The 1999 Industry Council's report on environmental integration to the Helsinki European Council emphasized the three pillars of sustainable development and addressed issues such as climate change, employment, enlargement, changing production and consumption patters, eco-efficiency and integrated product policy. The report was considered as a first step towards the adoption of an enterprise integration strategy.
The Commission was then invited to submit an action plan for promoting integration of sustainable development into enterprise policy. The industry integration strategy was adopted at the Industry/Energy Council of 14-15 May 2001.
The Industry Council of 6-7 June 2002 adopted Conclusions on the contribution of enterprise policy to sustainable development. The Council considered economic growth as a prerequisite for achieving sustainable development, as it provides essential additional resources that are needed in order to tackle environmental pressures and reinforce social cohesion. The Council invited the Commission to report every second year on the progress made on the contribution of enterprise policy to sustainable development with a first report foreseen before the end of 2002 as part of the reporting process under the Multi-annual Programme for enterprises and entrepreneurship (2001-2005).
The Communication "Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe" (COM(2002)714 final) adopted by the Commission on 11 December 2002 recognizes the need to develop and strengthen policies in the area of sustainable production.
The following environment-related information is available on the thematic Enterprise website on Europa: