As an environmental research organisation we consider it essential that we are aware of the environmental implications of our own day-to-day activities. We fully recognise our responsibility to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and strive to make sustainable practices and high environmental awareness a norm.
Our most significant environmental impacts are:
- Emissions into the atmosphere from the use of carbon based energy in offices and fuel in transport, work-related travel being our main environmental impact;
- Consumption of resources by our use of raw materials, office supplies and furniture;
- Production of waste materials;
- The environmental performance of our suppliers and partners.
Our aim is to continually improve our environmental performance through minimising resource consumption, reducing waste, reusing and recycling materials, and considering a commitment to sustainable practices when choosing suppliers and partners. The following outlines how we address our different impacts:
- We are committed to reducing the total amount of travel through the use of new technologies and through developing virtual meeting facilities. These are being further upgraded at present.
- We encourage the use of available low impact travel for daily home-work commuting. This is done through public transport loans, a ‘no company car’ policy, and bicycle schemes in both the Brussels and London offices;
- We have flexible working practices to reduce the need to travel to work and during work, including significant recent investment in remote access to email and computer servers;
- Train travel is strongly preferred over other modes of longer distance transport and is used exclusively on many of the key routes used by staff, e.g. between Brussels, London and Paris.
Keep energy use to a minimum by doing the following:
- Efficient use of heating systems and proper insulation in the offices; using natural light and ventilation where possible;
- Purchase low-energy equipment, particularly in computers and lighting.
- Turn off all equipment when not in use.
As a policy studies institute, much of IEEP’s work involves the generation of reports or other potentially paper-based outputs; we similarly receive many printed books and reports and maintain a small paper-based library. Recognising the material, energy and pollution impacts of paper creation and use our policy is:
- Minimising paper usage, primarily through the increasing sophistication of electronic document creation, exchange and archiving;
- Re-using paper wherever possible;
- Using 100% recycled paper for all documents;
- Recycling all paper when not reusable;
- Stopping unwanted material being sent to IEEP.
As for the remaining office supplies, equipment and good practice we:
- re-use office supplies (folders, envelopes, etc.) as long as they remain fit for their use;
- recycle materials, including toner cartridges, glass, etc;
- arrange regular servicing of machinery to ensure operation at maximum efficiency, and minimal adverse impact;
- try to minimise the use of supplies;
- favour purchasing environmentally friendly products;
- provide vegetarian catering at our events in the Brussels and London offices;
- maintain staff awareness and involvement with regular in-house debates on various environmental subjects (i.e. nuclear energy, meat industry).
To deliver this Policy we are committed to doing the following:
- Keep improving our environmental performance and measure our progress regularly; maintain involvement at every level of the organisation;
- Actively communicate our commitment to our partners, suppliers and stakeholders;
- Inform and educate our staff regarding the environmental effects of their activities and encourage the staff to read and comment on the environmental policy;
- Comply with relevant environmental legislation and keep up-to-date with the developments in sustainable practices;
- Develop more detailed travel guidelines for staff;
- Consider obtaining environmental standard certification.