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Entreprises pour l’Environnement : sustainable development as a lever for priority progress

  • 11.05.2020

More than 50 international and French companies make up the French association Entreprises pour l’Envrionment (EpE). Since 1992, they have worked to promote solutions, practices and innovations allowing companies to better integrate the environment into their strategies and operations. As the current global health crisis continues, EpE shared their view on the priorities for the coming economic recovery.

EpE: an observation, a guiding principal and three objectives

The association’s observation is self-evident: no individual and no single company can reasonably thrive, progress or develop in a damaged world. For that reason, protecting the environment cannot be considered as a secondary obligation that will slow down competition. On the contrary, it represents a perpetual opportunity for development and profitability for everyone. This conviction is the driving force behind EpE. The companies that belong to EpE come from across all sectors, and for nearly thirty years, have upheld a mission of integrating ecological necessities into their economic strategies as a lever of development. To learn more about the association: http://www.epe-asso.org.

Under the leadership of its president, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, EpE has set three goals:

  • Promote dialogue between stakeholders in order to recognize market evolutions and promising innovations;
  • Discuss the efficient methodologies and best practices concerning the environment without any competitive spirit, which will allow everyone to make more rapid progress;
  • Communicate to the economic world through publications and public speaking engagements on the different works led by EpE and the progress areas tracked by its members.



“Just as with the energy transition, finance has a role to play in directing funding toward the businesses and the sectors that contribute to protecting and restoring biodiversity.”

Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and CEO of BNP Paribas and President EpE



Economic recovery post-Covid should not be to the detriment of the environment

In line with the “Zero net emissions before the end of the 21st century” objective set by the Paris Accords, one of EpE’s five missions, for example, has led reflections on solutions for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with continuous, human economic developments. Eighteen months of work led to production of the ZEN 2050 study, which describes the lifestyle changes conceivable in a carbon-neutral France. The study lists several concrete and desirable actions (including 14 recommendations) and outlines the conditions for success of the energy transition.

In the context of the health crisis affecting the world in the spring of 2020, EpE has recently reaffirmed that environmental issues will necessarily play a role in the social and economic future of the planet.

One serious error that could threaten us all? Sacrificing environmental obligations under the pretext of an urgent economic recovery. As such, at the request of Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, President of the EpE, a collective editorial gathering 90 leaders of French and international businesses has called for the environment to be placed at the core of the expected economic recovery. The tribune was published in Le Monde on 5 May 2020. It testifies determination and clarity to the conviction shared by our Group.  You can find it on the EpE website. 

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