Case Studies

The case studies you will find here demonstrate how various international and Greek companies manage to reduce the impact of their economic activity on climate change through corporate social responsibility programmes and energy efficiency measures.

Quotes:

“Sustainability means investing in and improving NYUs operations and infrastructure, safeguarding the health and well-being of its community members and conserving energy and the natural environment that supports and underpins them. Sustainability is about more than mitigating ecological impacts. Along with academic excellence and public service, it is an important principle for our University-another lens through which we see our values and mission.” Dr. Michael Alfano, NYU Executive Vice President

“Being environmentally aware is good business. And reducing our carbon footprint saves both us and our clients money.” Juliet Silvester, Head of Environmental Programmes, Fujitsu

 “Copenhagen is important because it represents a business opportunity. By moving towards a more sustainable economy we will unleash a surge of innovation and investment in clean technologies and products. New sectors will provide green collared jobs and become sources of sustainable growth for the future. There is going to be a lot of healthy low carbon competition in the next couple of decades and European businesses must be ready. Green growth is not just a distant vision. We can do it, and in concrete terms, we are already doing it, now, in Europe. Our emissions per capita are now less than half of those of the US at the same level of output.” EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, in Copenhagen

As he unveiled policies aimed at halting the decline of French industry in March 2010, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that he would earmark millions of euros to encourage companies to innovate with green investment and bring jobs back to France as part of a plan to help a sector that has shed over half a million workers in the last 10 years.

 Case Studies:

  1. Green Events
  2. Increasing green space and saving on the cost of energy
  3. A University’s Green challenge
  4. A green school
  5. Siemens Real-Estate Award for Green Buildings in Germany
  6. The greening of COP15 in Copenhagen
  7. Athens International Airport (AIA)

1. Green Events

Event participants are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of various events on climate change. Therefore, many event organisers have begun to implement actions such as sending invitations through electronic means, collecting and re-using plastic name badges and offsetting participant carbon emissions from travel.

The following measures indicate the approximate number of emissions from travel and accommodation from two types of events:

  • The approximate impact of a 2-day European conference with 200 participants is 114.3 tons CO2
  • An international trade fair which lasts one week and has 2000 visitors, half of whom have taken trans-Atlantic flights, has CO2 emissions of around 1,690 tons

IAPCO (The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers) met in Athens, Greece on 20 February 2010 on the occasion of their annual congress, gathering an international audience of 60 participants from the global events management industry and generating 58 tons of CO2 emissions. These emissions were offset through the planting of 58 trees in the Kenyan Rainforest, organized by the Post Bank Green Institute.

The Post Bank Green Institute also organised the greening of the conference.

2. Increasing green space and saving on the cost of energy

A green roof, with a sound waterproofing layer below it, has numerous properties which add to the insulating effect of a simple bituminous sheet. A study was carried out in Athens, in the summer of 2009, of a green roof with the patented Oikosteges system which was installed on the roof of the Greek Ministry of Finance in the centre of Athens a year earlier. Only 52% (650 m2) of this roof has been planted and yet the study shows that there have been significant savings in energy consumption for air-conditioning (9.6%) and heating (4.4%). Over the year, this amounted to a saving in electricity and heating fuel oil cost of 5630€.

  • The measurements taken during the study show that the difference in temperature between the planted and unplanted roof surface reaches 18°C (37 and 55°C respectively).
  • The same study showed that energy savings from air-conditioning on the top floor of the building could exceed 50%.

3. A University’s Green challenge

In their Climate Action Plan, published in 2009, New York University (NYU) committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions against its 2006 baseline emissions by 30% per square foot by 2017. The Sierra Club, a renowned North American environmental organisation, put NYU in the top 20 greenest US colleges for reductions achieved to date. This sustainability project falls within the New York City Mayoral Challenge Commitment. Reduction measures range from efficiency upgrades and conservation programmes, to green buildings and renewable energy generation. In the three years since it began, NYU has already achieved a total emission reduction of 20%, to 136,000 MTCE compared to its 2006 emissions. Their annual cost savings resulting from energy efficiency measures amount to $2.05 million, of which, for example, $400 000 can be attributed to building schedules which reduce lighting, heating and cooling in unoccupied periods and $500 000 to switching to energy efficient lighting. 

NYU actively engages its students in this challenge through, for example, their ‘electricity conservation challenge’ which has been conducted in April 2008 and 2009, encouraging building occupants to use the stairs, switch off lights and unplug appliances. This was facilitated by a communication programme which included events and inter-building competitions. Students achieved an average 8% savings which added to NYU’s total and is equal to a cost saving of $30 000.

NYU invested in sustainability in different ways including building an 120$ million high-efficiency cogeneration power plant project and making the largest purchase of renewable energy by a US college or university.  

For more information, please visit:

New York University: http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability/

Climate Action Plan.pdf

New York City: http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/challenge/greenyc_climate.shtml

4. A green school

The Greek educational facility of Nea Genia Ziridis, which caters for children from 3 years of age up until 18, has an active CSR programme which encourages environmental awareness and protection. The school participates to the Eco-schools programme which is supported by the EU ‘Intelligent Energy Europe’ programme and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The school is certified for the environmental aspects of its social engagement and renewed its ISO 14001 certification in 2008. All students are actively engaged and have conducted natural reforestation, using an innovative seeding technique. 

For more information, please visit:

  1. http://www.ziridis.gr/content.php?id=16460
  2. http://www.eco-schools.org/

5. Siemens Real-Estate Award for Green Buildings in Germany

Siemens Real Estate (SRE) launched a major initiative to green its buildings in 2007, targeting six of their commercial buildings in Germany. These were awarded the "Green Building" certificate by the European Commission in 2008. One of these is the Siemens head-office building on Lindenplatz in Hamburg, where space efficiency has been increased and energy demand has been reduced by a third, resulting from the installation of an energy efficient cooling system and a new lighting system. Another is an office building in Berlin (Nonnendammallee 101), for which the GreenBuilding certificate was awarded because heating costs were reduced by 26% as a result of additional insulation put in and optimisation of the heating and ventilation system. An additional benefit was that costs for these modifications were kept to a minimum as they were implemented as part of scheduled repairs.

For more information, please visit:

1.https://www.realestate.siemens.com/hq/en/projects/green-building/green-building-initiative.php

2.https://www.realestate.siemens.com/hq/en/press/press-releases/siemens-receives-the-GreenBuilding-award-for-seven-buildings.php  

3. https://www.realestate.siemens.com/hq/en/projects/hamburg-lindenplatz.php

6. The greening of the United Nations Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen (COP15) which took place in December 2009

Over two years, the city of Copenhagen worked to create the world’s first green summit, implementing the specifications of the British Standard BS 8901 on sustainable event management. The city achieved certification to the standard, making it one of the world’s greenest meetings destinations.

The conference lasted two weeks, 2 500 meetings were held and over 170 000 delegates visited Copenhagen and the Bella Centre for the summit. Targets were often greatly exceeded: the original target for hotel greening was 12% when the planning began, two years before the event. Six months before the event, 53% of Copenhagen’s hotels were eco-certified. The Bella Centre, where the summit took place, received an investment of €2.5 million to achieve an energy saving of 20%. Provision and information was made for promoting environmentally sound transport: the public transport system in Copenhagen functions excellently and additional bicycles for rent were made available. The bus represented an 85% avoidance of CO2 emissions, and the bicycle or walking 100% avoidance.

For more information, please visit:

1.http://www.bsigroup.com/en/About-BSI/News-Room/BSI-News-Content/Disciplines/Sustainability/COP15-BS8901/

2. http://www.bellacenter.dk/English/Live

7. Athens International Airport (AIA)

Athens International Airport has been a participant in the EU GreenBuilding Programmes scheme since 2003 and was recognised by the European Commission for its extensive achievements in energy performance of its facilities and buildings, receiving the 2008 GreenBuilding Partner Award. In 2008 the company also achieved a 43% recycling rate (6 567 tons) of all non-hazardous waste generated at the airport. For 2007 and 2008, AIA was also ranked by ‘Accountability Rating’ (Greece) as the fourth most responsible company amongst the 100 largest companies operating in Greece. AIA has been certified with ISO 14001 since 2000 and is one of the best-equipped airports in the world with regard to the measurement and tracking of air-quality.

For more information, please visit: http://www.aia.gr/pages.asp?pageid=24&langid=2

Case studies from the Greek market and from Athens Green360 members will be uploaded as they become available.