, the experience gained within the Group in developing management models for operations (Business Development, Engineering & Construction, Operation & Maintenance) aimed at creating shared and inclusive value in the medium/long term. Indeed the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes, during both development and operations, depend significantly on stable, constructive relationships with the various stakeholders and on the ability to take a synergic position in local areas, while preventing and managing any socio-environmental impacts.
Framing the whole process are the principles of ethics, transparency, anti-corruption, respect of human rights and protecting safety, which have always been features of Enel’s operations and which are reflected in policies and rules of conduct which are valid for the whole Group.
This model is fully in line with the indications of the United Nations Global Compact, of which Enel has been an active member since 2004, indications which reiterate the importance of increasing the integration of Sustainability into corporate strategic choices. As from June 1, 2015 the Enel Chief Executive Officer is a member of the Board of Directors of United Nations Global Compact, the first representative of an Italian company and the only Chief Executive Officer of a utility to fill this role.
Enel is constantly engaged in managing and measuring its Sustainability performance by using and developing instruments to guarantee an integrated, standardized system of similar projects, information and data which are constantly updated on the basis of trends in the scope of operations and relevant standards, while promoting the sharing of best practice and experience. The Group has adopted systems dedicated to analyzing priorities, managing and reporting on performance, as well as mapping and monitoring Sustainability projects.
In order to increase transparency towards stakeholders, the Group follows and actively participates in the development of new frontiers in reporting in the move towards integrated communication of financial and non-financial performance and dedicated to the individual categories of stakeholders: for example, in 2015 it supported the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) in defining the “Reporting 2025” project, in order to promote international dialogue on future expectations for Sustainability reporting.
Enel’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
On September 25, 2015, the United Nations definitively adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, which were officially launched the following day at the Private Sector Forum held in New York.
Through the SDGs the United Nations invites companies to use creativity and innovation to address the challenges of sustainable development, such as poverty, gender equality, clean water, clean energy and climate change. The eventual success of the new goals depends heavily on the actions which will be taken by all the players involved. On that occasion Enel announced the Group’s intention to contribute to achieving four of the 17 goals. In particular, the Group will contribute by:
The projects, activities, performance and main results, including progress on the SDGs in line with the SDG Compass, are presented in Enel’s Sustainability Report, the completeness and reliability of which are verified by an accredited external auditing firm, by the Control and Risk Committee and by the Corporate Governance and Sustainability Committee.
The document is then approved by the Enel SpA Board of Directors and presented to the Shareholders’ meeting. The Report is analyzed by the socially responsible funds which continue to increase in percentage terms within the Group’s shareholding structure (see the section on “Getting to know Enel – Solid governance”).
The recognition of this commitment is confirmed by Enel’s presence in the main sustainability indices.