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Francesco Starace: “Sustainability. Moving Beyond”

Francesco Starace’s speech at the opening ceremony of the Master Safe: future challenges are already here


For the first time in the history of mankind we have the possibility to go back in time”: in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Master Safe in “Energy Resource Management,” Enel’s CEO and General Manager Francesco Starace spoke about the momentous challenge that our planet has to face today. “For thousands of years we developed the energy system world in balance with the planet and it was only in the last 150 years that have we broken that balance,” explained Enel’s CEO during the interactive debate entitled “Sustainability. Moving Beyond,” which was joined by the eighth United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Francesco Starace’s hope is that it will be possible to “go back in time and say that those 150 years were just a blip in the history of mankind” thanks to the implementation of “an energy system in sync with what the planet can absorb and digest”: nowadays, technology can make it “competitive and easy to install, maintain, and run.” In fact, when it comes to renewable energies, we can no longer speak of novelty: the revolution that started ten years ago “is now something established, it is clear to most people.” All that remains is to “push through this as fast as we can” and “the earlier we can do it, the better from an economic and environmental point of view”: this “will change politics and will probably make the world more just and more balanced.

“We can go back in time and say that those 150 years were just a blip in the history of mankind and have an energy system in sync with what the planet can absorb and digest”

Francesco Starace, Enel CEO

However, it is impossible to look at the picture painted by Francesco Starace without thinking about what is happening in the world today. “As this tragedy unfolds in front of our eyes, the ESG dimension becomes more and more valuable”: speaking about the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine on the prices for raw materials and energy, the CEO stressed that investors today are more and more focused on ESG dataas a way to filter the right investments and eliminate risks from portfolios.” In fact, if a company is sustainable or becomes more sustainable “it is also less and less risky.” And “if a company pays high attention to sustainability and increasingly phases out fossil fuels, it becomes less exposed”: similarly, if it pays more attention to its suppliers, its value chain becomes more insulated from disruptions, and so forth. “We believe that the ESG approach is basically a structured way to mitigate risk”: for this reason, “if the risk perception of the markets goes up, the ESG dimension value goes up too.

In addition to sustainability, during the event CEO Francesco Starace also spoke about inclusion, training and other issues at the center of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, signed by the governments of the 193 UN Member States and approved by the UN General Assembly: a shared commitment to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the environmental, economic, social, and institutional dimensions by 2030.


Enel editorial staff