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.

Supporting local people and meeting their needs

The energy sector is undergoing a period of transition, the fundamental role of pursuing sustainable development puts it before crucial decisions, brought about by the decisive challenge of our time: to respond to the climate emergency, while respecting the need to ensure access to energy for a growing population, with the aim of fostering development and reducing social and economic imbalances. One of the pillars of Eni's business model is to pursue this fair transition through the exploitation of energy resources, making them available to both international and domestic markets, while fostering the development of local markets in the knowledge that growing together strengthens the company's credibility.

It's an approach that we have adopted since Eni was formed, working in difficult environments, where water, energy, work and medical services are often only for the privileged few. The experience we have gained enables us to think about and implement targeted projects to support the needs of local communities. In fact, our goal is to combat energy poverty, by supporting our host communities, devising and implementing projects that are consistent with national development plans. We act in keeping with the "Mattei Formula", the ideas and actions of Enrico Mattei. The goal of this was to help local people and communities evolve, favouring independence for producing countries in terms of energy and development. 

Enrico Mattei, fondatore Eni

The relevance of the Mattei model

Energy for the places we work in

We are an integrated energy company, made up of people who support a socially equitable energy transition, fostering access to efficient and sustainable energy to create long-term value. The world's population is expected to surpass nine billion in 2040 and the demand for electricity will continue to grow. As an energy company, we feel a great responsibility towards people who live in the countries that host us. Energy is a key element in all the challenges the world is facing, but it also represents great opportunities. Not by chance, of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN in 2015 and signed by more than 190 countries, the seventh points to the path to clean and sustainable energy for all as fundamental. 

In 2020, 71% of the gas produced from the fields that Eni operates was supplied to local markets, amounting to approximately 57 billion Sm3 (gross gas volumes), notably, in 12 countries 100% of the gas produced was supplied to the domestic market.

Our strategy, Local Development Programmes and the relationship with the countries

The strategy to reduce social and economic gaps through the development of energy sources is an integral part of our business model. Indeed, Eni invests in the construction of facilities for the production and transport of gas for both export and domestic consumption. It promotes the development of local markets in the awareness that growing together reinforces the company's credibility, leads to new business prospects and consolidates relationships with the countries we operate in. This is a key factor in promoting education, access to water, and health. For this reason, from the early stages of negotiation with governments, support for the primary needs of local populations remains fundamental to our model. Activities defined in specific Local Development Programmes (LDP) in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda and in coherence with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), call for five lines of action:

  • Local Content: generation of added value through the transfer of skills and know-how, the employment of local people along the supply chain and the implementation of development projects;
  • Land management: optimal management of the region, starting from the assessment of impacts deriving from the acquisition of the land where Eni's activities take place, to define any alternatives and measures to mitigate said impacts;
  • Stakeholder engagement: enhancement of the relationship with stakeholders, which is based on shared values, mutual understanding and care;
  • Human Rights Impact Assessment: the assessment of human right impacts in order to identify potential or actual consequences attributable to Eni's activities, whether directly or indirectly, and the definition of related mitigation measures, in line with the guiding principles of the United Nations and also through a "due diligence" process;
  •  Local development projects: contribution to the socio-economic development of local communities, in line with national legislation and development plans and based on the knowledge acquired.

Economic diversification: we support local plans, women and young people

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 8, we want to "incentivise lasting, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, along with full, productive employment and dignified work for all." For this reason, we promote projects for the development of business, agricultural, fishing and infrastructure activities, business objectives and local socio-economic growth. We take a long term perspective, developing our business in synergy with the regions in which we operate. These activities enable the creation of new job opportunities for people and businesses, supporting the empowerment of women and young people. This is achieved by evaluating the most suitable ways to protect the specifics of the individual regions.

The primacy of education

We contribute to the access to education in the countries where we operate, in collaboration with local institutions and in line with the fourth UN Sustainable Development Goal, which points to quality education as a priority for the 2030 Agenda. Important results have been achieved in recent years, starting with increased access to education and school enrolment levels, especially for girls and young women.

