The companies in the Enel Group worldwide play an important role as drivers of growth and social and economic development in the countries and local communities in which they operate.
One of the aspects on which Enel has the possibility of making a substantial contribution is in reducing the energy divide of the communities that live in isolated regions or with a low level of development and which may not have access to energy due to the lack of production or distribution infrastructure.
Through rural electrification programs the Group can allow these populations to access electricity, thus providing an important boost to the social and economic growth opportunities of the areas concerned. In the areas covered by the Group’s activities, the phenomena of lack of access to energy can be found in the countries of Latin America, where the percentage of the total population not served by the distribution network is 1.6%, while in Italy and in all the European countries in which Enel operates as a distributor this percentage is zero.
In light of the essential importance that this issue has for companies in the energy sector, and the Group’s significant presence in countries in which the lack of access to energy is a significant phenomenon, Enel has launched Enabling Electricity, a medium to long term program aimed at combating the energy divide in the countries where it is present (Sustainability Report - page 218).
In addition, rural electrification projects include not only programs to extend the electric infrastructure, but also interventions to combat problems in conduct (such as the theft of electricity or non-payment of bills), especially in urban areas with a high level of social marginalization. This stimulates a social and cultural change which promotes the legitimate inclusion of new users in the electricity grid.
Enel can contribute to the quality of life and to the growth of the communities where it operates also through interventions for education and social inclusion. In order to combat social exclusion in Spain, for example, Endesa has signed with the Adecco foundation a work training plan for young people with limited economic resources, which offers the participants the chance to receive help in looking for work, together with cross-cutting initiatives to
develop the integration of young people in companies (coaching, corporate voluntary work). This project will be introduced in all the countries in which
The objective of Enel Green Power in Latin America is to create the conditions for basic education and the instruments for economic self-sustainability also in the most remote geographic areas. The means range from structural works (construction of school buildings, restructuring or fitting out of IT laboratories) and action to support young and adult students, such as the provision to children of a backpack containing everything they need for school, or the financing of study grants in collaboration with public institutions or interventions to support rural recycling and the optimal use of natural resources.
In Slovakia almost 70 projects have been started focused mainly on helping the homeless and on the social inclusion of marginalized groups. The main objective is to systematically contribute over the long term to returning these people to a normal life. To this end, a partnership has been entered into with the non-profit organization “Homeless Theatre”, a theatrical club which opens its doors also to people on the margins of society and which uses the theatre to address various social issues, with the aim of combating the most common stereotypes or prejudices.
Another instrument which makes a decisive contribution to the development of communities and is important, in terms of their experience, also for the people who take an active part in it is corporate voluntary work. Enel Romania, in collaboration with the local authorities, has developed a volunteer program by employees in social or environmental activities which will be progressed in 2012. The launch of the program is envisaged for World Environment Day in June, in which employees who wish to be involved can take part in activities to clean parks, plant trees and seeds, etc.
In France Enel has started a partnership with “Alter’action”, a humanitarian, non-governmental organization, which gives employees the possibility of dedicating part of their work hours to supporting the activities of the organization, and so making available their specific skills (legal, financial, technical, etc.).
Finally, in Panama in 2011 Enel Green Power employees dedicated almost 1,000 man-days to volunteering, linked in particular to initiatives in the field of health, infrastructure for the community and agriculture
Last update: May 2012