The point of a large energy company isn't only to meet the needs of its customers and prosper in the marketplace. Some challenges involve everyone and require responsible businesses to face up to them, because a broad social dialogue is a key part in playing leading role in today's global energy market.
The biggest challenge will be building a future in which sustainability and efficiency go hand-in-hand with a good quality of life. A future in which the gap between the rich and poor is kept within reasonable limits and in which there will no longer be billions of people who have difficulties simply in living a health and dignified life.
This is why the UN named 2014-2024 the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All and committed itself to the fight against energy poverty. As a member of the United Nations Global Compact Lead, Enel has for some time been offering its experience and skills in this fight, in particular through the Enabling Electricity programme, which aims to offer energy access to people who live in isolated, marginalised and rural areas of developing nations. Launched in 2011, last year the programme had already doubled its target for the end of 2014, with 2.3 million people being given access to electricity for the first time thanks to Enel in 12 countries across Latin America and Africa.
The importance of making modern forms of energy available is evident, as it also aids access to water and food, and in general is a powerful driver of economic and social development. In order to raise awareness among institutions and the global public, Enel is also working alongside seven other European energy companies in the promotion of the non-profit association Wame & Expo 2015.
The exhibition, which will be held in Milan with the slogan 'Nourish the planet. Energy for life', offers a great opportunity to stimulate and coordinate the efforts of public institutions, business and volunteer organisations to improve worldwide access to energy and reduce the number of areas of extreme poverty that blot large areas of the planet.