Enel CEO Francesco Starace has taken part for the first time in the Board of the United Nations Global Compact in New York. Starace's participation in the summit comes after being nominated to the Board in May by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, making him both the first representative of an Italian business to be appointed and the only power utility CEO on the Board.
The Global Compact was established on June 26th, 2000, and is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, which is based on CEOs committing to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals. The Board is a cornerstone of the UNGC's governance framework, helping to shape strategy and policy and providing advice on all Global Compact-related matters, particularly on those regarding sustainability.
Around 8,500 businesses take part in the Global Compact, incorporating the Global Compact principles regarding human and labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption into their strategies, policies and procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity. The UN Global Compact's Ten Principles are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
Among the main activities of the Global Compact is its LEAD initiative. Enel is one of the six global companies running the LEAD Board Programme, which aims to reinforce the role of Boards of Directors in integrating sustainability issues into their corporate strategies.
The Global Compact has helped to support the Millennium Development Goals, which were outlined three months after the creation of the Global Compact and have helped to half extreme poverty and the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water globally, increase enrolment in primary education in developing regions to 90% and narrow the gender gap in literacy rates. The Global Compact is also contributing to the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be approved by the UN General Assembly in September and will replace the Millennium Development Goals as the guiding objectives of the UN development agenda for the next 15 years.