Love takes many forms. This month, we’re highlighting businesses who are showing their love for our home, planet Earth, through strategically-implemented Shared Value. Climate change is real, and its effects are democratic – every country in the world is experiencing the consequences of our neglect in one form or another. Often cited as a primary cause, it is time for businesses around the world to take responsibility and make the thirteenth UN Sustainable Development Goal, Climate Action, a priority in 2018.

 

The use of fossil fuels to generate electricity is a key contributor to climate change. Enel Green Power, the Enel Group’s renewable energy division, has spearheaded the development and implementation of environmentally-friendly energy solutions around the world. Maria Cristina Papetti, Head of Sustainability Projects & Practice Sharing, noted at the 2017 Africa Shared Value Summit that “according to us, sustainability is the driver, because if you take strong commitment for the Sustainable Development Goals, you have to change the way you are doing your business accordingly, and innovation is the driver to reshape the way you are doing things”. Targeting those with no access to electricity, in low-income communities, was the impetus for Enel to reconceive their products and services – filling a vital market gap in the process.

 

Decentralising their approach, Enel exchanged enormous power plants for smaller, targeted energy solutions. They engaged with non-governmental organizations, social projects and international organizations in order to best understand the needs of each community and create a Shared Value ecosystem where they could implement their strategy for maximum impact. They have made the promote mechanisms for “raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in the least developed countries” – a central part of the UN Sustainable Development Goal – a focus of their daily business operations, integrated at every level and, by doing so, have grown to become one of the world’s biggest and most profitable green power providers. Don’t miss Enel’s Maria Cristina Papetti and Lizeka Dlepu at the 2018 Africa Shared Value Summit!

 

Solutions to developing countries’ challenges don’t have to come from outside. Uganda-based renewable energy company Bakulu Power was founded in 2015 to address the country’s dependence on fossil fuels at an individual, community and industrial level in a sustainable way. “People ask me, ‘Why energy?’ Well, it is the prerequisite for all development,” says Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala, Bakulu Power CEO and speaker at the 2018 Africa Shared Value Summit. The utility has shaped its business operations around its local context, working with local communities to create access to information, jobs, and opportunities for involvement in pioneering projects. In addition, its strategic focus is on fostering increased productivity in local industries, building long-term social change.

 

When most people think of the business impact on climate change, banking isn’t the first industry that comes to mind. However, strategic impact investment and other initiatives have their role to play in driving environmental sustainability. The TD Bank Group has been consciously carbon-neutral since 2010 and, in 2014, launched the first bank-led green bond in Canada. Through this bond, TD Bank and its stakeholders invest in and support initiatives that benefit the environment as well as driving economic growth. This includes renewable and low-carbon energy, green infrastructure, sustainable-use land management and energy efficiency and management. “It basically comes down to figuring out how to do more with less… corporations have this huge opportunity through innovation and technology to create new products,” says TD Chief Environment Officer Karen Clarke-Whistler. “If we all pull together, we can go a long way towards meeting our environmental challenges.”

 

No matter what your industry, your business can contribute to Climate Action through a Shared Value strategy that permeates every facet of the value chain. This business model is about shifting the perspective, finding the business opportunities inside what might seem like overwhelming challenges. Join us at the 2018 Africa Shared Value Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, to learn more about how your business can leverage Shared Value to drive profit and Meet the Challenge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

The 2018 Africa Shared Value Summit will take place 24 & 25 May 2018 at the Maslow Conference Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The aim of the Summit is to raise awareness and advocate for the success of the strategic implementation of the Shared Value business model which brings about social change while positively impacting profit. In 2018, the Summit aims to deepen and continue the Shared Value conversation, with a focus on implementation, impact and how Shared Value may be used as a vehicle to implement and align the business to the SDGs. Visit www.africasharedvaluesummit.com to find out more and book your seat.

 

Image Source: Distilled Photography