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World’s Leading Energy Companies Launch Drive to Deliver Higher Impact for Society

Desiree Mohindra, Associate Director, Tel.: +41 022 869 1462, E-mail:

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  • Global energy leaders form the first 20 signatories of the World Economic Forum’s Energy for Society Initiative
  • CEOs from world’s leading energy companies commit to the five principles of the initiative   
  • The initiative’s 24 case studies highlight global best practices for delivering social value

Tianjin, People’s Republic of China, 11 September 2012 – The Energy for Society Initiative launched today is an engagement of the World Economic Forum’s Energy Industry Community. The initiative is supported by a new online platform with 24 case studies that demonstrate corporate best practices for meeting the world’s growing need for energy while improving living standards for those with limited access to energy.

The founding 20 signatories of the initiative collectively head energy firms that employ 1.5 million people and record US$ 1.4 trillion in revenues per year. They comprise all sectors of the energy industry, including oil & gas, utilities, technology and renewable energy. By signing up to the Energy for Society Initiative, energy leaders publicly commit to the initiative’s five principles: supplying secure and affordable access to energy; having efficient energy systems; upholding responsible citizenship in communities; contributing to economic development; and promoting energy literacy.

“This is the first time that the global energy community is demonstrating such a commitment to society, not only by sharing their successes and challenges to improve their industry’s business practices with transparency, but also by demonstrating how those principles might be implemented concretely,” says Roberto Bocca, Senior Director, Head of Energy Industries, World Economic Forum.

Through the initiative, leaders of the world’s top energy companies are committed to steering other companies towards a healthier energy industry ecosystem. Best practices collected through the online depository aim to help companies accelerate their own progress towards engaging with society.

Examples of best practices include a partnership between Siemens and the government of Mexico, which has brought renewable energy solutions to a remote Mexican village where people have been living without running water or access to power. In Angola, BP set up an energy literacy programme at a university, the first of its kind in Africa. In Tibet, Trina Solar built 40 off-grid solar power stations to provide electricity to citizens who have been living without an electricity grid for basic necessities. This programme is a milestone in the solar industry for the region as it shows the advantages of solar energy as a distributed power source.

“The initiative marks an important step towards rebuilding trust among the energy industry, government and society,” said Peter Voser, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell, Netherlands. “I hope it will help foster closer collaboration to address some of the world’s energy-related challenges.”  

The Energy for Society Initiative acknowledges the increasing importance of including a wider audience in the energy debate. Through this engagement, it aims to create the space for peers and other industries to build the capacity for civil society to also engage with these corporations to further global citizenship among industry and society.

Notes to Editors

Read the 24 case studies from leading energy companies
View the list of the 20 founding signatories (available for interviews)
Read the Factsheet
Read the five principles
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The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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