#ENERGYACCESS sustainability:clear commitments, clear results

Published on Monday, 14 December 2015

Committing to reducing CO2 emissions, investing in renewable energy growth, supporting the development of a low carbon and sustainable business model. These are virtuous and commonly shared objectives that have captured the attention of global public opinion during the course of COP21. But as the saying goes, "every promise is a debt". And turning words into action is not enough – everyone should be able to verify the results that have been achieved.

The Guardian article 'How firms are reporting their impact on environment, society and governance' focuses precisely on the gap between 'words and action' and the need to verify that statements result in real facts, because 'companies are expected to communicate openly about the ways in which their operations have impacts on society and how they transform plans and commitments into actions', declares to The Guardian Nelmara Arbex, Chief Advisor on innovation and reporting at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an independent international standards body that supports organisations in reporting impacts on issues such as climate change and human rights.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has been among the first international associations to develop a broad sustainability reporting system with a set of indicators to be used by organisations to measure and analyse their economic, environmental and social performance. The first guidelines, presented in 1998, have been improved and developed over time thanks to the contribution of a multi-stakeholder global network. Companies, civil society associations and trade unions have helped define globally shared parameters which are used by businesses to draw up transparent reports on their commitment and action taken with the aim of making their business fully sustainable.

Enel has adopted the GRI guidelines since 2006 and actively participates in expanding the frontiers of reporting. Among other things, the Group has contributed to defining the GRI's G4 guidelines that will be presented in May 2016. Additionally, it has participated in the pilot programme of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and will support the GRI in defining Reporting 2025, a project aimed at promoting an international debate on future prospects of reporting in the field of sustainability.

Sustainability is a strategic element of corporate business. Enel is giving shape to this approach by means of a full-featured global process aimed to make the entire Group carbon neutral by 2050 and to achieve the Enabling Electricity programme through projects that provide electricity to a growing part of the more than one billion people in the world who still lack access to it. This commitment is documented and communicated in a way that is increasingly simple, easy to verify and comprehensible in the Group's reports, which integrate actual sustainability business data into the financial and industrial results. Thus integrated reporting becomes an essential tool that makes it possible to enhance dialogue with all stakeholders that the Group has actively involved in its daily operations through the implementation of the Creating Shared Value (CSV) model, a common objective both for companies and for local communities and civil society.