European Commission in the lead: High marks for environmental performance

The Commission decreases its energy, water and paper consumption thanks to EMAS

The European Commission is EMAS-registered. This means it has made a commitment to reduce its environmental impacts continuously, and to report transparently on its performance. The Commission’s 2017 Environmental Statement shows that for the period of 2015/2016, it made progress on most indicators. The Commission is on its way to achieving its ambitious goals for 2020. Energy consumption has fallen by 3.4%, water consumption by 13.4%, and CO2 emissions from buildings by 4.6%. The Commission has already met the targets set for 2020 for office paper consumption (down by 13.8%) and non-hazardous waste production (down by 3.6%).

Taking into consideration that the Commission’s EMAS registration comprises its eight largest sites, including the premises in Brussels and Luxembourg and representing a total of more than 32,000 employees, the significance of these reductions is apparent. For example, the site in Brussels has decreased CO2 emissions from buildings by 86% since 2005, achieving total energy savings of €96 million.

As a next step, the Commission’s performance targets will also include environmental commitments for separated waste and CO2 emissions from the car fleet. Further improvements in energy, water consumption and CO2 emissions should be achieved by 2020. In addition, the Commission plans to expand its EMAS registration to other Executive Agencies.

Do you want to know more about the Commission’s environmental performance? For details on its achievements, have a look at its Environmental Statement. If you are interested in other European institutions’ performance, you can find information here. A total of 11 EU Institutions are EMAS-registered. They are leading by example, contributing to the more sustainable Europe that the European Union advocates in its policies.