22nd November 2013, Brussles
An Award Ceremony for the European Green Offices took place in Brussels on the 22nd of November, in partnership with the Brussels Chamber of Commerce (BECI). Twenty-two nominees for the Award entered from six European countries representing companies from micro to large, NGOs and public sector institutions. The Award Ceremony will take place along with the European Green Office Network event – a conference called “Environmental innovation for offices”*
Csaba Bodroghelyi, the Manager of the European Green Office Network: “Greening on offices can be a stepping stone in motivating top management to transfer good green practices elsewhere in the company.”
“It is important to support the implementation of green practices in offices as part of a sustainable economic development, because the service sector represents more than 90 % of employment in Brussels, and more than 70 % in Belgium”, stated Jan De Brabanter, the Deputy Secretary General of Brussels Chamber of Commerce.
European Green Office Awards are the result of a competition among organisations from 6 EU countries that participated in the European Green Office project, which included training and tutoring offices by the European Green Office Network. The 22 nominee applications were evaluated by an international jury composed of
Ms Helka Julkunen (WWF Finland),
Ms Claudia Koll (German Federal Ministry for the Environment),
Ms Maria Passalaqua (EMAS Club Barcelona) and
Mr Tomas Ekström (Kinnarps AB and FSC Sweden).
SAP (Hungary) - some good examples: bicycle parking area, green meeting room, green procurement policy, significant employee involvement.
Unilever (Hungary) - significant CO2 reduction, environmentally redesigned kitchen, free gym for all employees, the whole staff cleaning the office surrounding.
Tetra PAK (Hungary) - significant improvements, e.g. 100% of used paper is recycled, using only eco-labelled materials, one person – one flower initiative, very nice communication materials and tips.
Tchibo (Hungary) - simple, but well-working initiatives, e.g. „No printing day”, 10 Green Office rules for all employees, separate Green Office related subpage on their webpage, action „Stay fit!”.
Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Bulgaria) - weekly meetings for environmental communication, set green procurement rules, all the toxic detergents replaced with the eco-labelled ones, paper towels replaced with the textile ones.
Municipality of Újbuda (Hungary) - outstanding performance and inspiring examples: green library, solar panels, public gardens, eco-excursions, eco-idea box in the office etc.
In addition to the winner awards, special prizes were given to:
• for Innovative Communication to Mundo B - Brussels Sustainable House and Mundo-Namur - Green Property (Belgium)
• for Best Management System to Aerodrom Ljubljana, D.D (Slovenia)
• for Sustainable Procurement to Oxfam International EU Advocacy Office (Belgium)
The partners of the EU Leonardo Da Vinci funded European Green Office Network, in collaboration with the Brussels Chamber of Commerce (BECI) invite you to participate to the final event of our project.
Registration if free but mandatory. The first 50 participants registering to the final event will receive a free copy of the Green Office Handbook ! (in french). Please register hereunder :
For KÖVET Association 5th of June was a day dedicated for Green Office. They wanted to raise attention with different activities therefore they organized an exhibition, a workshop, an award ceremony and a training, in one place, on one day.
Visitors had the possibility to hear professional presentation on various topics like office waste management, office eco-friendly cleaning methods, reducing paper consumption or new printing technologies. Between the presentations visitors had a chance to talk with the exhibitors, try their products, network. For relaxation visitors could drink a delicious beverage in the fair trade coffee house, which was designed for the exhibition area, try office massage or just for fun, produce electricity with the a small bicycle power plant.
On this day KÖVET Association had revealed who had won the national Green Office competition in 2013. From 15 offices it was announced who were the greenest and who had the biggest improvement after the 6 month of tutoring period.
Offices who won:
Biggest improvement Small Office: Tchibo Budapest Kft.
Recognized Outstanding Performance Small Office: Caritas Alba-Iulia, Romania
Biggest improvement Medium and Big office: MARS Hungary Kft.
Biggest improvement Public institution: Town Hall of XI. district in Budapest
Greenest Medium and Big Office: Unilever Hungary Kft.
The best communication campaign: Budapest Bank Zrt.
Eco Trend Association has completed until 29th of May 2013 in 6 partner organisations the tutoring process. There were official passed 8 diplomas for EGO managers, and 6 certifications for Green Offices. For the other partner offices and the mass media we are going to organize an EGO day at the middle of July.
All the offices from Romania are relative small, the tutors are in weekly contact with their tutored EGO managers, helping them in the development and implementation of Action plans. They also visited the involved offices.
