Why don’t we recycle plastic bottles? Or do we? Why do we actually use plastic bottles in any case, when we could have filtered water? Why are the lights in the corridors constantly switched on? Discussing with colleagues, we often comment about how the Parliament, the ‘green champion’ when it’s about making laws for the others, could be much more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. Not to mention, as people always do when Parliament’s carbon footprint comes up, the consequences of Parliament having to work in three different locations. But maybe that we look too much at the half empty glass. And we know too little about the half full one.
5 big things
I vaguely knew about the existence of EMAS. I decided to understand what the ‘Eco-management and Audit scheme in the Parliament’ concretely does to make us greener. And what more could we do.
Here the 5 big things that we should know about the green side of the Parliament. Next week I’ll tell you what remains to be done.
1. Parliament committed to reduce its CO2 emissions of 30% by 2020. There are several systems to monitor what we are doing. In concrete they show that from 2006 we have already reduced our footprint by 13% per person.
2. New buildings – such as the new KAD – are being built following the strictest international environmental standards. As a result, KAD will be almost 100% autonomous as for the production of electricity, thanks to a combination on renewable sources ‘that can be defined as almost revolutionary’. In practice, for example ‘rain will be used to water green spaces and for certain WCs of the building‘ and ‘basic consumption of hot water in some periods of the year will be granted by solar panels‘.
3. The Parliament declares to use ‘100% green electricity, saving more than 25.000 tonnes of CO2 per year’.
4. More than 55% of our waste is recycled or reused.
Efforts are made also in the field of mobility (bikes and electric vehicles, for example) or IT technologies. You can find much more in the brand new EMAS brochure ‘Greening the EP’.
Surprised? Disapponted? Is this enough? What else can we do! Next week I will try to understand how can we do better. WE: not only ‘the Parliament’ or EMAS, but each of us. Because, as we repeated X times to our readers during the elections, the European Parliament is YOU! ;)