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How sustainability translates into projects

The integration of sustainability into the strategies and operating choices of the business in the various stages of the value chain passes also through new ways of managing and developing projects. In 2016 Enel, with over 900 projects and initiatives and over 6 million beneficiaries1 in the various countries where it is present, contributed in concrete terms to social and economic development and growth of the local areas, from the expansion of infrastructure to education and training programs, from initiatives aimed at social inclusion to projects to support cultural and economic life, in line with its commitments on the SDGs. An essential lever to undertake these projects is the use of partnerships with non-profit organizations which are active locally and which promote the development of the local area through innovative and tailored interventions, sometimes literally putting the technology in people’s hands: as in the case of Liter of Light, which teaches how to make lamps for private or public lighting starting from the recovery of recycled material (plastic bottles, electric material, etc.). Here below is a breakdown of Enel’s contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 4, 7, 8).

1 Beneficiaries means the people in favor of whom a project is realized. Enel considers only the direct beneficiaries relating to the current year.

Access to energy

Enel's commitment

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

These projects seek to create a new business model linked to access to energy, aimed both at people who live in isolated rural areas and those who live in the peripheral areas of large urban conurbations. These are projects aimed at: removing economic barriers to access electricity; developing technologies for access to infrastructure; promoting technical training and capacity building; promoting energy efficiency; and promoting energy awareness. An example follows.

The project

“Rural electrification with Liter of Light”

Location: Eastern Cape

Business Line: Renewables

Asset: Nojoli Wind Farm

Installed Capacity: 88 MWAC

Sub Category: Promoting technical training and capacity building on energy

Beneficiaries 2016: 1,000

Planning: 11/10/2016 - 28/12/2018

Partners: Women in Oil & Energy South Africa (WOESA)

Business issue: 

Diffusion of clean energy & sustainable and innovative technologies as key enablers for skills development of local communities around the plant.


The project was launched in collaboration with the international NGO Liter of Light, affecting local communities within a radius of 50 km from the Nojoli facility.

The initiative took off with a training workshop of 60 young people from Somerset East, Cookhouse, Adelaide and Bedford villages in the area.

The Liter of Light volunteers explained how to assemble, operate and repair a “Solar Bottle” – in other words, plastic bottles that have been turned into 55 W solar power lamps by using a transparent plastic bottle, water, an electrical circuit made with recycled materials, a LED light, a solar panel and a rechargeable lithium battery.

Once the course was completed, the 60 young people built 18 Solar Bottles and 25 lanterns and have begun to install lamps in the villages with the support of our technicians. In addition to the green light project, we have promoted the creation of two technological hubs in Bedford and Cookhouse in the Nojoli area, to allow communities to learn more about digital technologies and open up to the world of internet.

Value for Enel: 

Spread knowledge of energy sources and their responsible use.

Good relations with the institutions and capacity building of local communities.

Value for stakeholders: 
  • The benefit to the local community above all is access to light.
  • Livelihood creation/set up a designated unemployed youth or woman as a local entrepreneur.
  • Safer communities.

Socio-economic development of the communities

Enel's commitment

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

The projects for the socio-economic development of local communities concern activities relating to the development of labor; development of infrastructure; transfer of skills and manufacturing knowhow to the local population; support for entrepreneurship in the community. An example follows.

The project

“Cadena Productivas”

Location: San Antonio, Viotá, Ubalá, Gachalá, Gama and Gachetá – Cundinamarca

Business Line: Renewables

Asset: Guavio, Cadena Río Bogotá Pagua

Installed Capacity: Guavio 1,210 MW, Paraiso 276 MW, Guaca 324 MW

Sub Category: Supporting entrepreneurial activities in the community

Beneficiaries 2016: 296

Planning: 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2017

Partners: Departmental Committee of Coffee Growers of Cundinamarca, Society for international Development Cooperation - SOCODEVI (by its acronym in Spanish), Agricultural Association and No National Farmers Mámbita Ubalá Township - ASOAGROMA (by its acronym in Spanish)

Business issue: 

Defend existing business and open new job opportunities favouring the social and economic development of the communities in the countries where we operate.


Render a local product an opportunity of social inclusion and boost to the economic development of rural communities.

Cadenas Productivas is a program developed in Colombia focused on the development of the local agro-industrial sector in cocoa and coffee.

In addition the project aims to strengthen the (administrative, associative and commercial) organizations, provide technical assistance as well as equipment and tools. Among the objectives sought there are: promoting sustainable farming, knowledge and technology transfer, encouraging working in partnership and generating public-private partnerships.

Value for Enel: 

Defend the existing business and develop new opportunities by increasing stakeholder loyalty, engage the local community in a long-term social and economic development program to prevent further “compensation” investments at a later stage.

Value for stakeholders: 

Improvement of cultivation techniques, strengthening the marketing of products and increasing the local disposable income. Promote job opportunities in order to reduce the emigration to other more productive areas.

Support for local communities – support for education

Enel's commitment

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

As part of the projects to support local communities (financing local events; support for families and social services; promotion of culture and sport; promotion of diversity, health and safety; protection of the environment and biodiversity) specific activities are undertaken relating to education. An example follows.

The project

"Tech Challenge"

Location: Madrid

Business Line: Corporate/Endesa Foundation

Category: Support to local communities

Beneficiaries 2016: 1,000

Planning: 01/10/2016 - 31/12/2017

Partners: 50 schools of Madrid Community

Business issue: 

Support for the promotion of high quality education by incentivizing innovation, creativity and the use of advanced technologies for the new generations.


A training program for teachers and students of 50 Secondary Education centers in the Community of Madrid (12-16 years), consisting of technological entrepreneurship, reinforcing knowledge in creative technology through programming and robotics.

The participants work on a project aimed at solving the needs of the school environment from a technological and human point of view by involving the center itself and its students. To this end, Endesa Foundation equips the educational centers with 10 robotic kits based on Arduino (ZUM kit), a 3D Witbox 2 printer and a PLA coil.

This project will be presented to the Reto Tech Endesa Foundation Festival, where several prizes will be awarded to the teams that present the best projects.

Value for Enel: 

Dissemination of knowledge and skills for young people who potentially could be part of the Endesa Workforce in the future. A better knowledge of young people’s needs and skills as employees in the future.

Value for stakeholders: 

Improving knowledge about technology. Contribution of extracurricular knowledge. Providing state-of-the-art materials to schools.

Reference SDGs: 
Main actionsTarget
Access to energy3 million beneciaries, mainly in Africa, Asia and Latin America by 2020
Social and economic development1.5 million beneciaries* by 2020
Quality education0.4 million beneciaries by 2020
Implementation of new projects for the support of the communities in which Enel operates in order to create shared value and to foster the energy culture 
Diffusion of the Creating Shared Value (CSV) model in the operational activities (Business Development – BD, Engineering & Construction – E&C, Operation & Maintenance – O&M)
Strengthening of strategic partnership and promotion of operational partnership

* Target updated compared to 500 thousand initial beneficiaries.

Sustainability Plan 2017-2019