GreenDependent Institute

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Energy saving and community building: the second half of the energy saving competition for public buildings has started

19 Hungarian public buildings with over 2000 employees participate in the EU project, called save@work. There was a midterm event on 13 October in Budapest related to project, to which all the Hungarian save@work Energy Teams were invited. The primary aim of the event was to boost the enthusiasm of save@work participants after the summer holidays and beyond the midterm of the competition.

At the event the Energy Teams had plenty of opportunities to share their experience. An Energy Team member from the municipality of Tata recounted how he has been battling with some phantom colleagues to close the windows on the corridors when the heating is on, and how their Energy Team secretly turned the faucetsunder the sinksa bit down to reduce the water flow, and thusprevent the excessive use of hot water. At the same time they also bought desk lamps, reorganised the area around the multifunctional printers to further encourage the separate collection of paper waste, and have been giving presents even to those who are not yet at the frontline of saving energy, so that they develop a bad conscience and join the saving efforts – a novel logic indeed. :-)

In another building, the smaller one ofthe Miskolc municipality, the Energy Team put the emphasis on the creative side of energy saving. Each month has a special theme: they were bringing in and exchanging plants during the spring for example, organised an energy saving and climate quiz in June and had a call for essays, poems, decorations and installations in the topic of climate change and environmentally friendly living during July and August. They also have an “idea box” made of old cans where colleagues can share tips on further energy saving efforts or related events, etc. For the competitions they were giving out mugs and bags with save@work logo on them, which they had received as part of their starter kit. For all their materials, including newsletters and calls they use the save@work design items, as well as some extra pictures, and even their boss said that reading these materials and having the save@work items around the building cheers her up from time to time with its bright colours.

After the two presentations there was a group discussion session, where participants could exchange thoughts on challenges and successes experienced so far related to the energy saving competition. Several participants recounted how beneficial the save@work campaign has been in strengthening the workplace community. They could get to know their colleagues' different sides, and apparently had lots ofpleasant surprises in store for each other. Besides, many pointed out that their bosses’ support is vital in introducing new, energy saving measures, and giving little presents every now and then to colleagues can be very motivating.

Having said that, GreenDependent distributed presents to the participating buildings' employeesfor filling in so many pre-campaign surveys and for their participation in so far two save@work challenges, as well as for a little game during the midterm event itself(in which the participants competed in small groups to collect the most energy saving tips concerning their immediate workstations). Among other presents, the buildings received 70 native Hungarian fruit trees, which apart from providing delicious fruits in a few years' time and contributing to preserving biodiversity, actually help to offset the carbon footprint of the save@work starting event and the trainings. Some Energy Teams decided to give the trees away to the most enthusiastic energy savers in their buildings, while some others donated them to local school gardens.

GreenDependent also presented the national and international results of the pre-campaign surveys, and the national energy savings so far, and talked about the tasks of the second half of the save@work campaign, which will hopefully proceed in high spirits after such a "fruitful" midterm event.
 

In Hungary the patron of the project is dr. Marcel Szabó,
the Deputy Commissioner for Future Generations.

 

More about save@work:

In English: http://saveatwork.eu/
In Hungarian: https://sporolunk.org

 

 

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