11 November – Sustainability Day 2010
This Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be marking Sustainability Day 2010. Sustainable operational management is a top priority at the Ministry, which aims to be carbon-neutral by 2012.
At all the Ministry’s premises – old and new – construction, procurement and management operate on sustainable lines. Preparations are already ongoing for the planned renovation in 2013 of the Ministry’s headquarters in The Hague, including the purchase of sustainable office furniture, climate control systems and lighting.
Of the Ministry’s total energy consumption, 70% is now from green sources. Progress is also being made in waste disposal, paper use, catering and many other areas.
The importance of sustainability at the missions abroad was highlighted by two recent sustainability awards from the United States Green Building Council – gold to the Consulate-General in San Francisco on 8 September and silver to the Amman embassy on 27 October. The Amman premises are the first Dutch chancery to be built by sustainable methods. Relative to local norms, the San Francisco offices use 20% less water and 30% less energy. Some 77% of the building materials came from recycled sources.