BUSINESS AS UNUSUAL : ENEL HOLDS ITS FIRST SUSTAINABILITY DAY

Published on Monday, 8 February 2010

- International sustainability experts come to Rome to help promote a culture of responsibility through global discussion and debate
- Economist Intelligence Unit survey of 200 managers at major corporations worldwide reveals that sustainability must become a part of corporate strategy

Rome, February 8th 2010 - The objective of Enel’s first “Sustainability Day” is to share and promote a culture of responsibility in order to foster the creation of new ideas and identify worldwide best practice in sustainability. Held today in Rome, the event is being attended by Italy’s Minister of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea Stefania Prestigiacomo, and by a number of the world’s leading experts in the field.
 
“Business as Unusual” is the theme for the day, which is being chaired by Mervyn King, Professor of Corporate Citizenship at the University of South Africa and a member of the World Bank Corporate Governance advisor committee.

Enel is committed to holding this event on an annual basis in order to help create and develop an effective network for gathering, debating and disseminating proposals that tackle sustainability-related challenges through groundbreaking policies and practices. The event will become a cohesive element of the company’s growth strategy; it will respect stakeholders and strike a balance between the three variables – economic, environmental and social – that form Corporate Social Responsibility.

“For 10 years now, Enel has been passionately committed to Sustainability,” said Enel CEO and General Manager Fulvio Conti as he opened the day’s agenda. “Our commitment has been rewarded with major achievements: for the sixth year running, we feature on the prestigious Dow Jones sustainability indices; ethical funds have faith in Enel and account for 15% of all of our institutional investors; our sustainability report is a significant work of reference, comprising over 450 indicators that measure our unwavering commitment to social responsibility.”

Concluding the day’s proceedings alongside Mervyn King, Enel Chairman Piero Gnudi declared: “We wish to be good citizens in every nation around the world that hosts our operations, and we wish to do so by developing an ‘active citizenship’. What this means is that our company wants to be seen as an example on sustainability- and social responsibility-related issues. Our commitment to maintaining a relationship of trust with all of our stakeholders is part and parcel of our business objectives.”

The day included a presentation of results from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Managing for Sustainability” research project into how companies around the globe integrate sustainability targets into their business strategies. The survey was promoted by Enel and undertaken especially for the Sustainability Day. According to more than 200 senior executives at major corporations around the world, sustainability-related principles and actions must be integrated into business strategies; companies that are already working towards these goals have reacted better to the crisis; and such companies benefit from more solid long-term development.

Two roundtables were held during the day. The first, “Business: implementing the vision of climate change”, was moderated by Gianni Riotta, Editor-in-chief of the Il Sole 24 Ore daily. The roundtable was attended by Fulvio Conti; Wim Bartels, Global Head of the KPMG Sustainability Services Network and a former member of the AccountAbility Council; Amy Domini, founder and CEO of Domini Social Investments, and a leading figure in socially responsible investing; Lord Anthony Giddens, former director of the London School of Economics and advisor to Tony Blair, who currently works with the Policy Network Think Tank and sits in the House Of Lords.

The second roundtable, “Society: global sustainability and the shifting parameters”, was moderated by David Eades of BBC World News. It featured Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the International Energy Authority (IEA), and supervisor of the World Energy Outlook; Enrico Giovannini, Chairman of the Istat Statistical Agency and Head of the Statistical Management Unit at the OECD in Paris; Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of the Energy Action Coalition, which runs 50 major youth organizations in the US and Canada; and Changwa Wu, who is the Director of the China Climate Group.

Enel publicly discloses its Corporate Social Responsibility performance in its annual Sustainability Report, which it has been publishing since 2002. The 2008 financial year saw the seventh edition of this report, which provides a renewed opportunity to work with all of the company’s stakeholders. It is down to the input of stakeholders that over these years, Enel has consistently improved its accountability reporting systems. The event may be followed live on the web (at http://www.enelsustainabilityday.com). Questions for the event may be submitted on the web site; the most interesting questions will be put up for debate during the day. On Twitter, Enelsharing (http://twitter.com/enelsharing) kept its followers updated about the roundtables and the speeches made during the day.

The agenda for the Sustainability Day was set at a preparatory workshop on October 30th 2009, when over thirty experts and practitioners in the field chose issues and objectives for the day. Destined to become a platform for annual discussion and debate, the event has been conceived to foster dialogue with stakeholders about sustainability-related issues.

Sustainability | February, 08 2010

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