Sounds interesting. How do you calculate that exactly?
For this purpose, we work together with 'myclimate', a Swiss foundation. The embassy provides the data, and myclimate calculates our emissions and draws up a list of measures for us to reduce emissions.
What kinds of challenges does that entail?
The whole process is laborious because it's difficult to collect all the data. We provide data on heating and cooling systems, commuting and business trips, transport, electronic equipment, consumption of office materials such as paper and toner, information on catering at events and business lunches, and waste and recycling management. It's a lot of work!
What is the Swiss embassy already doing well and where do you still see potential for improvement?
Many colleagues cycle to work and we take part in the city's 'bike to work' challenge. In addition to the positive effect on the environment, this also contributes to the health and well-being of staff. For events and business lunches, we focus on regional and seasonal cuisine and our chef uses organic produce whenever possible. One thing we'd like to do more of at events is include more vegetarian options.
In the next 18 months, we aim to have a solar panel system installed on the roof which will supply us with heating and electricity. At the same time, we could also all make more of an effort to turn off lights and close windows when the heating or air conditioning is on. In this way, we can avoid wasting energy. A lot of us are already doing our bit by cycling, but there's certainly still room for improvement in cutting back on air travel.