Ökoprofit/ÖkoBusinessPlan Certification for the Vienna International Centre and the international organizations based in the Centre
The Ökoprofit/ÖkoBusinessPlan is a training programme on environmental issues, partly subsidized by the city of Vienna, in which the four international organizations with headquarters at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) participated in 2005 (e.g. Romain Kieffer, Felipe Menjivar and Waltraud Jochum on behalf of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)). It involved eight workshops, on-site visits of a consultant, the preparation of a comprehensive report on the environmental performance of the VIC-based organizations and a presentation on the environmental achievements and programmes at the VIC to an executive committee of the city of Vienna in December 2005 ( see PowerPoint presentation translated to English). A certificate and a trophy were presented at an award ceremony ( see photos) at Vienna City Hall on 20 March 2006 ( see poster).
The report provided general information on the environmental policy and environmental protection activities of the VIC-based organizations, energy consumption figures, waste management (including waste volume in figures and information on compliance with Austrian law). As for the environmental achievements and programmes at the VIC, ongoing projects in common-service areas of Buildings Management Service (BMS), as well as UNOV/UNODC Administration, were submitted.
The ecological measures implemented in BMS are geared towards achieving savings in energy, water, chemicals etc. and towards avoiding or minimizing waste and emissions. The long list of measures already implemented or in progress are generating savings of more than €1 million a year. Most of those savings are derived from reduced heating and cooling costs owing to the replacement of windows, from reduced electricity consumption owing to the replacement of ceiling lights, from using inexpensive well water for toilet flushing and from other implemented measures. The BMS project was also submitted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization for consideration for the "Umweltpreis der Stadt Wien" and was chosen to be one of the three nominees in the category "Cooperation".
The current ecological measures in UNOV/UNODC Administration are geared towards achieving savings in paper consumption and energy and towards avoiding wastefulness in the use of toner cartridges. Paper consumption in the VIC is huge: 478,000 kg, or 99 million sheets, each year. UNOV/UNODC intends to reduce its yearly share of 24 million sheets (114,000 kg) to 20 million sheets (95,000 kg), resulting in a reduction in all related costs (including reproduction and toner costs) of about €150,000 annually. To achieve that, UNOV/UNODC has put in place many integrated workflow systems geared towards an electronic office environment. Many more proposals are being carried out as part of the move towards a paperless office, for example: the storage of conference documents and publications on CD-ROMs and the introduction of an electronic document filing and archiving system.
Consultants have pointed out that there is room for improvement in the separation of waste in the offices of the VIC. That will require a programme to raise the awareness of VIC staff, with a view to reducing residual waste (for example, by reducing the proportion of paper in residual waste and separating plastic bottles from other waste). The cooperation of staff is essential in separating waste and avoiding wastefulness, as well as in implementing energy-saving measures. Practical hints are continuously posted by the UNOV General Support Section on the Intranet page "Environmental news".
For more general information on this environmental programme of the city of Vienna, visit the homepage of Magistratsabteilung 22, the municipal department for environmental protection ( ÖkoBusinessPlan ).
General Support Section/DM/UNOV
24 April 2006