EGO Day in Estonia took place on the 12th of June and the feedback from the audience was very positive. We had 28 participants: the pilot organisations representatives, new companies interested in EGO system, Estonian Ministry for the Environment, Estonian Fund for Nature, CSR Forum, Estonian Association for Environmental Management. The invitation was also sent to press plus a press release in the morning of the same day. We had a journalist from Daily Paper “Äripäev” (business press) on spot. Also a photographer.
During the event SEIT gave an overview about the reasons why to implement green office principles, the environmental impact of offices, also 20 good green office practices from Estonian pilot organisations were described. The second half of the event was more festive and the project participants (companies + EGO coordinators) were given certificates. Also the winner, II and III place of Estonian national mini competition was announced. After that press and other audience had a possibility to ask questions from the pilot companies represented in a panel - so-called press conference took place.
The winner of Estonian Green Office competition was AS Ragn-Sells (their green office coordinator Ave Kruusalu on the photo). The runner-up (II place) was AS DHL Estonia and the III place was given to AS Starman.
31 May 2013, Sofia
The first Bulgarian Green Office (EGO) Awards took place in Sofia on 31 May 2013. The participating offices we awarded in four cathegories: offices with up to 10 employees; with 10 to 100; more than 100; and, special innovation award. The event was attended by 37 guests including newcomers with one of the most discussed topics being what is happening next year? Well we start with the new trainings in November 2013 so be prepared :)
From October 2012 to May 2013 TIME Foundation worked closely and intensivly with 12 partner organizations in Bulgaria. The turoring process involved the elaboration of individual Action Plans (based on results from EGO tools), site visits (at least two per company), regular and still ongoing email communication, preparation of documents with legislative requirements and green procurement service providers in Bulgaria on hot office topics such as waste managment, paper use, and, detergents. Efforts were also made for offices to share success stories and solutions for the environmental challenges they are facing.
Participating offices were awarded with special sculptures made from electronic waste. The sculptures imitated organisms from the natural world: a tree, a fish, s bird, and, a bear. There were also mini sculptures for the runners-up to also acknoledge their efforts and inspire for more actions in future. Partner organizations were also awarded with EGO manager certificates and one for the organization itself. The catering was made exclusively from organic products and everybody had big smiles on the faces ...
21 May 2013, Ljubljana
Umanotera has completed the EGO tutoring process in eight partner organizations of Slovenia .EGO managers and their staff in the past eight months have put a lot of work, creativity, energy and wittiness.
Umanotera has on May 21th 2013 in Ljubljana hosted the final event of the mentoring process . The organizations that have in the process of mentoring managed the basic level of the EGO criteria awarded the national EGO certificate. EGO managers of partner’s organizations have been rewarded for the successful completion of training.
Networking and socializing at the event was pleasant, we celebrated our success and broke up with new ideas and plans for further progress in greening offices.
After 6 months of tutoring it is time to acknowledge the companies and their managers for their great effort in greening the offices.
The national green office award events (along with conference / seminar / exhibition etc.) take place in the partners` countries in May and June 2013 as follows:
Belgium organises their event along with the EU green office conference and award ceremony in Brussels on the 22nd of November 2013.
As a part of good dissemination opportunity on green office programme, press is invited to all of those events, both national and EU conference.
Three of Belgium EGO trainees from the same organization (Mundo-B, the NGO building where Groupe One is also located www.mundo-b.org) made a nice video about energy saving possibility.
NB! The fact that taking stairs instead of lift is not presented in the video proofs, that there is always room for improvement! So, let`s be innovative and let`s take greener actions!
Train the Trainers in 5 minutes
Belgium project partners 21 Solutions and Group 1 launched series of Webinars in the framework of EU Green Office project:(http://www.eugreenoffice.eu/fr/nos_webinaires). The participants of the 2 days training sessions asked the trainers to receive more in-depth information on some specific topics (waste prevention and sorting, eco-teams, sustainable procurement, etc). 21 Solutions is currently organising one webinar every month, with 2 experts from the field. Every webinar is recorded and available online on the EU Green Office website.
Slovenian partner Umanotera have finished the focus workshops for EGO partners in the fields of: Changing best practices, Green communication and Green procurement. All of three workshops inspired EGO coordinators with creative ideas and usable knowledge. Currently organizations are in the most important phase in the process of mentoring, the design and implementation of action plans in their organizations. Tutoring now proceeding individually with the partner’s EGO teams that are already well-trained for greening the offices.
Estonian SEIT organises a roundtable on exchange of ideas and good practices between the tutored companies. They all have a green office action plan in design process, therefore this event allows them to get some more ideas and also inspiration for follow up the plan and for submitting the actions successfully. Also, the information on the national and EU green office competition is being further elaborated during the roundtable.
