Giving Compass’ Take:
• Shared Value Initiative discusses how Enel Russia — one of the world’s leading wholesalers of power and heat — transformed a Corporate Social Responsibility focus into a self-sustaining social enterprise model.
• What can other companies learn from Enel’s example? How can the private sector better engage with local communities to assess needs before trying to address them?
Conventional power plants in the country have a long history of community relations mostly based on donations or philanthropic initiatives. However, Enel Russia began to work on the traditional social responsibility approach trying to shift it into a self-sustained CSV model.
Through a materiality assessment, sustainability colleagues in Enel Russia were able to identify the most relevant activities that addressed both local needs and business objectives supported by a more in depth selection of face-to-face meetings as well as on-line surveys (more than 1,000 people participated in the survey and more than 50 local organizations).
This helped identify initiatives to be developed with local social centers (that deal with home violence, work with children coming from families in difficult situations and people with disability, etc.) aimed at producing very interesting and sophisticated goods and original pieces of art that can be exposed to a wider public.
This is how Enel Russia began a mutually beneficial cooperation with local centers in the plant of Konakovo, in Tver region (“Novaya Korcheva” and “Konakovo Society of People with Disabilities”), the plants of Ekaterinburg and Asbest, in Sverdlovsk region (“Aistenok”; “Asbest polytechnic college”) and finally the power plant of Nevinnomyssk, in Stavropol region (“Youth School of Art”).
This collaboration is fully in line with the Group’s commitment to the UN SDGs among which there is a particular focus on promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all (Goal 8).
Thanks to the partners of this project (large companies of home furniture and appliances, big department stores, etc.) Enel Russia managed to address local community needs by creating job opportunities for people living in difficult situations and reinforce the collaboration with local centers that also provide additional services for the company upon request (master-classes, decoration of the power plant territory, etc.).
This was achieved with zero costs for the company.
Read the full article about developing social entrepreneurship in local communities by Anna Illarionova at Shared Value Initiative.
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