Environmental Awareness and Protection

Public administration has many opportunities to protect the environment and reduce its negative impact on it. There is a lot of potential in minimising energy, paper and water consumption, as well as waste production in public institutions. Because of the administration's role model function, it is necessary to take responsibility, and in consequence, to develop and establish environmental awareness. Environmental protection is a priority topic in recent years, which also needs to be addressed by the public administration. The commitment to environmental protection can also have economic incentives. Environmental protection can lead to savings that can relieve the public coffers and be invested in other measures. One possible instrument to manifest environmental protection in the work of public administration can be seen in the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme), which is an environmental management scheme based on the EU-Regulation 1221/2009. This management instrument helps organisations to improve the environmental performance by providing guidelines and tools.[1][2]

 

[1] Website of EMAS (EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme), http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/index_en.htm, retrieved January 24, 2018.
[2] Bundesumweltministerium, Umweltbundesamt (2003), Umweltschutz lohnt sich für öffentliche Verwaltungen. Strategien und Beispiele für ökonomische Anreize, https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/sites/default/files/medien/publikation/long/2616.pdf, retrieved January 24, 2018.
Type of content: Needs
Type of need: Strategical need

Comments

I think it is important to emphasise, that the public sector cannot and should not only pay attention to environmental protection within its walls. Instead, there are also many possibilities to support environmental protection and sustainable development outside the administration.The public sector buys many services and goods externally.  If energy efficiency and resource conservation are fundamental assessment criteria, the public sector can also promote sustainable developments outside its own walls. Environmental aspects should therefore be taken into account when awarding contracts.This enables the public sector to set an example and to exert pressure on the outside.