Why sustainability creates value

Published on Monday, 7 October 2019

The equation is simple: sustainability = value. This is a key formula that helps us understand how the economy is evolving and the impact that this change will have on the planet.

On 3 October, Enel CFO Alberto De Paoli gave a lecture on the subject at the Università LUISS Guido Carli in Rome. It is an established fact that sustainability is positive for the environment and society. The real paradigm shift is that today, sustainability is functional to business because it creates value for companies, while also contributing to solutions to tackle the challenges linked to climate change.

These are themes that our Group has placed at the heart of its strategy: “We need to make it clear and evident that choosing sustainability creates value,” said the Enel CFO as he outlined the path taken by our Group in recent years. 
It’s a path that consists of four macro-trends that steer the Group’s activities: the development of renewable energies, urban transformation, network digitalisation and electrification. By intersecting with the choice to align the entire business with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for which Enel has incorporated direct action mechanisms, these trends position the Group at the forefront of the markets in terms of competitiveness and innovation.  An important step on this path was last September’s launch of Enel’s SDG-Linked Bond Programme, the first bond in the world to refer beyond single green projects, to an entire sustainable strategy. The success of the launch confirms that the chosen path is the right one.

The energy transition is ongoing, it will not stop and it will be “disruptive.” This is why it is important that it takes place within a “just transition,” one that leaves no-one behind but also includes those people who oppose it.

“This Enel lecture proves that investing in sustainability will be rewarded,” commented Paolo Boccardelli, Director of the LUISS Business School. “A cultural revolution is already happening: Enel is leading the way but there are many other industries who need to follow,” added Margherita Bianchini, Deputy Director General of Assonime (the association of listed Italian companies), who took part in the discussion moderated by Eugenio Pinto, lecturer in Corporate Economics at LUISS.

Afterwards, the students had many questions: “Where did the insight to bet on renewable energies come from? Couldn’t sustainability be imposed by law? How has digital transformed your company? What is the brand worth?” This is proof that the Enel lecture at the Università LUISS Guido Carli will be remembered for quite some time.

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