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You are here: Home / About EEA / Environmental management / Awareness raising activities

Awareness raising activities

We tend to need frequent reminders through different channels if we are to change our behaviour and keep environmental considerations at the forefront of our minds. If you work as en environmental coordinator, or you are in charge of an environmental improvement project in your organisation, you may find some inspiration by looking through some of our written communications to the staff. On this page you find a selection of our 'Did you know' notices from 2005 that were published on our intranet.

We hope you will also send us communication ideas which we can make available to everybody who visits our EMAS web site.

Electricity consumption:

On the electricity consumption of computers

A normal PC uses about 70 watts when switched on (like a powerful light bulb).

During the last weeks the EEA Helpdesk has done some random checks on how many PCs are left on at night and over weekends (like the long St. Hans weekend) and about 20 – 25 PCs have been found to be left on. A quick calculation gives the following result.:

  • 20 PCs * 70 watts = 1400 watts
  • 1400 watts = 1.4 kW/h
  • 1.4 kW/h * 120 * 52 = 8736 kW/h per year
  • 120 is the number of hours we don't work per week
  • 52 is the number of weeks per year

This is wasted electricity and there is no good reason to leave a PC on at night or over a weekend, so please shut it down.

On getting fit and saving electricity.

As part of the efforts to reduce our electricity consumption, we will hang some posters inside and outside our two lifts. The purpose is to remind us and our visitors that by taking stairs instead of lifts, we both save electricity and contribute to our own fitness.

On switching off lights/computers.

You can help a busy or stressed colleague to contribute to our environmental targets by switching off lights in her office, if she has left for a meeting or the canteen but has inadvertently left the lights on?

That our rule is to switch off (all) lights in one's office before going home, leaving for meetings or the canteen? In addition, we must turn off the computers and other electricity-using appliances before going home.

If we are to achieve our electricity consumption target for 2006 of a further 3 % reduction per full-time employee, everybody's contribution is needed. If you have difficulties with your memory, ask the environmental coordinator for reminders-stickers or your closest colleagues for help!

Paper consumption:

On green email signature

Several of you have suggested that in order to save paper and demonstrate our environmental profile, we should use a "green reminder" in our email signatures. Therefore the management has agreed on a common formulation saying: Do something for our planet, print this email only if needed. Even a small action can make an enormous difference, when millions of people do it!

Traveling:

On flight emissions

A 1000 km flight (From Copenhagen to Brussels for example) emits on average 130 kg CO2 per person? So the fuller the plane, the smaller the amount of emissions per person. Therefore we should try stick to major routes and use cheap tickets that will put us on full planes.

On voluntary CO2 contribution

Enclosed a list of links through which you can pay voluntarily for the greenhouse gases you cause to be released in connection with your travelling.

In case you hear or know of other similar sites, please send the environmental coordinator a link so that the list can be updated periodically.

Other related links:

 

On tele- and videoconferencing

The telephone company we are using can organise teleconferences on demand. They only need to know the phone numbers you want to be connected to and the exact time for the conference. The company also offers an option to record the conference electronically.

In case you prefer to see the persons you want to talk with there is a possibility to organise a video conference in our own premises. Guidelines can be found on the intranet.

These options are recommended in order to replace missions and smaller meetings mainly with people you already know. Naturally the results can be seen in time savings and especially in CO2 savings, please give them a fair try!

Waste:

On paper waste

All sorts of paper (including paper with glue, envelopes with windows, cardboard, coloured, brown and stapled paper), should be put in the special trash trolleys by the copying machines for recycling or in the blue bins in your office. Regular waste, and that includes plastic, still goes into your black bins in your office.

Boxes should be flattened to take up less space.

On our paper waste

Our sorted paper and cardboard waste goes to 'Company X', who packages it for sale as raw material to various factories. Thus there is money to be earned on the paper waste, even though our collected amounts are so small that we have to pay to get it transported to the packaging sites. Naturally, the transportation company we are using is environmentally certified. So, our separated paper and cardboard is put to worthwhile uses.

On our IT-waste

The EEA's end-of-life electronic equipment is picked up by a local freight contractor who delivers it to an ISO 14001-certified scrap company specialised in processing electronic waste. It separates the equipment into different categories: screens, metals, cables, power supplies, circuit boards, etc. Screens are sold to one of the three companies in Denmark specialised in recycling glass and metals (one of which is lead from PC screens). Metals, cables, power supplies and circuit boards are sold to companies in different countries for further processing.

In Denmark scrap companies have to get a special permission from local authorities, who also supervise their activities to ensure that rules and regulations are followed

On battery recycling

From 1 January 2005 we have made an agreement with 'Company X' to collect used batteries from the EEA for recycling. The agreement includes batteries from your private household.

If you have used batteries from EEA, or your private household, you can now recycle them. Please use the green box on our desk in the Logistics Group.

The agreement also includes re-chargeable household appliances like toothbrushes, screwdrivers or the like.

Water:

On boiling water

"The best thing to do is to boil the right amount of water. It would be more efficient to boil just one cup of water seven times a day than boil too much and keep it hot." says Oliver Knight, Energy Policy Analyst at the Sustainable Development Commission in response to BBC News' question on usefulness of thermos kettles.

On tap water versus bottled water

There is no reason to buy bottled water in Copenhagen or serve bottled water at our meetings. The quality of the tap water in the City is high and up to 500 times cheaper than bottled water! In fact, a recent study by Danish authorities has shown that in some cases tap water is even healthier to drink that bottled water, as the amount of bacteria contained in it is lower.(Source: Københavns Energi)

Generally on our environmental management system:

On EMAS and in-house contractors

In-house contractors also need to comply with our environmental management system.

It is up to the project/contract responsible, who brought the contractor in-house, to ensure that the contractor knows, understands and complies with our environmental management system.

On improvement proposals

According to our environmental management system you can enter proposals for how to improve our environmental system and performance in the improvement and deviation register on the intranet. Registered proposals will then be discussed at a meeting of the senior management team where EMS is on the agenda.

On your impact on the environment

You as an EEA employee impact the environment negatively through your office work and travelling, and positively (hopefully) through your professional work? Your office impacts are consumption of electricity, heat, paper, water, production of waste and all the goods and services we buy. Your travel impacts are from flights, hotels, meals, meeting facilities etc. Your impact through your professional work? You know the answer to that one!

On reaching our electricity and paper targets in 2007

We actually reduced our electricity consumption in 2007 by 6.5 % per full-time employee (performing beyond our target of 3 %) and that we reduced our paper consumption by 52 % in the same year (while the target was only 2 %).

On the environmental management system

The environmental management system is that part of the total management system that addresses

  • organisational structure
  • planning activities
  • division of responsibilities
  • procedures
  • methods
  • and resources

to develop, implement, maintain and live up to the environmental policy of the EEA.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100