Water, the most precious resource

Access to water and basic hygiene services is key to local development, and that is why we promote related initiatives, as set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the countries where we operate, we work to achieve these results, building wells, drinking water plants, water distribution networks and sewage collectors. In the context of the fight against energy poverty, access to water is one of the pillars of our activity.

Health in communities

Improving health conditions and treatment facilities for the communities we work in is a constant goal for Eni and is part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN in 2015: Goal 3, in particular, concerns the promotion of health, well-being and access to treatment. The promotion of the well-being of the local community is an important tool for strengthening Eni's credibility and effectiveness as a partner for the sustainable development of the regions it operates in. 

Land Protection

These interventions for land  protection refer only to projects for the enhancement of the local natural heritage of the communities of the Countries where Eni operates, thus excluding HSE environmental investments.

Access to energy

Fighting energy poverty is the first step to meet the primary needs related to education, health and economic diversification, and ensuring universal access to energy in an efficient and sustainable manner is the main challenge for the energy sector in the transition process towards a low-carbon future. Eni contributes to this challenge 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 and renewable energy projects.

Business-integrated sustainability

Eni adopts tools and methodologies in line with the main international standards from the first entry into a country or new region through to the decommissioning phase. This ensures a more efficient and systematic approach to decision-making and contributes to the development of host countries, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This approach improves the sustainability of industrial activities throughout the business cycle. Analysis of the socio-economic context, which increasingly accompanies the business project phases, enables Eni to understand the local needs and then establish the priority areas for intervention. These priorities are translated into targets in the four-year strategic plan, which aim to help achieve the SDGs, including through the adoption of the following principles:

  1. Knowledge of the country's socio-economic, environmental and cultural context, using internationally recognised tools like the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which is also applied at a sub-national level;
  2. Ongoing, two-way relations with local stakeholders who are directly and/or indirectly involved, to analyse their requests (and/or possible grievances), understand local needs and establish mutual trust;
  3. The definition and implementation of local development programmes consistent with the Country Development Plans, the 2030 Agenda and the National Determined Contributions;
  4. The evaluation and measurement of the local development generated (“learn and adapt”), using internationally recognised tools and methodologies adopted by Eni, such as the logical framework approach and project cycle management, whether developed by Eni in collaboration with academic institutions or the Eni Local Content Evaluation.

This approach is based on working with institutions, cooperation agencies and local stakeholders to identify the measures needed to address community needs, in line with National Development Plans and the UN 2030 Agenda.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index

An important step for our business lies in the preliminary analysis before starting operations in a country. We do this to learn more about the socio-economic context in which we are going to work. To achieve this, we use the Global MPI - Multidimensional Poverty Index, a tool developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at the University of Oxford and Human Development Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). With this tool, we can ensure that our activities are as effective as possible, as well as being focussed on supporting the most vulnerable people.

No economic activity can thrive without access to reliable and affordable energy sources. The world has accumulated experiences of enormous value, science and technology bring new discoveries every day, new technologies that can help produce more, with less pressure on energy, water, resources and materials.

Li Yong, Director General, UNIDO

Our development partnerships

The breadth of the objectives and challenges we face requires relationships with all the relevant institutional parties. This is why the individual initiatives implemented in the countries where we work, encourage an integrated approach based on partnerships. Integrating financial, human and knowledge resources, leads to optimal results. Some examples of this approach include the agreements signed with the governments of Angola, Mexico and Mozambique, symbolising a model that integrates local development, renewable energies, health and hydrocarbon research. To this end, considering how important it is to achieve a level of development that is fairer and more sustainable for all, Eni believes that cooperation between the public and the private sectors is fundamental. That's why we have developed partnerships with international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Development Organisation (UNIDO), to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting the local development of the communities that host us. Collaborations like these are part of Eni's long-term development strategy.

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