The United Nations Conference: Rio+20

eni was one of the few private companies to take part in the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June, 1992 (Earth Summit).

The 1992 Rio Declaration set the basic principles that gave shape to the concept of sustainable development and , through Agenda 21, stimulated global and local Sustainability policies. In the wake of the Summit, within the United Nations, the international community adopted three important treaties: the Framework Convention on Climate Change; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and the Convention to Combat Desertification. The international standard system, still active today, is aimed at ensuring the right to the economic and social growth, guaranteeing environmental protection.

eni was an active participant at the Rio Conference. In 1991 the "Eni-Eco ‘92" organizational committee was established through which the company also performed a role in the communication and promotion of the Conference. Participation in the Earth Summit envisaged a strong support for the international political process: eni, the only Italian company among the 20 present, participated in 1990 in the foundation of the Business Council for Sustainable Development (now the World Business Council for Sustainable Development), industry's organization for sustainability, which was mandated to convey the private sector's contribution to the Earth Summit. It was through the contribution of the WBCSD that the term eco-efficiency was coined.

eni has continued to actively pursue the course it began for the occasion of the Earth Summit, and has continued to integrate the relative principles in their own business strategy.

Over the last 20 years the concept of sustainability, which has always been a part of eni's operating way, has systematically been integrated throughout the company processes: from planning, monitoring and control to risk prevention and management; from operations to reporting and external communication of social and environmental performances.

eni has developed tools able to convert the principles defined within the Earth Summit into real commitments and results. Examples are the Carbon Management Strategy that, supported by specific objectives, aims to minimize the impact of climate change; the mapping of operational areas characterized by biodiversity, the development of management plans and the adoption of a Corporate Ecosystem Valuation tool (CEV) developed in cooperation with WBCSD, IUCN and 13 other multinational companies; the adoption of the Global Water Tool developed by the WBCSD that has led to the mapping of areas of water stress in which eni operates.

eni also supports the Rio Conference through the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), the independent research center created a few years prior to the event (1989).

The foundation supported the Italian Delegation by providing skills for a wide range of topics and collaborating in drafting the "Carbon Tax, Technology Cooperation and Global Warming" document. The relationship between FEEM and the Italian Delegation has remained strong over time, especially the work performed for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol in terms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In the same period, FEEM transferred this experience to industry preparing a procedural handbook for environmental reporting. Enichem and Snam were the first companies to produce an environmental report adopting the FEEM model which gave an important push towards this type of reporting in Italy.

The Earth Summit experience deeply affected research at FEEM: the foundation, for its part, has continued to support the international community's efforts in sustainable development. Throughout the years, in fact, FEEM has developed a set of tools that provide a solid scientific base for setting and evaluating Sustainability policies. From this point of view the models developed - the World Induced Technical Change Hybrid Model (WITCH, which allows the costs and efficiency of climate change mitigation policies to be evaluated) and the Intertemporal Computable Equilibrium System (ICES, which measures the impact of climate change on welfare) - play a fundamental role.

Moreover, FEEM has put enormous efforts into preparing the FEEM Sustainability Index, a tool to evaluate the interaction between economic, social and environmental factors. The index, published for the first time in 2009, measures, in an integrated way, the trends of environmental, social and economic performances of the national policies and forecasts future impact. This is a unique tool for evaluating the global trend towards sustainable development, Country by Country.

Now twenty years since the Earth Summit was held, the second United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (Rio+20) is reaffirming the commitment of the international community to sustainable development.

Rio+20 changes completely the view of sustainable development, going beyond the idea of a balance between environmental protection and economic growth to the concept of a green economy in which environmental sustainability ensures economic and social wellbeing. It also upsets the strategy for sustainable development, giving industry and enterprise the task and the ability to develop and to implement this vision, guaranteeing the sustainability of development. Above all, the energy sector is called on to contribute towards this goal. This sector is, in fact, responsible for the majority of CO2 emissions, as well as for guaranteeing the conditions for economic growth, the distribution of service and industrialization: energy is one of the fundamental crossroads for environmental protection, economic growth and social welfare. eni's wide range of resources and solutions make the green economy a reality today. Following the Earth Summit, eni intensified its path of sustainability and developed a unique system of skills, solutions and technologies for sustainable development, in terms of promotion, support to international political process and adoption of innovative solutions. This is the heritage that eni shares for Rio+20 and through which it intends to contribute to the future of sustainable development.

eni has initiated a process to promote and diffuse the main objectives and principles of the Rio+20 Conference.

For the results of Rio+20, to become a reality, it is essential that societies reminded of their importance, support them and expect them to be implemented. This is why eni has established "Energythink", a joint project with Legambiente (on Italian environmental protection association) that has been exploring energy sustainability with young researchers and students at Italian Universities since 2009. With Rio+20 approaching and this year being the 2012 United Nations International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, "Energythink" is addressing one of the basic topics of the conference: universal access to modern energy services. eni and Legambiente have decided to organize two events.

