'Social responsibility shouldn't be seen as a slogan or a marketing tool, but as a central part of corporate strategy. Bringing energy to new regions means aiding social, economic and economic development that opens up new markets to businesses,' said Enel president Paolo Andrea Colombo at the unveiling of WAME - World Access to Modern Energy Expo 2015 on 11 March. 'We need to understand that sustainable strategies generate long-term value for businesses and shareholders.'
WAME is a non-profit organisation created by an alliance between Expo 2015 and eight energy businesses – A2A, Edison, Enel, Eni, E.ON Italia, Gas Natural Italia, GDF SUEZ Energia Italia and Tenaris – that shows how the adoption of sustainable business strategies cam create long-term value both for the business and its shareholders.
Estimates suggest that around 1.3 billion people don't have access to clean energy for cooking, heating, bathing or cleaning. Around 40 percent of the world's inhabitants don't possess the necessary basic tools for supporting themselves and developing their local environment. WAME's aim is to raise awareness of energy poverty among the international public and the institutions that will take part in the Milan Expo. In order to nourish the planet, energy is a necessity.
'The association wants to take advantage of the stage offered by the Expo in order to show what can be done and what is already being done,' said WAME president Pippo Ranci during the media conference. 'The businesses that have chosen to work with us have made a great contribution to social responsibility, instead of choosing something that gives them more visibility.' The association will also develop a digital database and will organise events during the Milan Expo.
Enel is involved with the Expo through the realisation of smart energy network that will make the event economically and environmentally sustainable. The Group is also fighting against energy poverty with the Enabling Electricity initiative which last year carried out 30 projects in 12 countries, giving electricity to 2.3 million people.
'Obviously this is a drop in the ocean compared to the numbers that we need to take on,' said Colombo. 'I believe that pooling our strengths as WAME allows, we can and we must achieve something important.'