Looking constantly and proactively towards the needs and priorities of society enables us to take on challenges and to continue enhancing the competitiveness of our business model by developing new strategies and innovative business processes.
The creation of “shared value” for the Company and all our stakeholders presents an opportunity to unite competitiveness with the creation of value for society over the long term, and it is on this area that Enel has been focused in recent years.
Operating across such a vast geographic area, which encompasses both mature and emerging markets, requires that we deal with a range of different contexts and that we have indepth knowledge of the communities and their needs, so as to identify targeted business solutions. Today, access to energy as a driver of growth comes in an increasingly diverse array of innovative forms in every field. Alongside traditional plants, we are seeing both on-grid and off-grid smart solutions, and new formulas are being defined to combat energy poverty while, at the same time, developing technologically advanced solutions for challenging markets and demanding customers.
Such variety is only possible taking an inclusive approach right from the early stages of business development. Identifying the relevant stakeholders involved in a project and mapping needs as opportunities for growth, all while maintaining a constructive dialog, enable us to prevent potential impacts and identify solutions that create shared value over the long term. Local needs are interconnected with company goals by way of a materiality matrix specific to each site in order to identify those projects and initiatives best suited to meeting shared priorities. The operative word here is “co-creation”. Projects are designed and executed together with the local communities in order to be calibrated to their specific needs. This inclusive approach towards stakeholders is also increasingly producing solutions based on the circular economy. For example, waste materials such as worksite pallets can be transformed into raw materials to be used in carpentry or by local small businesses through specific training and business development programs. Power plants that are being shut down can also be converted for other purposes based on the needs of the community by involving the various stakeholders.
In 2016, with over 900 projects and more than six million beneficiaries in the various countries in which we operate, Enel made a concrete contribution to the social and economic growth of our communities, from expanding infrastructures and providing education and training programs to social inclusion initiatives and projects to support culture and the economy, all in line with the commitments we have undertaken to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The crucial lever in carrying out these projects has been our partnerships with local non-profit organizations that promote local development through innovative, customdesigned initiatives. In 2016 in particular, we had more than 400 partnerships throughout the world with local organizations, social enterprises, universities and international associations and non-governmental organizations.