A Festival that helps give energy to sustainability

A Festival that helps give energy to sustainability


Without you there is no sustainable development.” The involvement and personal commitment shown by us all in achieving the 17 objectives of the UN’s Agenda 2030 took centre stage at the second Sustainable Development Festival, which took place across Italy between 22 May and 7 June.

After the #2030whatareUdoing awareness-raising campaign, with the invitation to share the projects in line with the UN’s SDGs (sustainable development goals) on the social networks, ASviS, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development, which brings together more than 180 organisations from the socio-economic world, launched the Festival, with over 700 events on its calendar, at a press conference on 17 May.  

This year the Festival was also supported by Enel, alongside other corporate and institutional partners, including the European Commission, the Ministries of the Environment, Cultural Assets and Health, and the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti bank. It offered a programme with more events and a wider range of subjects and content than before, with the aim of promoting the culture of economic, social and environmental sustainability, sharing new ideas and solutions and stimulating interaction between institutions, companies and civil society.


Italy and sustainability 

Over 700 initiatives take place throughout Italy during the Festival (which lasted 17 days, just like the 17 objectives of Agenda 2030). To prepare the ground for the adoption of tangible, ongoing actions promoting Italy’s sustainable growth, the event involved representatives from civil society, local bodies and universities, as well as figures from government and the entrepreneurial sector.

Our Group is one of the first in the world to include the UN objectives in our corporate strategy and to develop a sustainability plan where actions and targets are in line with the 17 SDGs. Our involvement in this event, which also formed part of the European Sustainable Development Week (30 May-5 June), provided further confirmation of the path we set out on.

Now companies sharing Enel’s determination to build enduring success base their strategy on sustainability.

“Four years ago we decided to focus our growth on renewables and intelligent networks, setting ourselves the objective of decarbonisation in line with the Paris agreement. We made a responsible decision concerning SDG 13 (climate action) and towards our shareholders, who expect a return on their investment. It’s impossible to distinguish between these two elements,” said Valcalda.

Initiatives like the Festival promoted by ASviS present important opportunities for sharing and promoting this new strategic approach. For our company this means combining sustainability with innovation.

The first of the challenges deriving from the new agreement was launched on 14 May in San Francisco in collaboration with the Ferrovie dello Stato (Italian state railways).

Enel and the Ferrovie dello Stato are looking for partners who can develop a web and smartphone app for cognitive and predictive virtual assistance, using natural language. It will be useful for clients in the pre-travel stage (planning, ticket purchasing) and during travel (in the event of service interruptions, for example), thereby making integrated, multimodal journey planning possible. 

Enel makes a maximum effort 

As it did last year, the Festival included three national events organised by ASviS, where we played a leading role. The conference on 22 May entitled “Italy 2030 – Innovation, Redevelopment, Investment, Transformation – 10 years to achieve a sustainable Italy,” which was held in the MAXXI auditorium in Rome, marked the official start of proceedings. The emphasis was on the need to upgrade Italy’s infrastructure through a wide-reaching public and private investment plan, adopting a new development model.

The second was “SDGs, Climate and the Future of Europe,” an international conference which took place on 31 May at the Unicredit Pavilion in Milan. Its aim was to present a “strengthened partnership” between the members of the EU and representatives of the public and private sectors, making Europe the world leader in the implementation of a “polylateralism” that can accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and climate accords.

The Festival’s closing event took place in Rome on 7 June, when ASviS  presented the results of the 17 days of reflection to the institutions, setting in motion a debate on fundamental themes and the steps to be taken to ensure the SDGs are achieved, and safeguard the future of this generation and those to come.

In parallel with these three main events, one of the new features of the 2018 Festival was the staging on each of the 17 days of a nationally or internationally significant event on one or more themes related to the 17 SDGs.

In collaboration with ASviS and the GSE (the Italian government’s energy marketing board), Enel was responsible for holding the national event on SDGs 7 and 13. The convention will take place in Rome on 6 June at the MAXXI (National Museum of 21st Century Arts), and was an important opportunity to consider the subjects of affordable, clean energy (SDG7) and climate action (SDG13), two of the four objectives to which Enel has a formal commitment.


SUstainability co-players in a series of events 

The event comprised a number of initiatives launched throughout Italy, including debates, book presentations, exhibitions, screenings, guided visits, flash mobs, children’s workshops and meetings about the new green jobs, filling these 17 days with discussion and raising awareness among an increasingly large section of the general population. We all played a role, as is reflected by Enel’s commitment and the title of this year’s convention, “SUstainability.”

One of the other events Enel had a direct involvement in was Le rotte della sostenibilità, (The Paths of Sustainability), which was held on 23 May in Verona by the Salone della CSR e dell’Innovazione sociale (CSR and Social Innovation Fair). Piera Savino, Sustainability Projects Enel Italy, spoke on the subject of the circular economy. On 28 May in Naples, Robert Denda, Head of Network Technology and Innovation, took part in the national event on Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

In Milan on 29 May Alessia Cecchini, Sustainability Planning and Performance Management, took part in the workshop on “Non-financial Disclosure: accelerator or brake,” which examined the recent legislation regulating the reporting of non-financial assets for companies with a national importance. In Genoa on the same day Luca Meini, Head of Environmental Strategies, took part in the convention We can do it! Genoa, sustainable development grows, companies implementing it grow.”

On 4 June Head of Sustainability Andrea Valcalda took part in a meeting with the title “2030 Agenda: company leadership for sustainable development,” which was held in Milan by the Sodalitas Foundation as part of the Festival. Its aim was to strengthen the alliance between society and companies, by working together with those on the cutting edge of sustainability to mobilise a wide-ranging commitment to a future of growth, development and inclusion. The same day also saw a focus on sustainability and tourism during a convention organised by MiBACT (The Italian Ministry of Culture) exactly a year after the national celebrations marking the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. Federico Caleno, Head of e-Mobility Solutions Development for our new Enel X division spoke about the projects involving innovation, e-mobility and the protection and enhancement of our cultural and scenic heritage.

Finally, on 5 June, Patricia Navarra, Sustainability Innovation and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, took part in the round table “The Dynamo Camp project for the health, well-being and inclusion of children with severe medical conditions and the role of quality teaching. This was held at the Tor Vergata University in Rome under the aegis of ECO-FORUM, a mini film festival on the theme of sustainability.