Guide for greenhouse gas-neutral administrations published

Four-storey office building with a façade made of wood and colourful glass elements; a photovoltaic system stands on the green roofClick to enlarge
A photovoltaic system on the UBA building in Dessau provides electricity from renewable energies.
Source: Martin Stallmann / Umweltbundesamt

“Public administrations must pioneer and be a role model in climate protection”, said Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency (UBA) at an online meeting of the Network of Heads of European Environmental Administrations (EPA Network) on November 25th. He presented UBA’s guide on greenhouse gas neutral administrations, now also available in English.

Numerous administrations in Europe and the Member States have already set targets to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality. To support them, UBA published a guide, now available in English. It identifies nine stages toward a greenhouse gas-neutral administration. Specifically, these stages, which describe organisational, methodological and practical steps, provide concrete recommendations and present good practice examples. An overview of guidelines and further information is provided for buildings, transport, procurement, information and communication technology and events, as well as checklists for identifying and avoiding greenwashing.

The guide does not just address administrations, but is also relevant for companies that claim to be or become greenhouse gas neutral. It helps them to “practice what they preach” and prepares the ground for an effective climate management system in administrations and companies. As the current guide focuses on Germany, UBA is seeking cooperation with other agencies in the Network to transfer its application and develop requirements for greenhouse gas neutral organisations and products across Europe.

UBA-President Messner calls for ambitious and effective standards for greenhouse gas neutral organizations and invites European experts to support this work. “We need to define effective and practical requirements for greenhouse gas neutrality, applicable for enterprises and administrations in order to avoid greenwashing”, Dirk Messner said.