Thanks to the Ecoelce project, people in Brazil can cut their energy bills by simply bringing their household waste to designated collection points. The initiative was launched by Enel energy distribution business Coelce as part of Enabling Electricity programme, which was created by the Group in order to guarantee energy access for people who live in isolated and underprivileged communities in rural, urban and suburban areas.
Ecoelce promotes energy efficiency, cuts the rate of disease caused by poor waste management and reduces consumption of raw materials and the impact of waste.
The project also offers considerable economic advantages: the lower cost of bills helps increase the business' customer base, leads to fewer unpaid bills and reduces energy theft. It also encourages development of the waste recycling industry.
The initiative, sponsored by Abinee (Associação Brasileira da Indústria Elétrica e Eletrônica), also provides 13 collection points for batteries throughout Rio de Janeiro. In August alone a ton of batteries were collected for recycling.
Projects like Ecoelce are an example of how sustainability can work with business. The Enel Group has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2004, following the ten universal principles regarding human rights, labour protection, environmental protection and the fight against corruption.
Last year Coelce invested 19.6 million Brazilian Reals in the country's social and environmental projects, from which benefitted 1.5 million people. Of this investment, 8.4 million Brazilian Reals have been used for educational projects regarding a safe and rational use of energy, in addition to energy efficiency initiatives, which have seen the replacement of refrigerators and light bulbs with more efficient versions in more than 46,500 households.