Enel Among the Companies that Can “Change the World”

Published on Thursday, 17 September 2015

Enel has been included in Fortune magazine’s ranking of the fifty companies that “can change the world”. Fortune compiled a list called “Change the World”, awarding businesses that benefit the community. The US magazine collaborated with FSG (a non-profit consulting firm active in the social field), reaching out to businesses, academics and non-profit experts around the world to collect nominations for companies that promote the “common good” as part of their strategy.

The companies in the Change the World ranking were chosen according to the following criteria: their degree of business innovation, the measurable impact on an important social challenge, the contribution of shared-value activities to the company’s profitability and competitive advantage, and the significance of their shared value effort to the overall business. Fortune’s journalists further examined the applicants before drawing up the final 50 companies, based on reports and available analyses.

According to the influential US business magazine, Enel was chosen, ‘for its ability to eliminate the barriers to the development of clean energy’. This recognition is all the more important since Enel has been ranked fifth among the selected companies, and is both the only utility and the only Italian company to be included in the list. Fortune praised Enel for its leadership in the renewable sector, a result that one would usually ‘expect from small and ambitious companies, rather than large multinational corporations’. In fact, 38 percent of the electricity generated by the Group comes from renewable sources, with that figure set to rise to 48 percent within the next four years. Moreover, the Group’s energy production is characterised by its commitment to community development, as in the case of Powering Education, a project presented by Enel Green Power and Enel Foundation on September 8th at the EXPO in Milan on the national day of Kenya. The initiative is one of the first attempts to establish a bond between two key issues regarding sustainable growth in emerging countries: the electrification of rural areas using renewable energy and the promotion of  the education level. The first phase of the project involved 12 schools and 350 students in southern Kenya, with results that demonstrate for the first time how lighting from renewable sources – with so-called "solar lamps" – has favourably affected academic performance, thanks to a longer average use, in addition to benefiting families by reducing their weekly energy bills by 10-15 percent.

Fortune also praised Enel CEO Francesco Starace’s commitment to make carbon neutral by 2050. ‘We are delighted that Fortune has recognised the key role of the power industry in driving progress in the world and Enel's leadership within it’, Starace stated. ‘Electricity is fundamental for industrial and agricultural production and job creation, it improves education and healthcare, and it opens up new opportunities for growth. Our role is to ensure an energy supply that is available to all and sustainable over the long term, and we need to make sure it is delivered in harmony with the needs of the communities we are part of’.

The Group's commitment to sustainability as an integral part of its values is demonstrated by its ranking (the second utility) in Fortune’s Global 500 index and by its admission to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) for the twelfth year in a row. The index, which was launched in 1999, tracks the sustainability performance of the world’s leading corporations and includes only 317 companies.