The Future of Sustainability Reporting

Published on Thursday, 22 October 2015

‘Sustainable development initiatives are key for a global company such as Enel. Through our daily activities related to sustainability, innovation and social progress, we positively contribute to facing the great challenges and emergencies that lie before us. At the same time, it is equally important that these initiatives be communicated in an adequate manner. Therefore, meetings such as this one, where we discuss the evolution of sustainability reporting activities, are of great importance,’ said Enel’s CEO, Francesco Starace, in his opening remarks at the Global Reporting Initiative Forum (GRI), held on October 21st at the Enel Auditorium in Rome. The forum resulted in a two-day meeting to analyse future scenarios of company technology, data and business development: topics that will be at the heart of corporate culture during the next ten years.

In fact, the GRI – an independent international organisation whose objective is to define worldwide standards on the future of "Sustainable reporting" – has long been helping businesses, governments and other organisations communicate their sustainability performance. The GRI has therefore designed and promoted the project Reporting 2025, in collaboration with Enel, SAP and the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. The goal of the project is to outline the key issues that companies must face in order transition towards a fully sustainable economy.

During the Forum, the GRI’s Chief Advisor on Innovation in Reporting, Nelmara Arbex, presented the first analysis paper – entitled “Sustainability and Reporting Trends in 2025” – on current sustainability reporting trends. Interviews showed that new data technologies will allow for real-time updates on reports: companies will therefore be asked to communicate their decisions in a quick and transparent manner, particularly on issues such as climate change and human rights. Representatives who intervened during the roundtable discussion include Enrico Giovannini (Economic Statistics Professor at the University of Rome), Jvan Gaffuri (RobecoSAM), Giuseppe Onufrio (Greenpeace Italia), Jermyn Brooks (Transparency International) and John Elkington (Volans). The debate focused on different issues, including new technologies and business development scenarios.

As a result of Enel’s commitment to this field, as well as the Group’s future positioning (the new strategic plan includes the integration of sustainability into operational strategies and business decisions), the company was involved in the development of the new Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (G4) and then asked to become a global partner of the project “Sustainability Disclosures 2025. ‘The Growth of our Group – Starace concluded – will increasingly see innovation and sustainability as part of a single vision. As announced at the United Nations’ Private Sector Forum, Enel will contribute to the fight against climate change with a growth plan that focuses on renewables, efficiency and smart grids, in light of the 2050 carbon neutrality goal.’