This code expresses the ethical commitments and responsibilities fulfilled in the performance of business activities and corporate operations by the staff members of all the companies of the Enel Group (*), meaning both the executives and the employees, in every sense of the term, of these enterprises.
Enel aims to maintain and develop a relationship of trust with its stakeholders, meaning those categories of individuals, groups, or institutions that play a role in accomplishing Enel's mission or have an interest in pursuing that mission.
Stakeholders are those who make investments tied to Enel’s activities, meaning, first and foremost, the shareholders, followed by staff members, clients, suppliers, and business partners. In a broader sense, the term refers to all those individuals or groups, as well as the organizations or institutions that represent them, whose interests are directly or indirectly affected by Enel’s activities: i.e., the local and national communities in which Enel operates, as well as environmental groups, future generations, etc.
Unethical conduct in the performance of business activities compromises the relationship of trust between Enel and its stakeholders.
Unethical behaviors that favor attitudes of hostility towards the Group include attempts on the part of anyone, either an individual or an organization, to reap the benefits from the contributions of others by exploiting positions of power.
The value of a good reputation and fiduciary duties
A good reputation is an essential intangible resource. A good reputation in external relations favors investments by shareholders, client loyalty, recruiting the best human resources, supplier's peace of mind, and reliability in the eyes of creditors. In terms of internal affairs, a good reputation makes it possible to take decisions and implement them without friction, organizing work activities without bureaucratic controls and an excessive use of authority.
Given that the Code of Ethics clearly states Enel’s specific duties towards its stakeholders (fiduciary duties), it is proposed that observance of the code be used as the term of comparison for judging Enel’s reputation. The Code of Ethics consists of:
- the general principles governing relations with stakeholders, which determine, in an abstract manner, the values of reference for judging Enel's activities;
- the criteria of conduct toward each category of stakeholder, which generate the specific guidelines and standards that Enel staff members are required to follow in order to comply with the general principles and prevent the risk of unethical forms of behavior;
- the mechanisms of implementation, which form the system of control designed to ensure the observance and continuous improvement of the Code of Ethics.
The value of reciprocity
Inherent in the Code of Ethics is an ideal of cooperation meant to work to the mutual advantage of the parties involved, in accordance with the role of each. With this in mind, Enel requests that each stakeholder deal with the Group according to principles and rules based on a similar idea of ethical conduct.
Validity and application of the code
The Code of Ethics applies to all the companies of the Enel Group, meaning that it is binding for the conduct of all the staff members of those companies. In addition, Enel requests that the conduct of all its associated or subsidiary enterprises, as well as its chief suppliers, comply with the general principles of the present code.
The Code of Ethics is valid both in Italy and abroad, albeit in accordance with the cultural, social, and economic differences in the various Countries where Enel operates.
In fact, should the standards of environmental protection, social security, and work safety, as well as the economic and regulatory treatment of staff members, be lower in the Countries where Enel operates than is normally the case in Italy, then Enel shall undertake to guarantee an ongoing and appreciable improvement in the levels offered locally, in keeping with the principles of this Code.
Internal and external stakeholders, whether they are employees, clients, suppliers, community representatives, etc., may report here any violation or suspected violation by personnel belonging to the Group or its counterparts (this is also known as whistleblowing), including behaviors and practices that could be the cause of financial damage or prejudice for Enel.
(*) From this point forward, the term “Enel” shall refer to all the companies of the Group.