Water project Nigeria FAO ENI

Local development: a priority for Eni

We aim to promote sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth by focusing on the development of local communities and the specific needs of the areas in which we operate.

A pillar of our business model

We have always been committed in the countries where we operate to promoting access to electricity and promoting Local Development Programmes (LDPs), with a broad portfolio of initiatives in favour of communities. These Alliances for development, based on the enhancement of local resources, represent the third pillar of our business model . This is a distinctive approach referred to as "Dual Flag", based on collaboration with other internationally recognized players in identifying the needs of communities, in line with the National Development Plans and the UN 2030 Agenda. At the same time, we are committed to creating job opportunities and transferring know-how and skills to local partners. 

Fighting energy poverty

By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion people, population growth will result in an increase of 1.9 billion people compared to the 7.7 billion in 2020, with approximately 60% of this increase concentrated in Africa and 20% in India and South-East Asia. To meet global energy demand, it will be essential to act simultaneously on two fronts: in OECD countries, efficiency processes must be promoted and the carbon impact associated with consumption must be limited, whereas in non-OECD countries, universal access to energy must be guaranteed based on a sustainabile energy mix, which also makes it possible to enhance existing local resources.

Fighting energy poverty is the first step towards meeting the primary needs related to education, health and economic diversification and ensuring universal access to energy in an efficient and sustainable manner. This is the main challenge of the energy sector in the process of transitioning to a low carbon future, where Eni contributes through the construction of gas infrastructure, as an integral part of the business model, the development of initiatives to improve access to modern cooking systems and through off-grid projects and renewable energy sources

Energy forms the basis for development

Ensuring universal access to energy in an efficient and sustainable manner is the main challenge for the energy sector in the process of transitioning to a low carbon future. In contributing to this objective, Eni implements a series of actions in several areas.

In the scope of natural gas, Eni invests in the construction of infrastructure for the production and transport of gas, both for export and local consumption. In 2021, Eni supplied 78% of the gas produced from its fields to local markets, for approximately 65 billion Sm3 (gross gas volumes). More specifically, it has allocated 100% of the gas produced in 12 countries to the domestic market. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Eni invests in the construction of thermoelectric power plants that use natural gas, enhancing associated gas, in order to diversify the energy mix.

At the same time, it pursues projects promoting the introduction of clean cooking systems, with the dual objective of limiting the health problems associated with exposure to toxic fumes and reducing forest exploitation.

Finally, Eni implements projects to access energy from renewable sources in several countries. 

The Alliances for Development represents Eni's commitment to an equitable transition to achieve global human development, which requires cultural as well as social, economic and technological change.

Alberto Piatti - Head of Sustainable Development

Performance tool

Here are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to the five-year period 2017-2021.

Local Development Programmes in cooperation with the countries

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:

  • Human rights in communities 
    Commitment to ensuring that its activities do not adversely affect the lives of people affected by its business activities, using a risk-based model to classify business projects.
  • Land management 
    Project development may require the acquisition and/or use of land 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.
  • Local content 
    Local Content, a tool that supports dialogue with local authorities and provides a useful assessment to guide investment decisions to promote local development, 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.

  • Stakeholder engagement  
    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 in 6 sectors of intervention   
    Access to off-grid energy, Life on land, Economic diversification, Access to water and sanitation, education, community health.

Sectors of intervention

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

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

Restoration of the ecosystem with remediation activities focused on recovering the native vegetation.

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

Ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for the local population.


Promoting equitable and inclusive access to quality education and learning opportunities.

Promoting access to health and combat- ing the spread of disease through preven- tion and treatment.

Sustainability integrated into the business

From our first entry into a country or new territory to the decommissioning phase, we adopt tools and methodologies in line with the main international standards, with the aim of ensuring greater efficiency and a systematic decision-making approach contributing to the development of host countries, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The definition of priority areas for intervention to contribute to the SDGs allows the identification of the objectives for the four-year strategic plan, including through the following principles:

Knowledge of the Country's socio-economic, environmental and cultural contexts through the application of internationally recognized tools, also applied at sub-national level, such as the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

Continuous and two-way relationship with directly and/or indirectly involved local stakeholders, which allows analysis of their requirements (and/or possible Greek), understanding of local needs and mutual trust strengthens.

Analysis and mitigation of the potential impacts of the activities to identify critical issues, opportunities and risks from the socioeconomic and environmental standpoint, including respect for and promotion of human rights.

Definition and implementation of Local Development Programmes (LDPs) consistent with the Country Development Plans, the 2030 Agenda, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and local needs analysis.

Assessment and measurement of local development generated ("learn and adapt") through the use of tools and methods, not only shared at an international level and adopted by Eni, such as the logical framework approach, the results-based management approach and project cycle management, but also developed directly by Eni in collaboration with academic institutions such as the Eni impact tool and the Eni Local Content Evaluation.

Numerous collaborations with institutions, cooperation agencies and local stakeholders allow an approach which is essential for identifying the fundamental interventions needed to ad- dress communities’ needs in line with the National Development Plans and the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations.

The importance of understanding the socio-economic context

The development strategies that we implement in countries start by studying the social, political and economic context. In this regard, we have developed different types of analyses, which in addition to supporting the business phases, also make it possible to identify and meet the real needs of the community as far as possible, providing a starting point for formulating the development projects. The main information that we take into consideration refers to health, education, income, but also gender disparity, the differences between urban and rural contexts, discrimination against vulnerable groups and the respect of human rights. We also analyse national development plans to identify potential synergies and cooperation. To further validate our results, we use the Global MPI - Multidimensional Poverty Index, developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford and Human Development Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This approach makes it possible to integrate the monetary poverty measures with non-monetary measures, which are more accurate in providing a overview on the effective access to essential goods and services.

With Eni's support and expertise, we are evaluating important projects to safeguard cultural and natural heritage in Mexico, which will work through capacity building and generating spaces for dialogue between experts and communities.

Frédéric Vacheron (UNESCO rep.ve in Mexico)

Public-private partnership to expand our reach

The local development initiatives that we promote in countries are reinforced by the establishment of public - private partnerships  with various entities, from from International Organizations to development banks, from national institutions to the private sector, from universities to research centres, from cooperation bodies to civil society organizations. These strategic alliances offer Eni a unique opportunity to launch projects that improve the living conditions of populations, expanding their benefits and scope, strengthening and diversifying know-how and skills. Through these collaborations, which are in line with the Paris Agreements, the National Development Plans and Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the human and economic resources pooled together become a driving force contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

These strategic alliances offer Eni a unique opportunity to initiate projects that improve people's living conditions, extend their benefits and reach, strengthen and diversify know-how and skills. Through these partnerships, which are in line with the Paris Agreement, the National Development Plans and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the pooled human and economic resources become a driving force to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

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The "Mattei Formula"

Collaborating with countries to promote sustainable development and meet the needs of communities is part of an approach that we have adopted since the start of Eni, working in difficult contexts, where water, energy, work and health services are often a privilege accessible only to a few. In this, we act in accordance with the concepts and actions developed by Enrico Mattei in applying the so-called "Mattei Formula", where the objective was to accompany the development of people and communities, promoting the the autonomy of the producing countries from an energy perspective.

Enrico Mattei, fondatore Eni

The relevance of the Mattei model