Bridging the gaps
In Chile, there are still a number of gaps to fill before we achieve a sustainable development model. According to data from the 2017 Casen survey, which measures the socioeconomic conditions of households in Chile, 20.7% of the population lives in multi-dimensional poverty, which means limited access to education, healthcare and jobs, among others. This is in addition to the phenomenon of energy poverty found in the country, which refers to households’ barriers in terms of access, quality and equality of energy services in order to meet their fundamental and basic needs.
Considering these difficulties, Enel Chile is doing fieldwork, led by the Department of Sustainability and Community Relations, accompanied by local communities in the energy transition process, in order to understand their needs and identify possible solutions. The projects are aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations, and which Enel has adopted since 2015, focusing its strategy on 6 of them. Specifically, it acts on “Community Involvement” as a pillar of the Sustainability Plan, through sustainability actions related to SDG 4, which is aimed at Quality Education; SDG 8, which promotes Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 7, for the development and access to Affordable and Clean Energy, which look to support and strengthen the socioeconomic fabric of the 300 communities it works with every day.
Promoting sustainable development
In 2019, the community relations strategy of Enel Chile was focused on initiatives that were developed considering the priorities and needs of each town, which were identified through an ongoing relations process.
This strategy focuses on five lines of work implemented in 237 projects: 1) Education for sustainable development, 2) Promotion of employment and economic development while preserving local identity, 3) Housing, services and surroundings, 4) Safe, reliable and quality electricity services, and 5) Climate change and protection of natural resources. All of this has had a strong focus on empowering women and indigenous communities.
Of all of the projects developed, 20 contribute to access to Quality Education (SDG 4), benefiting 40,800 people, who have received knowledge and comprehensive training on their role within the sustainable development of their community.
In terms of the generation and distribution of energy, Enel Chile developed 17 initiatives to teach community members about the efficient and responsible energy use, as well as the regularization of informal grids to improve electricity in vulnerable neighborhoods. Workshops and talks were held with neighborhood associations and institutions, in which 28,800 people participated and learned about energy efficiency and safety, among other topics of interest, in an initiative that was aligned with SDG 7, aimed at guaranteeing access to affordable and efficient energy for all.
Likewise, local business owners received knowledge, information and the necessary tools to strengthen their businesses. In this line, and based on Socioeconomic Development and Sustainable Growth (SDG 8), Enel Chile helped train over 80 small and medium-sized entities (SMEs), mostly managed by women, which generated nearly 300 jobs in sustainable tourism and local business projects. A concrete example of this is in the Mapu Pilmaiquen community, as mentioned above.
Creation of long-term value
“Open Power for a brighter future. We empower sustainable progress” is Enel's purpose. And every day it seeks to create sustainable value for the company and its stakeholders, including local communities. With these communities we work actively to implement a strategy based on the Creation of Shared Value (CSV), adopted by the company at the global level in 2015.
Focused on social and environmental factors inclusively, this model allows the company to create long-term value, for itself and for the communities where it operates throughout the country. It is a model that is integrated throughout the value chain, which analyzes the needs and priorities of interest groups in the development of new businesses and initiatives, giving attention to social, economic and environmental factors in the scope of its operations, thus mitigating the generation of potential socioenvironmental impacts.
One example of this is the project carried out in Alto Loa, an area of extreme importance for the development of renewable energies with the presence of geothermal, solar and wind resources where it operates Wind Valley, a pioneering wind power initiative installed in 2013. Here the Desert Interpretation Center (CID) is located, which identifies the social, economic and environmental aspects of the zone, in reference to the local atacameña and quechua communities. In an attempt to exploit its tourism potential, the company worked to train the communities of Toconce and Caspana to manage this site and development of a tourist route to highlight the natural and cultural heritage.
From north to south, from Alto Loa to Pilmaiquén, across its over four thousand kilometers of coverage, Enel Chile’s priority is to promote community development, creating long-term value through the energy transition and the opportunities it presents.
For more information about the company's actions within its Sustainability Plan, enter to: