By: Bettina Mirabile | CSV Project Leader at Enel | May 3rd, 2016

An infusion of competition helped kick-start this green energy company's shared value journey.

One of Enel’s leading sustainability goals is to promote the integration of sustainability into the business process by applying a decision-making approach centered on Creating Shared Value (CSV). In this way, Enel combines the business perspective of the company and the needs of communities in the areas where it operates by pursuing choices that create value for both sides. Enel’s two main objectives are: (1) to establish a long-term relationship with local stakeholders and (2) to integrate ethical, social, and environmental objectives with the profitability and business objectives. In this way, information flows within and between Enel and the outside world by giving the opportunity to combine energies and be competitive. The continuous synergies created in these contexts – thanks to this new approach – allowed the selection and launch of innovative, efficient, and reliable solutions.

As of 2013, Enel Green Power has integrated CSV into its entire value chain; and since 2015, the Creating Shared Value approach has become the whole Enel Group’s approach.

To embed CSV approach into business processes, in June 2015 the CSV IN Program was launched engaging sustainability managers and business developers from the countries where Enel operates with the aim of defining tools and a model flexible enough to meet business peculiarities while fostering a proactive sustainable approach. By the end of the program, in September, fourteen tools fully integrated within the BD decision-making process were created and tested on real projects in the pipeline. These tools included: a CSV Country Analysis, a Site Sustainability Checklist, Stakeholder Mapping and Management, a Social Environmental and Economic Context Analysis, the Assessment of Social Impacts and Risks, and a Materiality Matrix to combine both business and local stakeholders’ objectives and finally gain a CSV Plan.

Following the development of these new tools and the end of the CSV IN Program, the CSV IN Business Challenge was launched as a spin-off to promote the application of the new CSV model as well as test the application of the tools and at the same time promoting execution involving as much Functions as possible. For the challenge, nine countries were required to select a business project and apply the new CSV tools in order to develop an entire CSV Plan according to the deadlines and approaches defined by the business. 

All countries picked a project pointed out by the business and selected a team of people working in different functions to start applying and analyzing together the outcomes of the CSV tools. This activity would enable to identify the business issue that the project presented and consequently the actions that could mitigate its impacts or completely resolve or enhance the business issue. Out of the nine countries, six dealt with projects in Conventional Global Generation, which was exactly the business context for which the CSV tools were created, while three countries customized and applied the CSV tools to projects in the distribution business. The winners of the challenge were Brazil and Italy with the same final score, while two special mentions were awarded to Romania and Russia. Projects submitted were in-line with either a circular economy approach or with the need to minimize negative impacts on communities related to the decommissioning of a production site. Some also concerned fostering with all means social economic development at the local level, reducing fuel poverty, and providing access to electricity.

As of now 282 CSV tools have been applied to 87 projects and in 15 countries confirming that the new model is now being fully implemented in the business development phase of conventional generation and is being completed in other phases of the value chain such as engineering & construction and operation & maintenance. But it is not only a question of applying tools identifying proactively key social issues and devising a plan to manage them. CSV is also being applied through the shaping of projects that does include social factors at the same level of relevance as technical or financial ones, as for instance while identifying potential plant construction site.

Learn more about Enel's shared value journey:

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