Sustainable Development – The Heart of E8

Sustainable Energy Development is the heart of the e8. As the world’s leading suppliers of electricity and energy services, the e8 companies recognize that they have a significant role to play in helping society achieve the goal of Sustainable Development.

Defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987, Sustainable Development is “development which meets the needs and aspirations of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

As such, it takes into account the interrelated ideas of environmental protection, economic growth, and social benefit allowing for growth now, while preserving resources for the future.

Sustainable Development

In the context of the electricity industry, Sustainable Energy Development encompasses the reduction of environmental impacts, maximization of efficient electricity production, transmission, distribution, and end use, as well as the greater use of renewable (solar, wind, and hydro-electric energy sources) and new applications for electricity.

As a testament to the e8’s commitment to SED, the e8 Sustainable Energy Charter was signed by the e8 Chairpersons on May 12, 1994, in Tokyo.

The September 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development marks the 10th anniversary since both the Earth Summit in Rio and creation of the e8. In the Electricity Sector Report for the WSSD (pdf 673 kb), the e8 invites the electricity industry to adopt ‘Guidelines for Best Practices’ to promote the best available techniques for improving the operation of the electric power sector worldwide while reducing environmental impacts.

Furthermore, the e8 recommends that strategic partnerships and improved cooperation will be needed between governments, financial and development institutions, technology developers, non-governmental organizations, and the electric power sector in order to achieve sustainable energy development.

Leading up to the Summit, the e8 also reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable energy development with its “Energy in Action” statement, a retrospective of the group’s decade of actions with a forward look at public-private partnership strategies directed at poverty alleviation, access to electricity, and environmental protection.

As it did in the beginning, the e8 continues to set playing an active role in promoting sustainable development as one of its main priorities.