Water project Nigeria FAO ENI

Local development: a priority for Eni

Our aim is to foster comprehensive, sustainable and inclusive human development with attention to the growth of local communities and the specific needs of the areas in which we operate.



A pillar of our business model

We are committed to fostering energy access and promoting Local Development Programs (LDP) with community-based initiatives in the countries where we operate. Development Alliances, based on the enhancement of local resources, are the third lever of our business model. This is a distinctive approach known as "Dual Flag" and is based on respect for the individual and a willingness to be committed in the territories where we are present to foster sustainable development, also through partnerships with national and international entities.

Fighting energy poverty

In the coming three decades, the demand for energy will continue to grow particularly in the so-called emerging economies, while in industrialized countries this phenomenon will be mitigated by energy efficiency and conservation programs. Providing access to energy means fulfilling the basic needs of communities, from health and education to business support and the creation of job opportunities. In 2022, about 750 million people (10 percent of the world's population) lacked access to electricity: this figure mainly concerns sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The challenge for the future is therefore twofold: continuing on the path of environmental sustainability while ensuring energy security and accessibility in a scenario in which the world population is constantly growing (about 2 billion more by 2050).  

Eni has succeeded in doing so by adopting a model of energy mix diversification based on the geography of the countries in which it operates, developing new technologies, giving gas a central role in the energy transition, building renewable energy plants and distributing improved cooking systems. 

We pursue local development projects through development alliances in the countries where we have a presence to promote access to energy, education and health and to promote economic diversification.

Claudio Descalzi - CEO Eni

Local Development Programmes

The commitment in support of the primary needs of local populations is central to our way of operating. From the early stages of negotiations, together with the governments of the countries hosting us, we define specific Local Development Programmes (LDPs) in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda and consistent with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), based on five lines of action. 

We strive to ensure that our activities do not negatively impact the lives of people affected by business activities, through a risk-based model to rank business projects.

Project development may require the acquisition and/or use of land (or water) and the subsequent relocation of people. It is therefore necessary to minimise the socio-economic impacts on their lives by limiting as far as possible the loss of assets or access to assets, which generates the loss of income or livelihood resources.

This is a tool that supports dialogue with local authorities and provides a useful assessment to guide investment decisions to promote local development, and represents the added value brought to the countries on three lines of action:

  • transfer of skills and knowledge
  • activation of local economic
  • sectors in the supply chain interventions to foster growth and diversification of the local economy.

Eni tracks and examines all requests received by its stakeholders in order to implement development initiatives, shared with local communities, and consistent with sustainable development. Key elements in the process are openness to listening, mutual exchange, inclusion, understanding of stakeholders’ points of view and expectations as well as sharing of choices and decisions.

Local development projects realized by Eni deal with six sectors of intervention:

  • Access to off-grid Energy: promoting local production and marketing of certified, quality cooking systems, by creating employment opportunities and local micro-entrepreneurship and replacing traditional cooking systems with more modern ones.
  • Life on land:  to enhance and protect the local natural heritage, including with waste management support activities for communities and to restore the ecosystem with remediation activities focused on restoring the native vegetation series.
  • Economic diversification: promoting food security, the development of entrepreneurial, agricultural, fishing and infrastructure activities, in a long-term perspective, favouring the creation of new job opportunities for people and businesses, the empowerment of women and young people.
  • Water and sanitation: ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for the local population.
  • Education: Promoting equitable and inclusive access to quality education and learning opportunities.
  • Community health: promoting access to health and combat- ing the spread of disease through preven- tion and treatment.

Sustainability integrated into the business

Right from the earliest stages of entry into a new country or territory, through the entire life of projects to decommissioning activities, we employ tools and methodologies in line with major international standards. It is our goal to ensure a more efficient and systematic decision-making approach to contribute to the development of host countries, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In its projects for communities, Eni follows a methodology to define priority areas of intervention for local development through these principles:

The awareness of the country's socioeconomic, environmental and cultural contexts through the application of internationally recognized tools, also applied at the subnational level, such as the Global MPI - Multidimensional Poverty Index

Ongoing, two-way relationship, with stakeholders directly or indirectly involved, enables analysis of their demands (and/or possible grievances), understanding of local needs, and building mutual trust.

Activities monitoring to identify critical issues, opportunities and risks from a socioeconomic and environmental perspective, including respect for and promotion of human rights.

The definition and implementation of local development programs (LDPs) consistent with Country Development Plans, Agenda 2030 and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and local needs analysis.

The assessment and measurement of local development generated (“learn and adapt”) through the use of its own tools and methods developed in collaboration with academic institutions such as the Eni Local Content Evaluation (ELCE), as well as internationally shared and adopted by Eni such as the Logical Framework Approach (LFAA), the results-based management approach and project cycle management.

Across all of this, the many partnerships with institutions, cooperation agencies and local stakeholders provide a useful approach to identifying key interventions to address the needs of communities, helping to improve their development.

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The "Mattei Formula"

Accompanying the development of peoples and communities by fostering the economy of energy-producing countries. This is the goal of the "Mattei Formula," the strategy developed by Enrico Mattei that inspires collaboration with the countries in which we operate to foster sustainable development and meet the needs of communities. 

Enrico Mattei, fondatore Eni

The relevance of the Mattei model