Enel, as a Utility company, is well aware of its impact on society and environment. It is also historically deep-rooted at local level in generation and distribution. Enel also knows very well the importance of being sensible with stakeholders' entities, especially local ones. But in the meanwhile, Enel is also aware that, being an international company and moving in a global changing world, young generations, local communities and international stakeholders have to be involved.
The core of Enel's stakeholder approach is not a top-down view: the main challenge is the creation of a horizontal both-sense knowledge-exchange through a continuous dialogue and commitment of both the company and local and global stakeholders. The aim is to create and improve engagement on critical topics: sustainability, responsibility, environment, safety, etc. This approach has to be deep-rooted locally and globally, so to have application into different environments.
The stakeholder engagement initiative has been implemented in multiple projects. The main goal is the creation of a common and shared cultural, social and environmental awareness linked to territory and an international cross-cultural exchange of ideas, linking young generations to the company.
- "PlayEnergy is a recreational and scientific project dedicated to students and teachers to know the world of energy and learn to use it more consciously [...]. Students and teachers experiment on science and energy, and many other activities". Furthermore, the expected impact is the sharing of discoveries and ideas in the international community. Already 6 editions of "Play energy" in Italy and the same initiative implemented in Russia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Chile, Guatemala Costa Rica, Panama and USA. In 2008 alone, the initiative involved over 440.000 students of 7.000 schools across countries.
- We are energy the contest for Enel colleagues' children, has grown year by year and is now in its sixth edition. The 2009 edition, dedicated to multiculturalism, featured 2000 children from 16 Countries. In 2010, with the title "Planet calls to action", it will involve 18 countries and will be dedicated to the environment and sustainability. Enel wants to educate the younger generations by discussing and develop an international community.
"Open Plants stems from the desire to offer the public the great environmental and technological heritage of the company, to increase the integration between production sites and territorial realities in which they are present. In 2009 alone, 62 Italian plants were involved in the project, and hosted over 150 cultural and musical events, sporting activities, with around 100,000 visitors. The initiative thus seeks to recount the science to the public, make it able to see more closely projects aimed to environmental protection". Open plants has been launched also in Russia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and in France.
Energy companies could collaborate in a joint project to build a networking activity to spread at European level, again with European institutions' involvement. This could be a new commitment about energy and its environmental sustainability, through a collaborative venture between energy and energy-related companies and their stakeholders, assisted by CSR Europe.
To evolve the "stakeholder engagement" initiative, the mark has to start from young generations, and from an active participation of stakeholders: associations, municipalities and young generations.
Enel can listen to the voices coming from territories and make them interact with the company improving, for example, the livability of the Power Plants' sorroundings, in a sort of Active Citizenship participated by Enel and its stakeholders.
This initiative creates an active interaction between stakeholders and the company as wells as stakeholders among themselves.
A good example of how this initiative can increase participation is the involvement of young generations (i.e. our future), scholar institutions, environmental association and municipalities of territories. We want to create a new conscience about energy and at the same time give back the territory to the generations (e.g. "Open Plants"), thus consolidating our relationship with local stakeholders and generating trust.
Benefit for Enel, is the creation of a new Brand Awareness, reflected in an improvement in the Eurisko's "Brand Equity Index", accounted in our Sustainability Report, and confirming its leadership as the Italian top brand in the energy market.
Moreover, the international approach of these initiatives related to Stakeholder Engagement is not only business-oriented, but it deals also with Enel's commitment in sustainability, and its diffusion.