Sustainability first and foremost

Sustainability first and foremost

The Enel Group’s latest Sustainability Report has a new, more agile structure with some important new content features, as well as a focus on a great virtue: curiosity


A key aspect of Enel’s 2018 Sustainability Report is curiosity. “Curiosity is the power of today”, in fact, is the concept this year, a natural evolution of the development and of the pathway known as “Seeding Energies,” which was initiated five years ago and has since been the guiding theme of every edition of the Sustainability Report.

In the letter to the stakeholders that prefaces the document, Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace and Chairman Patrizia Grieco write that curiosity "fosters the development of more trusting and collaborative relationships, acting as a multiplier of diversity, stimulating the generation of alternative approaches and unleashing creativity". 

Curiosity is seen not as an end in itself, but as an impetus for innovation, which in our approach is inextricably linked to sustainability, a fact highlighted by our concept of ‘Innovability.’ This sees innovation and sustainability as two sides of the same coin which together are the engine for inclusive growth.

Every year since 2003 we have published the Sustainability Report. This is a complete and thorough document for our stakeholders and describes the actions implemented in order to achieve the Group’s sustainability targets. Enel, in line with the values of inclusivity, materiality and responsiveness with the Accountability Principles Standard AA1000APS and according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), reports the information about its own performance in the most wide-ranging context of sustainability. This includes its own targets as well as the advancement of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The new features of this edition

This year the Report is more agile, digital and interactive. The printed version, which is divided into two parts, leads the reader along a pathway that begins with our business model. It then passes through the Sustainability Plan and the relationships with the rating agencies and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) indices. It also takes an in-depth look at the Group’s different areas of activity, before coming to the results for 2018. There is significant innovation also in the online version that is not merely a copy of the text but is presented with an interactive, web-oriented structure.

In terms of content, the most relevant new feature is the new priority analysis model, which has been enhanced and structured in such a way as to focus the entire Report on the most pertinent themes. These include new technologies, digitalisation, economic and financial value creation, decarbonisation of the energy mix, health and safety at work, as well as sound governance and fair corporate conduct.

Greater emphasis has also been placed on sustainable finance. In addition to the reports on the green bonds, which this year too can be found in an appendix to the Report, we have added an explicit reference to the sustainable Capital Markets Day organised in Milan on 20 November. Furthermore, we highlight the creation, at the level of the holding, of a permanent structure that is among the first in the world to be dedicated to sustainable finance.

As far as decarbonisation is concerned, the new Report contains a section on our commitment to implement the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). We would thus like to reaffirm our commitment to the climate within the context of the conventions of the United Nations framework and the international partnerships (including the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, Eurelectric, Solar Power Europe and Wind Europe). In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are focusing ever more on the sector of renewable resources, but also on energy efficiency and on the electrification of new sectors (starting with transport).

Naturally, the Report has been further enhanced with an even more in-depth emphasis on the circular economy, one of the most contemporary themes, with a focus on Enel X’s role as an accelerator of circularity and on the CirculAbility model which we have developed in order to measure progress on this front.

Further space has been dedicated to the topic of risk management and the relevant countermeasures: from technological risks (in particular, IT security) to those concerning the environment, linked to climate change (not only due to increases in temperature but also to extreme weather events and the water crisis). We also analyse security risks for our personnel: the Report highlights the stop work policy signed by our CEO calling for the immediate interruption of any activity that could endanger the safety of our staff.


How to read the Report

The first part of the Report is entitled “Long-term sustainable growth” and opens with a description of our sustainable business model. This explains how, through the continuous improvement of our organisation, we are building a global model that is increasingly sustainable. That is why we belong to the main international associations for sustainability, such as Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), CSR Europe and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

Tangible evidence of the effectiveness of our model can be observed in the results achieved in 2018: with more than 3GW of new renewable capacity, Enel Green Power set a new record in the sector, consolidating the Group’s outright leadership in clean energy worldwide. An impressive 51% of Enel’s electricity generation results in zero emissions and, overall, our specific emissions level is 0.365kg of CO2 for every kWh produced.

The Group’s new Sustainability Plan 2019-2021 combines diverse cultures and objectives, mature business areas and new activities to launch, promoting a sustainable business model along the entire value chain and based on the 17 SDGs. This is a Plan founded on industrial principles and ESG values that have been viewed very positively by the main specialised ratings agencies. In particular, Enel is ranked in sixth place among the electricity companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, while Endesa is in second place for the conventional electricity sector, according to the FTSE4Good index.

The second part of the Report examines in greater detail our actions concerning sustainability, beginning with the social sphere: we encourage access to electricity in emerging economies but we also endeavour to combat energy poverty in developed countries. Our model of creating shared value entails the full involvement of local communities in our projects, while solidarity and assistance have their own dedicated channel in Enel Cuore, the non-profit organisation that we created in 2003 to foster wellbeing in the areas in which we operate.

Our particular focus on people also concerns the situation within our organisation that emphasises inclusion and the value of diversity in terms of gender, age and disabilities. We pursue this approach not only for ethical reasons but also because diversity is enriching. In order to ensure a happy and relaxed working environment, we promote listening and dialogue and encourage a healthy work-life balance, for example through smart working and flexible working hours. This flexibility is also at the heart of our agile approach that we promote in all areas of the Group, also through a dedicated unit.

Our attention to people also means listening to the needs of clients and a commitment to providing quality services. Enel is continuously improving its operations, and this particular aspect has gathered significant momentum thanks to Enel X, the company which was established to drive the transformation of the energy sector. Technological innovation is at the heart of everything, particularly concerning digitalisation: the Group has achieved a full-cloud scenario, which both improves efficiency and reduces the environmental impact.

The final part of the Report describes the backbones of our Group. Corporate governance, which is inspired by international best practices for corporate organisations, gives special attention to human rights and other principles outlined in our Code of Ethics. Health and safety in the workplace are increasingly integrated into our processes, while our environmental policy, in addition to defending the climate, also includes our commitment to reducing atmospheric pollution, safeguarding biodiversity and ensuring the responsible management of water, soil and waste. Last but not least, we believe it to be of great importance to extend our principles across the entire supply chain, both in terms of raw materials and for the requisites asked of our suppliers. Because at Enel, sustainability knows no limits.