A responsible behaviour can also become a competitive advantage. This concept was emphasized by the European Commission in the last report it issued on the CSR, A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Commission proposed a new definition of corporate social responsibility as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”. Following the adoption of this new definition, companies will have to use processes that integrate environmental, social and ethical aspects, as well as compliance with human rights and with the rights of customers.
Synergism and cooperation with every stakeholder, aimed at creating value for shareholders and society in general, is essential.
Specifically, the Commission pointed out that a strategic approach to sustainability will become increasingly significant also to increase the competitiveness of companies.
If responsibility practices are successfully managed, benefits can be produced in terms of risk management, cost reduction, human resources management and ability to innovate. Access to capital and customer relations can also improve, at a time in which the economic downturn has damaged the relationship with customers and diminished trust within the business sector.
Indeed, the European Commission considers the proactive role of companies vis-à-vis CSR an essential element to face the new challenges that are imposed by the economic crisis.
Enel has already replied to this request, by incorporating the Corporate Social Responsability into its core business in all the countries in which the Group operates.