e5 Charter


Our Aim and Mission

Our aim is to restructure energy supply and demand, enhancing European economic efficiency and prosperity for the future, without causing irreparable damage to the environment, both here and elsewhere. In particular, we are determined that our products and services play a prominent role in limiting global climate change and enhancing living standards.

Our Principles

As business leaders concerned about the future of both the economy and the environment, acknowledging that companies in industrialised countries should take particular responsibility, we urge the EU and European Nations to adopt progressive energy, transport and related policies, in order to avoid ecological risks and long-term economic damage. We are convinced that the risks of global climate change justify urgent action. We consider the Kyoto Protocol an important ‘first step’ to reduce the business risks for such action and to give a clear market perspective. The Protocol provides a more level playing field for companies offering products and services requiring less greenhouse gas emissions. Bold strategies translating climate policy into business action will create millions of jobs. Reducing Europe’s need for imported fuel will improve security of energy supply and the balance of payments, help control inflation and improve global political stability. The way is to use energy as efficiently as possible and increasingly from local renewable energy sources. The development of a strong market for clean energy solutions in Europe will equip European industry with global competitiveness for the long-term while creating further sustainable export markets. These exports, technology transfer and capacity building will create growth for developing countries and countries in transition of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Clear long-term signals for investors are important.

What we promote: climate is business

Many appropriate technologies, products and services to limit climate change are ready and waiting. However, because of the uncertain political background and confusing price signals for both business and the consumer, demand is lagging behind the current state of technical development. Policies aimed at reinforcing energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable housing, transport and telecommunication policies are central pillars of a strategy for sustainable development.

Toachieve long-time sustainability, two parallel approaches are necessary: On one hand it is essential to adjust the economical framework to use economically and ecologically most efficient technologies, in order to rapidly reduce emissions in the next two to three decades. Here, proven cogeneration technology provides lowest specific emissions in power generation with an enormous potential. On the other hand it is necessary to build up a diverse renewable energy systems to make renewables the dominant energy source by mid-century.

Most urgently energy efficiency needs to be boosted by the elimination of market obstacles on the energy demand side and the use of integrated resource planning. Unlike end-of-pipe technologies, energy efficiency improves economic efficiency. This means internalising social and ecological external costs associated with energy production and consumption. The full potential for a sustainable liberalisation of the energy and transport markets can only be reached by eliminating counter-productive subsidies, and by creating market signals promoting economy, society and the environment in parallel, such as emissions trading and other incentives.

The task of European governments and institutions is to overcome these market obstacles by adopting policies for a sustainable energy future. Technologies are available and business actors are prepared, what we need is a framework creating incentives. Existing examples created by our members and others show positive results for the climate, while creating sustainable jobs, once above mentioned strategies are adopted.

Our commitment

Resolute policy aimed at climate protection and sustainable development involves numerous challenges, and offers great market opportunities for European business. Because of the enormous market potential in this area, we have already invested in research and development as well as marketing and sales of climate friendly products and services in home and export markets. We pledge to continue this work, as well as promoting the benefits of climate protection for economy, society and the environment. e5 highlights big-scale reduction opportunities, raising public and political awareness. Accordingly, we provide constructive proposals for climate protection and energy policy in discussions with the EU, UN climate negotiations, national governments, other companies and societal groups.


[This is an updated version of e5’s “Sustainable Energy Charter” from March 1995, which was for many years the basis for the success story of this new European business voice.]