Sustainability at the heart of business strategies

Published on Tuesday, 20 September 2016

For the thirteenth year in a row, Enel has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, one of the leading assessment indices for companies worldwide.

Until a few years ago, the word “sustainability” was little more than a synonym for philanthropy in the global economic community. Today, however, investors place criteria related to good governance and environmental and social sustainability practices on top of the list of parameters when it comes to assessing a company. As a result, intangible assets – in other words, anything that is not on a company’s balance sheets and financial results – make up over 80 percent of a company’s market value.

Sustainability, an objective that must be achieved through  innovation processes, is at the heart of Enel’s Open Power strategic approach. This profound commitment has been certified for the thirteenth consecutive year by its admission to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), one of the leading global indices of company performance in the field of sustainability. In addition to Enel, the index once again included the Group’s Spanish subsidiary Endesa. 316 companies worldwide were listed in the index. Enel and Endesa are two of the nine utilities included in the list.

“To have been admitted once again to this incredibly important index is recognition of our growing commitment to making sustainability central to our business model,” commented Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace. “We are constantly working to improve the Group's governance and its environmental and social performance by using sustainability as an increasingly important guide in our choice of investments and industrial strategies."

Within the 2016 DJSI World, Enel has particularly distinguished itself in the Market Opportunities segment (with a score of 100/100 compared to an average 45 in the industrial sector) and in the new Innovation Management segment (with a score of 95/100 compared to an average of 44), confirming the strong link between sustainability and innovation that has driven us to create a designated function within our organisation and to embrace the concept of Innovability – an approach that combines innovation and sustainability – as a guide for our business strategies.

Such a path branches out into different directions. Ours is part of the United Nations Global Compact Board and it is committed to concretely contributing to four of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), regarding access to energy and education, contributing to the socio-economic development of the communities in which the Group operates and to the fight against climate change, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

These concrete actions have generated a growing interest on behalf of socially responsible investors (SRIs). At the end of 2015, SRI’s held 7.7 percent of the Enel Group’s share capital (compared to 5.9 percent in December 2014), equal to 10.3 percent of the free float (8.6 percent at the end of 2014).

For Enel, social responsibility translates as innovation, now more than ever.