Environment

Earth Hour 2019 - EU Institutions and bodies go "beyond the hour"

On Saturday, 30 March, between 20.30 and 21.30, 39 Europeans Institutions and bodies (5 more than in 2018), will symbolically switch off the lights on the facades of their main buildings (besides any security and legal compliance restrictions). Earth Hour is a WWF initiative, this year celebrating its 12th anniversary (see video).

But most of the European institutions already go far "beyond the hour" by implementing the environmental management system EMAS and/or ISO 14001, which continuously reduces their environmental impact throughout the year. The European Commission has been the first EU Institution to be EMAS-registered already in 2005. The Brussels site that has reported under EMAS since 2005 has recorded significant reductions during 2005-2017: -63% in energy, -70% in office paper consumption, -59% in water consumption,-32% in non-hazardous waste and -87% in CO2 emissions from buildings (helped by purchasing electricity from renewables since 2009).

The EMAS team uses Earth Hour to provide a timely reminder of a simple principle: "a few everyday actions are enough to actively contribute to sustainable development: just turn off the light or the PC or other device you're using when you leave the room." So, what about you?

More guidance on the EMAS pages on MY IC and also check the revamped EMAS in EU Institutions webpage on Europa including EU Institutions’ EMAS stories and best-practices.

The participating EU institutions and bodies are: the European Commission (in Brussels, Luxembourg, Ispra, Geel, Karlsruhe and Seville), the European Parliament, the Council's General Secretariat, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions, the Court of Justice, the European External Action Service (in Brussels), the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the European Ombudsman's, the European Central Bank, the European Court of Auditors, the European Medicines Agency, the European Food and Safety Authority, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union, the European Training Foundation, the European Maritime Safety Agency, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises and the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Union Agency for Railways, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, the European Chemicals Agency, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the Clean Sky JU, the Shift to Rail JU, the Innovative Medicines Initiative JU, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen JU, the Bio Based Industries JU, the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership JU, the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA), the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

For most information about Commission’s environmental performance, see:

  • The latest Environmental Statement on Europa
  • The EMAS Results 2018 brochure