We are more sustainable than you perhaps think!
Klaus-Dieter Maubach on the importance of sustainability at E.ON.
Prof. Dr. Klaus Dieter Maubach
Former Member of the Board of Management of E.ON SE (03/31/2013)
The subject of sustainability has become one of the main criteria of corporate activities – not only against the background of ecological and societal developments but also the resulting global challenges. For us at E.ON, that means in concrete terms: we must see our activities in the field of sustainability even more as part of our strategy and communicate the progress made to our stakeholders in a transparent manner.
As far as their sustainability image is concerned, energy companies do not exactly take the top positions compared with other industries. In the public debate, the wide field of sustainability is also often reduced to the subject of CO2 or certain power generation methods. Therefore, the question is: what exactly does E.ON understand by the word? What are we doing in concrete terms and are we perhaps even better than our reputation?
E.ON has been committed to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact since 2005. We have also subscribed to ethical principles in a code of conduct which applies to all employees. Furthermore, the E.ON Board of Management has affirmed the importance of social responsibility for our company in a self-commitment. With our commitment, we are actively advocating the observance of human rights, labour standards and environmental protection and we are also involved in the fight against corruption. By subscribing to the principles of the Global Compact, we have also undertaken to keep account in an annual Communication on Progress of how we promote sustainable development. In doing so, we apply internationally recognized reporting standards. Our aim is to provide open reporting on ecological, societal and economic aspects of our business activities. For us it is a matter of course to provide a transparent outline of our strengths but also report on negative incidents, for example accidents at work or environmental damage we have caused. In addition to facts and figures, we show with selected examples how we also implement and live up to our responsibility in the local community.
E.ON has achieved good results in numerous sustainability rankings for several years. Our individual activities also regularly receive awards – both at regional and national level. This success of E.ON shows that the anchoring of sustainability criteria in our operational processes is making progress. Here are a few examples:
- Since 2004, E.ON has considerably increased the demands placed on occupational safety – as a result of which the accident rate fell by 65 percent in the period up to the end of 2011. These figures not only include our own employees but also those of contractors working for us.
- With the E.ON research initiative, we have been supporting researchers and teams at universities and institutes in their work relating to the energy industry since 2007. Up to the end of 2011, we had provided a total of EUR 18 million for international projects under this initiative to find solutions to future challenges of energy supply.
- We also focus on our supply chain: we founded the initiative "Bettercoal" together with other European energy utilities. Its aim is to improve the local working and environmental conditions in international coal-mining and along the supply chain.
We will not falter in our commitment to the environment and society – in line with our strategy of cleaner & better energy. By this, we also mean the sustainable economic success of one's own company for without it companies will not be in a position to undertake the necessary changes to achieve a more sustainable future.
We are fully aware that the expectations of customers, investors, and society placed on large companies like E.ON to make a verifiable contribution to sustainability are steadily increasing. We are not perfect and many challenges still lie ahead of us. But we are on the right track. Our aim is to be one of the leading companies in our industry in this respect as well. With our sustainability reporting, we offer a transparent platform to show the progress we have made in the individual fields of action. Just take a look at it – we are more sustainable than you perhaps think!
More information you can find in our Sustainability Channel.