Sustainable finance: a model for the Italian system

Published on Tuesday, 30 October 2018

“For Enel, sustainability is business,” explained our Group’s Chief Innovability Officer Ernesto Ciorra, speaking on 25 October at the convention on "Sustainable Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility", held in Rome by Consob (Companies and Exchange Commission, Italy’s financial markets watchdog), Symbola Foundation and the Adriano Olivetti Foundation.

During the event, which took place in the Consob auditorium, an initial overview of the implementation in Italy of EU legislation on non-financial reporting (the Italian law to implement directive 2014/95/EU) was set out. The directive introduced an obligation for large companies and organisations to publish a consolidated non-financial information statement, a document reporting policies, risks and results in the context of corporate sustainability. 

“For years now, finance and sustainability have been regarded as mutually exclusive,” said Ciorra, explaining that the real meeting point between the two areas is the companies’ ability to conduct their operations in a sustainable way in order to generate value in the long term.

With this objective in mind, Enel has developed a governance and business model that has enabled us to place innovation and sustainability at the heart of our corporate strategy, ensuring our investors receive a return on their investment while also creating value for the wider communities that host our operations. This strategy has been rewarded by an increase in investments from ethical funds, reaching a level of 11.3% of our Group’s free float.

“It’s not a question of philanthropy,” said Enel’s Chief Innovability Officer, quoting Pier Paolo Pasolini, explaining that it really means making a distinction between development and progress. Development only looks to the improvement of economic indicators, while progress takes social, economic, environmental and cultural indicators into account. “We are in favour of progress that creates shared value.”

The convention proceedings came to the conclusion that sustainability is a business opportunity and can be a springboard for supporting the growth of the national system and the competitiveness of Italian companies. Among those taking part were Consob Vice President Anna Genovese, Ermete Realacci, President of the Symbola Foundation and Beniamino de Liguori Carino, Secretary General of the Adriano Olivetti Foundation.

Our Group’s emphasis on sustainability has made us pioneers in this area, and not only in the context of reporting. In 2002 we introduced the annual publication of the Sustainability Report, which this year has been joined by the publication of the Consolidated Non-financial Statement. For several years now on Capital Markets Day we have also presented to investors, alongside the Group’s Strategic Plan, a three-year Sustainability Plan, a document that links growth objectives to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) defined by the UN in its 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. 

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