The first was held in Venice on March 13, in collaboration with Università Ca' Foscari and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, to highlight Rio+20 and to attract the attention of both students and the media. This event also drew well-known international speakers such as Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency and an expert in energy access issues. "Energythink" also included the participation of eni's Chairman, Giuseppe Recchi. Along with the conference, FEEM organized a workshop, "Energy Poverty and Access to Energy in Developing Countries", in which researchers from across Europe discussed how to create a scientific community capable of supporting policy making on a global level. The second "Energythink" event will take place in October at the Università Bocconi with the objective of communicating the achievements of Rio+20 to the Italian community of students and researchers. Leading up to the conference, FEEM also organized "Passport to Rio+20" in Milan on April 20. The meeting described and discussed sustainable development timeline starting from the 1992 Conference and the main topics that were and must be addressed on a worldwide basis. Prominent Italians of the years 1992 and 2012, as Domenico Siniscalco, Minister for the Environment when the Earth Summit was held, were invited to participate.

eni proactively supports international political processes to stimulate confrontation of emerging global challenges and to find concrete solutions in support of sustainable development.

In terms of energy, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, decided to launch Sustainable Energy for All in order to assist the process of Rio+20 with a movement capable of promoting the energy sustainability. The initiative sets three objectives to be reached by 2030:

  • to assure universal access to modern energy services;
  • to double the rate of growth of energy efficiency;
  • to double the percentage of renewable energy in the world energy mix.

Sustainable Energy for All unites the commitment from governments to adopt the necessary measures and reforms; from industry to invest in solutions and technologies; from society organizations to ensure public awareness. Global Compact, WBCSD, World Bank, UNIDOUNDP and many other United Nation agencies are giving their support. This is the largest public-private partnership ever undertaken. The commitments adopted are an integral part of Rio+20 and represent an assurance that the Conference objectives will be ratified in terms of sustainable energy.

By concentrating its efforts on energy access, eni has been supporting Sustainable Energy for All since its launch in September 2011. eni plays a prominent role in this initiative and has contributed to the development of its structure and mission. eni's support of Sustainable Energy for All, however, stems from before, from January 2011 when the CEO, Paolo Scaroni, during the LEAD Luncheon, recognized the need to coordinate the efforts of private industry in order to attain sustainable energy and announced eni's intention to take a leadership role in this effort. In few months, working in close contact, eni and Global Compact developed a Task Force within LEAD that today sees the participation of more than 20 multinational companies, two international development banks and three international organizations. The Task Force supports the definition of concrete commitments to take action by private companies and provides a toolbox of solutions that guide companies, on one hand, in adopting business models functional to reach the Sustainable Energy for All objectives and that facilitate policy makers, on the other, in creating the conditions needed for these objectives to be realised on a wide scale. As a result of the official launch of Sustainable Energy for All, the Task Force, promoted by eni has been integrated within the initiative: in the UN Private Sector Forum of September 2011, eni's Chairman took the formal commitment to support the initiative.

In addition eni is an active partner of the Access to Energy Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The initiative recently published "Business Solutions to Enable Energy Access for All". This is a tool through which the private sector outlines solutions ready to be implemented and identifies the conditions that government and authorities must ensure so that these can be scaled and replicated. Furthermore, the commitment to the Corporate Circle of the Earth Institute at Columbia University has been renewed. In this context, eni is discussing innovative solutions for access to energy.

Based on experience gained over the course of time, eni has developed a Sustainable Energy for All strategy, which includes innovative solutions for access to energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

The support to universal access to energy services is strongly featured in eni's strategy in the Countries where it operates. The priority given to interventions on access to energy comes from the business opportunities related to them and the urgency in the operating territory. eni provides partner Countries with three solutions:

  • production of electric power through associated gas;
  • distribution of gas to aid the development of the local markets;
  • implementation of solutions for energy distribution.

Increasing the rate of energy efficiency is a priority for all eni's business sectors. There are three lines of action through which the company means to improve its own energy efficiency:

  • reducing the energy consumption of processes, plants and buildings;
  • providing consumers with products to improve the efficiency of their energy consumption;
  • spreading a culture of responsible and sustainable energy use.

Renewable resources represent an important factor in the sustainability of the energy mix now and in the future. The competitiveness of these resources, however, is still limited: there are obstacles in terms of technology and integration with the existing systems that must be resolved. For renewable resources to be able to double their effect on the world's energy mix without sacrificing economic sustainability, in addition to applying the best technology available, investments have to be made in scientific research and industrial innovation. This knowledge guides eni's commitment in the field of renewable energy through:

  • supporting research and develop partnerships with universities;
  • producing photovoltaic systems that meet standards of excellence;
  • innovating and converting industrial processes and products.

This is the concept of Sustainable Energy for All that eni takes with it wherever it operates.

Eni S.p.a. - Registered Head Office
Piazzale Enrico Mattei
00144 Roma

Via Emilia, 1
e Piazza Ezio Vanoni, 1
20097 - San Donato Milanese (MI)

VAT number
n. 00905811006

Company share capital
€ 4.005.358.876,00 paid up.

Rome Company Register
Tax Identification Number. 00484960588

We are a major integrated energy company, committed to growth in the activities of finding, producing, transporting, transforming and marketing oil and gas. Eni men and women have a passion for challenges, continuous improvement, excellence and particularly value people, the environment and integrity.