Rome, January 10th, 2014 Over 2.3 million more people around the world now have access to electricity thanks to Enel. The Enabling Electricity CSR programme, launched by the Company at the end of 2011 as a member of the United Nations Global Compact LEAD, was due to reach one million people around the world in the space of two years. This target has been more than doubled.
We acknowledge that, to continue to be a leader in the global energy market, we must be able to integrate sustainability into our business model in an ever-increasingly effective way, stated Fulvio Conti, CEO and General Manager of Enel. The growth and economic development of a multinational company like Enel are connected to the ability not only to produce value for shareholders and all the stakeholders, but also to help make the world a better place, by facing up to the environmental and social issues of the countries and communities in which we operate, engaging and motivating the people who work with us and making sure that every individuals dignity is respected. We are looking towards the future, a future that we want to help shape.
More than 1.3 billion people around the world still do not have access to electricity. This is why the General Assembly of the United Nations has dedicated the period between 2014 and 2024 to fighting energy poverty, declaring it the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.
Enabling Electricity is currently implementing over 20 projects in 12 countries, all based on innovative business models, aimed either at people living in isolated rural areas or those living on the outskirts of large urban areas, focusing on different issues related to access to electricity: from projects guaranteeing access in terms of technology and infrastructure, to those designed to break down economic barriers in low-income areas, via initiatives involving developing and sharing professional knowledge and skills in the energy sector.
Such as, for example, the Ecoelce and Ecoampla projects in Brazil and Ecochilectra in Chile, targeting low-income residents who can pay their electricity bills by sorting their rubbish. Customers can bring paper, plastic, glass and metal to the companys collection points and will be given discounts on their bill according to the quantity and type of waste that they bring.
Other Enabling Electricity projects include one launched by Enel Green Power in collaboration with Barefoot College, an NGO that has been working hard since 1972 to help make the worlds most disadvantaged rural communities self-sufficient in an economically sustainable way. The model established involves identifying young grandmothers (aged between 35 and 50) to take part in a special training programme to turn them into Solar Engineers. The project is designed to train specialist professionals who can supply their own rural communities with energy from renewable sources in Latin America. The objectives and advantages of the project include supplying electricity using only renewable sources, with a considerable increase in the quality of life for those involved, as well as promoting the role of women, who are paid by the communitys heads of household for the service provided, which include installing, maintaining and repairing domestic photovoltaic systems. So far, a total of 24 women from Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Colombia have been trained in India to equip villages in Central and South America with solar kits. Thanks to this project, 1,030 solar panels (725 in Peru and Chile and 305 in Guatemala and El Salvador) have been installed, covering the electricity needs of more than 2,000 households.
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