Sustainability is a key topic in Swiss foreign policy (see Foreign Policy Strategy 2024-2027) and the Embassy's projects (see Flagship Projects). We practice what we preach: In January 2021, the team of the Embassy started to systematically gather ideas and analyse what we can change in our Embassy building, our day-to-day operations and our individual behaviour in order to become more sustainable and avoid negative impacts on the environment and the climate.
Here is a selection of measures we have already put into place:
- Performed an energy audit with an external service provider to find out what we can do to reduce energy consumption (heat, water, and electricity).
- Obtained certificate by electricity provider Innogy for 100% green electricity.
- Installed photovoltaic panels on the Embassy roof.
- Systematically replaced old lamps with energy-saving LEDs and installed motion sensors and power rails.
- Replaced the fossil gas heating by a heat pump.
- Replaced the service vehicle (petrol engine) with an electric vehicle that is partly powered by solar electricity generated at the Embassy.
- Placed additional recycling containers in individual offices, break room and kitchen.
- Raised awareness among the entire team about how to properly recycle, avoiding keeping windows half-open during cold months and turning off the lights and power rails when leaving the office.
- Planted various flowers in the backyard instead of thorny bushes to support plant biodiversity and insects' survival in the city.
- Replaced previous cleaning products with eco-friendly alternatives.
- Participate in annual "Clean Up the World" effort in Warsaw against littering.
- Organised a Sustainable Mobility Challenge to encourage staff to use bicycles or public transport to come to work.
- Joined the City of Warsaw's initiative "Partnership for Climate," in which we conduct joint activities in cooperation with Polish and international Partners. The focus of the Partnership is energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmentally friendly transportation and promotion of eco-friendly lifestyles.
- Launched a #SustainableEmbassy Network Warsaw in March 2023 to exchange experiences and best practices with other embassies.
But we are not done yet! We are committed to continuously review and improve our approach to sustainability.