Bulgaria: After having supported each of the 12 tutored organizations in Bulgaria in the elaboration of tailor made Action Plans TIME Foundation is currently visiting the companies to get feedback on the progress of implementation and answer question on particular issues companies encountered in the process. Case-by-case solutions are developed on topics such as waste management, cleaning and catering in the office. One of the participating companies is a supplier of office stationary and has created a network of sustainable supplies to the other members of Green Office Bulgaria, while others shared their good practices in the field of waste separation – a topic that is an administrative and practical jumble in the country. Everyone is looking forward to the competition in late May.
Romania: For a quick and effective communication with the tutored offices, EcoTrend is using a mailing list in addition to site visits. The Green Office managers are often facing the same problems and questions on the way to become more environmentally friendly although they are working according to different and individual Action Plans. Here is an example of how the mailing list works. Most of the participating offices from Romania have access to a garden or a green area. Simultaneously with the springtime EcoTrend reminds the Green Office managers the possibility of various open-air activities in form of little newsletters. For example: building compost bin, pruning the trees, providing a bonus for cycling to work etc.
Hungary: KÖVET organized workshops for the tutoring companies. Also, every month KÖVET sent a motivational newsletter to the trained companies. From March KÖVET launched a Greeneration roadshow where they promote the national and European Green Office programs and share good practices for potential EGO offices.
The tutoring takes place in the countries, which are the partners of the EGO project: Hungary (KÖVET), Belgium (Group 1 and 21 Solutions), Slovenia (Umanotera), Estonia (SEIT), Bulgaria (TIME) and Romania (EcoTrend).
Picture taken from the notification board at the office of DHL Estonia
The 2-days Green Office training sessions held by 6 EU countries during the period of September 2012-February 2013 are over and were estimated as successful by both – the participants and trainers. Due to the big interest by companies to take part of the trainings, some project partners succeeded to deliver more trainings than originally planned.
Currently office managers are being tutored on implementing green office system in their organisations. The offices will receive individual coaching and advices both on site (during visits) and via email, phone etc. They also have an opportunity to exchange experiences – good practices and ideas (collective meetings for our pilot organisations).
Altogether 190 participants took part of the trainings in 6 EU countries and 70 of them are currently being tutored.
The 6 months tutoring phase will end with the European Green Office Competition. The award ceremony will be held in November 2013 in Brussels. Before that all partners countries will organise a national event to announce the winner companies and bring up good examples.
The trainings and tutoring take place in the countries, which are the partners of the EGO project: Hungary (KÖVET), Belgium (Group 1 and 21 Solutions), Slovenia (Umanotera), Estonia (SEIT), Bulgaria (TIME) and Romania (EcoTrend).
To start with the Green Office Programme in your organisation it is recommended to participate in our 2 days interactive training sessions. You’ll learn how to start your Green Office Programme and how to engage your colleagues to participate in improving the environmental performance of your organisations.
The trainings take place in the countries, which are the Partners of EGO project: Hungary, Belgium, Slovenia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania. More information on each partners webpage:
The 2 days successful training will be followed by the 6 months tutoring phase of the participating organisations.
The trainers will guide the office managers also on how to use the available EGO tools (incl. Green Office Handbook, the EGO Checklist, Virtual Office tool and Ecological Footprint Calculator).
After the 2 previous successful partners meetings (February 2012 in Budapest and June 2012 in Ljubljana) the European Green Office project has reached the level, which can provide offices with a set of innovative and dynamic tools – in order to build up well-running and highly performing green offices. This material will shortly be accessible in 7 different languages (ENG-BG-HU-FR-SL-RO-EE).
The handbook contains relevant information on environmental topics for offices, such as energy and building, waste production and sorting, water consumption, office furniture and consumables, organisation of conferences and events, IT, paper consumption, air quality, health, safety and social issues, as well as cleaning and catering activities.
Our virtual office will guide you in the different office departments. For each department you’ll find useful tips and ideas to improve your own office’s environmental performance.
Calculate the ecological footprint of your office activities and learn how much land area it takes to support your office lifestyle! Take this quiz to find out your office Ecological Footprint, discover your biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what you can do to improve.
The Green Office Checklist is a self-evaluation tool, which helps to assess the actual performance of your office and gives clear directions for improvement.
Face-to-face trainings. To start with the Green Office Programme it is recommended to participate in our 2 days interactive training sessions. You’ll learn how to start your Green Office Programme and how to engage your colleagues to participate in improving the environmental performance of your organisations.
