Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni and Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs announced that the two partners would work together on key projects promoting sustainable development in Africa. The announcement was made at this year’s UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in the presence of Georg Kell, the Global Compact’s executive director.
The collaboration is part of the Earth Institute’s Corporate Circle, a program to engage companies dedicated to sustainable development in initiatives to further common objectives. The collaboration between Eni and the Earth Institute will initially be focused on supporting the activities of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, a joint research center of the Earth Institute and the Columbia University Law School. Eni’s contribution in particular will support efforts to help ensure that the utilization of resources generated from foreign direct investment promotes sustainability projects in line with governmental development plans and aimed at achieving the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs), a set of targets to fight poverty, hunger and disease that all UN member states agreed to meet by 2015. CEO Paolo Scaroni will join the Advisory Board of the Vale-Columbia Center as a demonstration of Eni’s commitment.
Eni’s support of the Vale Columbia Center is intended to be just the beginning of a larger partnership with the Earth Institute that will continue to focus on the achievement of the MDGs in different ways. For instance, the partners also intend to jointly cooperate in initiatives aimed at guaranteeing access to energy sources, sustainable resource management, high-level development of young African business leaders and the construction of innovative agricultural projects in the African countries where Eni operates.
In addition to Eni’s continued commitment to sustainability, it is its cooperation model–supporting industrial and energy development in the countries where Eni operates as part of an integrated sustainability approach–that forms the basis of the innovative new partnership with the Earth Institute headed by Jeffrey Sachs.
The partnership launched with the Earth Institute represents another noteworthy example of the importance Eni bestows on the utilization of partnerships as a tool of co-operation in the area of sustainable development, in particular through the sharing of activities and skills with centers of excellence.
Every three years, the Global Compact Leaders Summit gathers the top executives of all the organizations joining the Global Compact. The group represents a UN initiative promoted in the year 2000 by former Secretary Kofi Annan and involves companies, governments, international agencies, universities, unions and civil society in the promotion of the UN targets and in particular the MDGs. Eni was the first Italian company to join the Global Compact in 2001. This year, the company supported the Leaders Summit as Patron Sponsor and also promoted the participation of some NGOs, principally from Africa.