By: Maria Gotti | Sustainability Projects and Practice Sharing Analyst at Enel | September 30th, 2016

The Italian electrical power supply, which relies increasingly on renewable energy sources, is greater than the actual national energy consumption. Today there are 22 thermal power plants that rely on non-renewable sources and are considered marginal because they are old and not efficient. These plants are no longer competitive in the energy market or are no longer operating and thus will be decommissioned.

Enel is considering it as an opportunity for the company’s growth and as a potential innovation for the entire country. In order to achieve this in the most sustainable, innovative, efficient and effective way, the Futur-e program was launched. The latter wants to find the most innovative and sustainable solutions to decommission these plants and at the same time strengthen relations between the company and the communities based on a proactive and engaging approach.

Applying the creating shared value approach is in this case essential to achieve the most appropriate results according to the context and is at the core of the Futur-e Program. An in depth context analysis, promoting a direct and engaging involvement of local communities in creative sessions and surveys as well as undergoing a materiality analysis to select the most relevant actions for each context is what renders the program successful.

In the case of Porto Tolle, for example, an in depth study of the context and a materiality analysis supported the company in comprehending the territory, highlighting the ways in which to re-use the plant in the most sustainable and interesting way for both Enel and the local stakeholders. The plant of Porto Tolle determined the social and economic development of the area surrounding it, this approach was therefore essential to help us value local entrepreneurial activities and the territorial potential.

As part of Futur-e’s initiatives, Enel initiated creative brainstorming activities engaging local institutions, entrepreneurs, NGOs and employees in order to listen to local stakeholders and together find the best way of re-using the power plant. In the plant of Pietrafitta this methodology helped the company identify the best solution for the business and the stakeholders at the same time.

In plants like Bari, La Spezia, Alessandria, Rossano, Montalto di Castro, Porto Tolle and Trino, stakeholder engagement activities involved local industrial entities, local and international institutions, universities and schools to assess the selected projects and promote their dissemination. These activities involved 8.400 stakeholders at national and local level as well as the development of a dedicated website ‘’ through which the company transparently provides information regarding the program and to which all stakeholders can refer to.

The plant of Alessandria is an example where the solution for the requalification of the plant was put in the hands of the winner of an international contest which was launched for the occasion. The winning project was XXL – Xtreme Xperience Land and it plans to replace the plant with an innovative park dedicated to extreme sports that follow 5 main themes: water, earth, air, energy, nature. The winner’s idea has been presented to various financial and industrial investors and discussions are ongoing for a possible development.

In all of the examples mentioned above, before the launch of a ‘public call for bids’, Enel arranges a survey, customized according to the context, to be aware and acknowledge the local needs and expectations. The results of the surveys are helpful to develop a stakeholder management and engagement plan as well as during the selection of best solution for the plant’s re-use.

Obtain community awareness and perception regarding decommissioning; reduce demolition costs through a customized re-use; guarantee environmental standards and apply the circular economy model through material re-use.

Environmental protection; new job opportunities; promotion of the local natural, cultural and artistic heritage and excellence based on local needs; supporting the development of local entrepreneurial activities.

Video of Futur-e:

Video Rossano Calabro plant:

Video XXL Winner of the contest in Alessandria:

Video Carlo Tamburi - Head of Country Italy:

Project Card - Futur-e.pdf