Sustainability: the Future of Business

Published on Thursday, 30 October 2014

Today the integration of sustainable principles and practices into business strategy is an increasingly important part ofcreating value, meaning that there is a need to create a development model that encourages competition while also respecting the environmentand society.

This is the conclusion of the New Business Models – Shared value in the 21st centuryreportpublished by Enel Foundation and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The study was unveiled during the second edition of the Italian CSR and Social Innovation Fair promoted by the Bocconi University in Milan. It examines how companies perceive sustainability issues and how this will translate into new business models that put more focus on the creation of shared value, or rather their ability to 'respond to present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.'

The objective of the research project was to understand the perception and the evolution of sustainable business principles and practices, explained the Enel Foundation's Head of Sustainable Development and Innovation Research Area Renata Mele

'This is why we conducted a survey of 285 top managers in Asia, Europe and North America,' Mele said. 'They were asked questions on the integration of sustainability principles, their direct impact on business and strategy, and what developments there will be in regards to the creation of shared value as the basis of their business.'

According to Aviva Freudmann, EMEA Research Director at EIU, the goal of a corporate sustainability policy should be to ensure that the resources used today will still be available for future generations.

 'The study presented in Milan is the result of the company's commitment to the development of corporate social responsibility,' said Marina Miglioratofrom Enel's CSR. 'Being a big international player and one of Italy's key examples of good sustainability practices, the Group could not shirk this role. Future generations, youth unemployment and social inclusion are all crucial issues on the country's agenda, and as always, Enel is committed to offering an innovative contribution.' 

Migliorato also pointed out that for years the company has given the management and planning of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) a key roleintegrating both sustainability and operational excellence into its global business model.