Image: Johannes Teyssen

Becoming even more sustainable

Beginning in 2016 E.ON has three core businesses: renewables, energy networks, and innovative customer solutions. This setup will enable us to meet the challenges of a new, more sustainable energy world and prepare ourselves for the energy markets of the future. In many ways, our performance in all of these businesses is already excellent. Our objective is to further improve this performance, thereby creating real value for all of our stakeholders, from our customers, employees, and shareholders to our business partners and the general public.

At the start of 2016 our businesses in the conventional energy world (conventional power generation and global energy trading) were transferred to a new company called Uniper.

“Our program will be ambitious.“

We talked with Johannes Teyssen, Chairman of the E.ON SE Management Board and Chief Sustainability Officer, about the role sustainability plays at the new E.ON.

What does E.ON’s new strategy mean from a sustainability perspective?

All of our new core businesses – renewables, energy networks, and innovative customer solutions – are geared toward sustainable growth. This new setup will enable us to do an even better job of integrating sustainability into our business processes, meeting our shareholders’ needs, and creating value for communities and for society at large. We intend to get our employees more involved and do more to put sustainability into action at our company. We’ve already taken some important steps in this direction, such as reestablishing an independent sustainability department. Our sustainability team is currently working in close consultation with our newly constituted Sustainability Council to design a new sustainability strategy for E.ON. In addition, I’ve taken on the role of Chief Sustainability Officer, which underscores the significance sustainability has for us.

What does this mean for your old sustainability strategy? What new targets will you set?

It goes without saying that we’ll continue to live up to the sustainability principles, norms, and standards that have long guided our environmental, social, and governance performance. For example, we remain committed to the principles of the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We’ll also continue to report annually on the progress we’ve made in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. And we’re taking the opportunity created by our new setup to define new strategic focus areas and targets for our sustainability effort. This process is under way now. In the months ahead, we’ll articulate these targets – along with initiatives and timeliness for achieving them – a new sustainability work program. I can already tell you now that it’s going to be an ambitious program.
Image: Johannes Teyssen

Which sustainability issues will have the highest priority?

The great thing about our new setup is that many sustainability issues – like customer orientation, energy efficiency, and access to renewables – are also business issues and closely aligned with our three core businesses. But we also intend to place a greater emphasis on other issues, such as employee development.

How will you ensure that your stakeholders receive comprehensible, transparent information about E.ON’s sustainability activities?

As I said, we’ll continue to report annually about these activities and the progress we made toward our sustainability targets. Our 2015 Sustainability Report, which we’ll issue in May 2016, covers the period before operational separation of E.ON and Uniper and therefore encompasses all our businesses, including those that have been part of Uniper since the start of 2016. In the second half of 2016, we also intend to inform our stakeholders about the focus areas and targets of our new sustainability strategy. We’ll issue a brochure about this strategy and make it available online by the end of the year.

The graphic below provides an overview of E.ON’s key sustainability issues for its environmental, social, and governance performance. Please click on “Environment”, “Social” or “Governance & integrity”.

Graphic: Key sustainability issues