EMAS environmental management at five sites

UBA seeks to reduce pressure on environment caused by its travel on official business

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) presented its new EMAS environmental statement on 2 December 2008 in Berlin, making a plea for environmental management at a high standard in public offices and businesses. ”The Federal Environment Agency practices what it preaches”, said Dr. Thomas Holzmann, Vice President of UBA, and pointed out that there are now five Agency sites that meet the strict requirements of the European Eco Management and Audit Scheme, EMAS. On the occasion of the opening of the EMAS conference in Berlin, he emphasised the pioneering role played by the Agency. ”In 2001 we were the first of any public office at all to be EMAS-registered. In 2003 we were the first to introduce ecological acquisition and purchasing, and now in 2008, we are the first public authority to establish guidelines for environmentally friendly travel on official business.” Holzmann encouraged businesses and public authorities to consider making a greater commitment to the environment in-house. ”Environmental protection not only benefits society at large, but also one’s own institution. It saves costs and improves image.”

In succession to its Dessau-Roßlau, Berlin-Bismarckplatz, Berlin-Marienfelde, Langen sites, UBA has now introduced high-standard environmental management at its ”Building 23” in Berlin. This UBA office, located on the grounds of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin-Dahlem, now meets the requirements of EMAS. The new environmental statement compiles for the first time the environmental management aspects of all five of UBA’s EMAS-registered sites in one publication. The document describes the areas of responsibility, processes, and activities relevant to in-house environmental protection, highlights the main aspects of eco-management at each of its sites, and identifies the goals and measures taken as part of its eco-management system.

This year UBA introduced guidelines for environmentally friendly business travel management as part of its eco-management system. The guidelines commit the Agency to avoiding travel and replacing it with videoconferencing and pooled travel, to give preference to rail travel over air and automobile transport, and to compensate for the climate impact of official travel by funding ambitious climate protection projects. Even the choice of accommodation at business travel destinations are affected by environmental considerations. Cooperation partners and UBA visitors alike are now called upon to comply with the guidelines and thus reduce the harmful effects on the environment of their travel activities.

German Environment Agency

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau
Germany