We are at a turning point. On one side, new technologies open up to unprecedented scenarios, on the other, climate change and enduring poverty and ancestral backwardness impose a new sustainable development model.
Companies should change mindset and business approach, but how can they manage that? Companies that have joined the United Nations Global Compact are providing an answer to this question, whose keywords are innovation and sustainability, combined.
On November 9 and 10, a new Global Compact LEAD Symposium gathered representatives of the companies contributing to the UN initiative in Cambridge (United Kingdom). The debate centered on the importance of innovation in building a new global and common path to sustainable development.
“Enel presented its global experience consisting in combining digital innovation and sustainable development, sharing economy and business, environmental protection and industry”
Changing to lead change
The Global Compact is the greatest global initiative involving companies that apply sustainability as the founding principle for a new way of doing business.
Launched by the United Nations in 2000, it involves more than 8,700 companies and organisations from over 160 countries. Their shared objective is promoting a sustainable global economy, respectful of human and labour rights, environmental protection and fight against corruption.
“The Global Compact is a global pact of shared principles and values, which will give a human face to the global market.”
– Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General
In 2011 Enel joined the Global Compact LEAD, a body that gathers about 50 selected global companies members of the UN initiative that are a benchmark in economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The keystone of innovation
The digital revolution and innovations capable of disrupting consolidated markets and business are the new drivers of the race against time to place sustainability at the centre of the new global business model.
Enel Green Power’s Head of Innovation and Sustainability Riccardo Amoroso spoke at the LEAD Symposium, relating our experience and vision in renewable energy, a field that is particularly dynamic and open to newness.
The energy generated from the sun, wind, the water and the Earth’s heat has an increasingly central role in the new energy paradigm. Thanks to disruptive innovation, it is possible to renew this renewable energy, turning it growingly efficient, widespread and competitive.
For instance, storage systems allow us to respond to issues related to renewable energy, such as the intermittence of sun and wind and the need to grant stable access to electricity to isolated communities, by adapting offers and solutions to the requirements of each consumer through widespread home batteries.
We integrate energy storage systems into our solar and wind field, we harness various renewable sources at our hybrid plants in Italy and the USA, and we are developing micro-grids to respond effectively to the need for access to energy involving more than a billion people worldwide. These are examples of innovations that can change the customary use of energy by defining new business models.
A common space to turn the page
The Cambridge meeting was also the occasion to spread the objectives of the Project Breakthrough, conceived by Global Compact in partnership with the global agency Volans to speed up the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Project Breakthrough is a platform aimed to facilitate the connection between large companies and the new generations of entrepreneurs and innovators”
At Cambridge, we participated in the second Innovation LAB of the Breakthrough Innovation Challenge with the experience gained in the field of renewable energy, ICT, mini-grid and electric infrastructure development.
Enel’s global team of four people worked and will continue to work for thewhole of 2017 alongside another 10 companies – also global leaders - on the basis of a challenge pertaining to the energy industry. From this starting point, it designed business models for the future, more sustainable and built on the market transformation force that characterises disruptive technologies.
Clean energy, smart technologies, digital solutions applied to all our activities are the result and simultaneously the tool of our dialogue with the global network of individual startuppers, innovative and large mainstream companies, which daily search for unprecedented ideas, the long-awaited solution that nobody has yet found.