This paper aims at constructing a database on long-run energy uses which captures the energy efficiency gains along the energy system for a set of European countries in the period 1870-2013.

Increased energy consumption has led simultaneously to technological breakthroughs, which have improved the efficiency of energy use.

Although the effects of energy efficiency have been remarkable throughout modern history, there is disagreement on how to account for energy technological change.

During the year as the first United Nations Conference on the environment was held in Stockholm 1972, the Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo adopted 'environmental care' as a third core value in the firm’s business operations, alongside 'quality' and 'safety'.

This paper examines the incorporation of environmental concerns into business strategies in Volvo since the 1970s.

Of special interest is the analysis of the long-run evolution of useful exergy intensity in comparison with the primary energy intensity figures (Henriques and Borowiecki, 2017).

How efficient did these European countries become during her historical transition from an agrarian to a service society?

The biggest land-relief came from the settler colonies in British North America and Australasia.

Slave-based colonies contributed comparatively less in alleviating the land constraints, albeit remained essential in making imperial trade a valuable economic activity.

Our study shows that Volvo in the 1970s took global technological leadership to control exhaust emissions from cars. However, we also find that Volvo's green proactive strategy was temporary.