Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes second sustainability report

On 15 May 2024 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its sustainability report over 2023. This report focuses on our climate, circular economy and supply chain responsibility objectives. The Ministry describes in the report what it has done to achieve these goals. And it presents the plans for 2024.

Mission Sustainable

The ministry launched its own sustainability programme (Mission Sustainable) two-and-a-half years ago. Under the slogan ‘Walk our Talk’, Mission Sustainable is moving steadily towards sustainable operational management, sharing best practices with each other and the world. Key themes this year include travel choices and making ministry real estate, such as embassies, more sustainable.

The plans of the Ministry for the years ahead will focus on:

Climate neutrality: Progress on the goal of becoming a climate-neutral organisation by 2030 remains a challenge.  In 2023 the ministry’s carbon footprint grew due to an increase in air travel and in electricity consumption worldwide. The spike in air travel was possibly an after-effect of the travel restrictions during COVID-19. And increased use of air conditioning due to the hotter weather worldwide led to more electricity consumption.

The Ministry will continue working on sustainable initiatives, such as making our real estate more sustainable, facilitating sustainable travel choices, and improving the way we gather travel and emissions data.

Circular economy

In 2023 the Ministry made significant progress on the circular economy, with circular pilot projects in various places, including the embassies in Ankara, Dublin and Addis Ababa. These delivered impressive and inspiring results, and will be continued in 2024. The Ministry will also launch new pilot projects, notably in IT.

Supply chain responsibility: Efforts under this theme focused on good working conditions and protection of human rights, for instance by ensuring that companies that provide us with facilities services pay their employees a living wage. In construction projects for embassies and residences, the Ministry made agreements with contractors on occupational safety and good working conditions.

Sustainable organisational culture: Staff around the world are actively involved in making our organisation more sustainable. Since 2023 sustainability teams at the embassies have been playing an increasingly important role. They are working together on knowledge exchange and sharing effective practices and success stories.

Future activities: The results achieved in 2023 have laid a good foundation for activities in 2024. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will intensify its efforts and work hard on new sustainable initiatives.