Edison, the oldest energy company in Europe and leading responsible operator of the energy transition, and Censis, Centro Studi Investimenti Sociali, a socio-economic research institute, presented the report “Sustainable sustainability”, which investigates the opinions of Italian society post-pandemic on sustainability.
In the collective perception, the priority form of sustainability for 41.1% of Italians is the economic one. For 32.1% it is the environmental one, linked to the commitment to cut pollution and fight against global warming. While for 26.8% it is the social one, aimed at guaranteeing inclusion criteria for disadvantaged groups. Even among young people, 46.2% indicate economic sustainability as a priority, 24.7% environmental sustainability and 29.1% social sustainability. Out of rhetoric and clichés, the aspiration is for an environmental sustainability that is sustainable but from a socio-economic point of view and that is inclusive, because it is able to create a quality well-being in the near future accessible to all Italians.
Environmental sustainability must contribute to living better, never reducing economic well-being: we like inclusive sustainability understood as a social process with spontaneous adhesion, in the minute contexts of every day and not as imposition from above. From the choices of Italians – even the youngest – emerges a response more strongly oriented by pragmatism.
The report illustrated by Massimiliano Valerii, Censis General Manager and commented by Nicola Monti, Edison CEO, Andrea Prencipe, Rector of the Luiss University and Paola Brambilla Commissioner CCB Fondazione Cariplo shows how 79% of Italians say they are ready to change their style of life to reduce the environmental impact, provided, however, that the changes are distributed equally (42.5%) and that the costs are offset by the benefits (33.2%).
“The energy sector is strongly affected by the issue of sustainability. – stated Nicola Monti, Edison CEO – Companies like ours have a fundamental role in promoting the energy transition. This is a path capable of generating development and growth for our country with very important positive effects on the territory and on the future of our young people. Our role is to accompany Italian families on this journey without leaving anyone behind. “
“We must avoid the blinding of the equation sustainability equals degrowth, overcome even a certain extremist green ideology and evaluate the fears expressed by some economic subjects, worried about suffering a competitive disadvantage due to compliance with environmental compatibility criteria of the most rigorous ”- said Massimiliano Valerii, General Director of Censis. “Italians actually demonstrate great pragmatism: that’s what it takes to foster an epochal change.”
Edison is the oldest energy company in Europe. Always inspired by the principles of sustainability and innovation, it has been the protagonist of the electrification and modernization of the country and of the industrial development of the continent. In 2019 Edison set a clear goal: to be a leader in the energy transition and a responsible energy operator. Responsibility is the key value with which it operates, both towards its people by placing their health and safety at the center and promoting an inclusive work environment, and towards the outside by putting the utmost commitment to guarantee integrity in relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders and to improve the impact of its activities in the territories in which it operates, without leaving anyone behind.
For Edison, being a leader in the energy transition means committing to combat climate change by proposing innovative and sustainable models of energy production and consumption, while generating value for local communities. The strategy is focused on renewable sources, centrality of the customer and the territory. Renewable production for Edison is hydroelectric, photovoltaic and wind with the support of natural gas generation, the fuel necessary to keep the electricity system safe. Edison’s sustainability policy is an integral part of the business development plan and translates into 10 concrete commitments – the Sustainability Targets – which set the course for the company for the next few years.
For Edison, customer focus means meeting people’s needs and anticipating their needs, proposing clear and transparent competitive offers of electricity and gas integrated with innovative services. Centrality also means proximity to allow its customers to interact in the most effective ways. This is why Edison has structured a wide network of points of sale throughout the territory, supported by an innovative digital channel and flanked by qualified call centers that allow the relationship with customers to be kept open and direct.
The report “Sustainable sustainability” outlines the post-pandemic Italian consumer on the horizon. Only 48.2% of Italians will return to using their income as before the emergency, 31.8% will save more, 9% will consume more and 11% are undecided. In this climate, the consumer decides how to move not only thinking about the price – which still counts – but recognizing the values that a company embodies and the quality of the relationships it establishes with customers. In addition to being willing to spend more for products and services that respect the environment (58.7%) and for companies to respect the rights of workers and suppliers (50.8%), 54.6% of Italians are willing to spend more on Italian products and services and 49.6% on companies engaged in social projects. 41.5% of Italians, then, declare their intention to pay a little more for a company that inspires trust and always keeps what it says, 37.8% rewards the availability of physical points of sale and assistance, 29.1% appreciate transparency in costs, 23.6% are interested in a well-functioning and easy-to-access call center, 22% would like to reward companies that do not use aggressive marketing practices. Finally, for 8 out of 10 Italians the social reputation of a company is essential.
The price is important, but it is not the only decisive variable when signing a supply contract with an electricity and gas operator. For 53.9% of Italians, in fact, tariffs are not among the top three priorities when they have to sign a contract with an operator. Less than 10% indicate them as the first and only factor on which to focus the choice. The tariff matters, but transparency in costs and contractual obligations is also strategic, which is the first priority for 15.9% of consumers and is indicated in the first three priorities by 40.4%. Do not underestimate the commitment to respect for the environment and the fight against global warming, which represent the priority factor of choice for 11.2% of Italians and in the first three priorities for 29.2%.