Sustainability has been at the center of our business model and our way of working for years.
In 2015, the United Nations approved the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development and relevant Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs), to be achieved by 2030. We immediately started to integrate the UN’s seventeen SDGs into our company policies, defining specific targets.
They have become a compass for our work, to strengthen our commitment to an increasingly sustainable business model.
In the autumn of 2019, we launched the world’s first general purpose SDG-linked bonds – inviting the market to invest in our achievements, measured against four specific goals. The first was a 1.5-billion-dollar bond on the US market and, in Europe, the second was a multi-tranche issue of 2.5 billion euros. The success of these bonds on both sides of the Atlantic has shown that we are on the right track. But more importantly, it has shown the rest of the world that investing in sustainability is now also synonymous with economic value.
The four goals that our performance is measured by
Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.
Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity.
Innovation and investments in infrastructure are crucial to sustainable development.
All cities need to provide basic services, energy, housing, and transportation for everyone.
Climate change is at the top of the list
For a company like ours, Climate Action (SDG 13) represents the biggest challenge and opportunity. Enel has consolidated its leadership in the energy transition by accelerating the decarbonization process. This has led to a considerable reduction in emissions compared with 2017 levels, as certified by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a global initiative that validates corporate decarbonization strategies. Enel is therefore committed to reducing its direct emissions of greenhouse gases per kWh by 80% by 2030, with respect to 2017 levels. We also aim to reach full decarbonization by 2040, which is ten years ahead of the targets set out in the Paris Agreement and at COP 26.
Naturally, we are also increasing our capacity for producing Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7).
Over the next three years the Group will invest roughly 19 billion euros in renewable forms of energy, and this will lead to a total renewable capacity of about 77 GW in 2024, an increase of approximately 43% with respect to 2021.
In addition to the way energy is produced, society’s sustainable growth also depends on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9). For this reason, we plan to invest 18 billion euros in infrastructure and networks over the next three years.
As for Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), we are investing in a series of new electrification services. These services will lead to a Demand Response Capacity of 13 GW in 2024, and we will have 1.1 million electric vehicle charging points by 2024, thereby enabling consumers to play a key role in how energy is stored, shared and used more efficiently.
Sustainability is an all-inclusive undertaking
Enel is committed every day to promoting social and economic development – reaching out to disadvantaged communities in different parts of the world. Besides bringing access to clean energy where it is most needed, we have invested heavily in support for Quality education (SDG 4) and Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8). By working this way, the progress of each person is an invaluable part of the progress of humanity as a whole.
A thousand ways to bring change
Searching for shared value for the Company and its stakeholders provides an opportunity to combine competitiveness with long-term social value creation.
With approximately 1,600 projects in the various countries where we operate, we actively contribute to the development and social and economic growth of its regions. This includes expanding infrastructure, education and training programs, initiatives aimed at social inclusion, and projects supporting cultural and economic life in line with the SDGs. Partnerships with organizations operating at the local level that promote regional development through innovative and tailored interventions are a fundamental tool for these projects. Take our involvement in Liter of Light or Barefoot College.
Closer to home, we have numerous Futur-e projects that bring new life to disused power plants. An inclusive approach towards the stakeholders also means circular economy solutions: an infrastructure of decommissioned power plants can be transformed in other ways to benefit the community, while involving a number of different stakeholders.
A new pathway to socially responsible investment in Africa’s growth
In order to increase the funding of renewable energy products in Africa, we are currently taking part in an initiative to facilitate European investors. RenewAfrica is based on a public and private sector program that aims to provide energy access to a large population that has none. The ultimate goal is to reduce poverty and promote growth and development in a sustainable way. This is yet another example of how the pursuit of sustainability can be beneficial for everyone.