Hungary (KÖVET) had its trial training in 17th-18th of April. The training was very successful. Office managers came from 12 different companies. During the 2 days training they learned how to look at the Green Office as a system. Office managers were given a few examples on reducing their environmental impact, they were taught how to measure their impact with the EGO tools and they had the chance to be the first who tested the actual EGO online tools. With their feedback the development of the training agenda and the usage of the online tools went into a different phase.
Slovenia had its national trial training for office managers on the 24th and 25th of May. The Environmental Center in Ljubljana hosted a 2-days trial workshop for 9 representatives in businesses, NGO and Embassies. At the workshop there were presented the global and national environmental challenges, the office impacts on the environment , advantages of ” Green Office acitivities” and the whole process of continuous improvement PDCA was presented in interactive way. The participants gave useful feedback about the workshop process. On the basis of their proposals and analysis Umanotera's team upgraded workshop process.
Right after the trial trainings the hosting and coordination of the 4th project meeting was arranged by Umanotera in Ljubljana, 4 th - 6 th of June 2012. Objective of the 3 days meeting/training were: project retrospection, planning and project management, “mini” facilitation training for coaching and follow-up activities after national trainings.
On the 20th – 23rd of February 2012 EGO Partners had another meeting in Hungary, Budapest. It included 2 days training as a preparation to hold national Green Office trainings. The main purpose of the training was to train project partners to be able to teach and tutor office managers during the European Green Office program and to try almost the national Green Office Training. During the tryout partners had the chance to comment on each part of the agenda on whether there are crucial points to change or not. Green Office trainers were taught about the newest teaching / trainer techniques and methods for a more efficient training.
With lof of knowledge and experience they returned to their countries after the training to hold their Green Office Manager Training.
During the meeting, KÖVET, the lead partner, made video recording which can be seen here:
Train the Trainers in 5 minutes
Following the financial crisis, Eco-Conseil Entreprise went to bankruptcy in the end of 2011, and has been since March 2012 replaced by 21 Solutions. 21 Solutions supports projects which aim to achieve a more socially inclusive approach to sustainable development and assists the public, private and third sectors in this process, covering topics from sustainable development and Local Agenda 21 to EMAS/ISO14001, green building, sustainable architecture and biodiversity. 21 Solutions favors a practical approach with a strong focus on communication and training as well as ensuring the long-term impact of its work.
21 Solutions role in the Project will be to contribute to developing the core Green Office training toolkit and supporting material. They will be providing local trainings and mentoring for the target groups in Brussels and Wallonia via the following networks :
The 2nd project partners meeting was held in Romania, Targu Mures on the 5th-7th of September 2011. Among all other important discussions and decisions made, the NeGOSE project (Network for Green Office Standardisation in the EU) received a new acronym – EGO (European Green Office) and also the design of a logo was decided by the partners.
The acronym EGO emphasises the importance of each individual and its ability to change the offices towards more environmental and human friendly place (in greek “ego” (εγώ) means “I”). The logo has a pencil shaped as a tree leaf symbolizing the office environment that is tightly related to the vulnerable resources of the nature.
On the 23rd of June 2011, Hungary (KÖVET Association) organised it’s annual Green Office Award Day in Budapest, which one of the biggest Green Office event in Hungary. This day is not just an award ceremony but an exhibition, a so called market place where companies, suppliers can show their environmental friendly office products to the public and to office managers.
Professional presentations were given during the day, about the newest green office related initiatives. One of the invited speaker was Marcel van Meesche from Eco-Conseil Enterprise, who gave a presentation about the European Green Office ongoing project, and plans for the future.
On the award ceremony 22 offices, on the exhibition 25 exhibitor and 300 visitor were present. Short video is available on the internet (in Hungarian) here:
The NeGOSE project, Network for Green Office Standardisation in the EU, co-financed by the European Union's Leonardo da Vinci Programme, was launched on the 1st of January 2011. The main goal of NeGOSE is to develop a set of standardised Green Office Guidelines and to introduce Green Office Training Packages equipped with an Office Ecological Footprint Calculator. These tools will assist project partners and stakeholders to transform workspaces into environmental and human-friendly offices. The final standards will be tested during the Green Office Competition, in which all six partner countries will participate (Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Romania, Slovenia and Hungary). The standards will have an input of the Hungarian Green Office Programme developed by KÖVET.
KÖVET coordinates the seven project partners from six countries (Groupe One, Stockholm Environmental Institute Tallinn centre, TIME Foundation, Eco-Counselling Enterprise, Eco-Trend Egyesület, Umanotera – The Slovenian Foundation for Sustainable Development). The first partner meeting was held in Budapest, Hungary on the 10th-12th of January 2011. During this three-day meeting participant organisations focused on the collection of good practices, and the plan of the first project period’s objectives was discussed.