On 7 September, the Secretariat was accepted to the Austrian registry of organisations implementing an Environmental Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The certification marks the completion of a 1 ½ year-long project.
EMAS requires the setting up of an internal environmental management system (EMS) that addresses the organisation's risks and opportunities related to its environmental aspects, compliance obligations and other issues. To achieve the intended outcomes, including enhancing its environmental performance, the Secretariat is required to implement, maintain and continually improve its EMS.
The Secretariat’s Environmental Policy underlines its commitment to continuous improvement and specifies the focus areas and the objectives. The Environmental Programme translates these objectives into an action plan with measurable targets and the EMAS statement takes stock of the fulfilment of those targets and provides an outlook of the actions to be completed by December 2021.
Successfully completed actions include a transition to 100% renewable energy, efficient LED lighting and a smart heating system. Water conservation and waste separation measures at the headquarters were also put in place. In line with its green procurement principles, the Secretariat tendered new, EMS certified service suppliers in printing, cleaning, office supplies and catering. The Secretariat’s emissions impact has also significantly decreased, due to the combined effect of restrictions and the newly introduced travel rules.