In line with its domestic efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda, Switzerland is also making a sustainable impact abroad. The Swiss embassy in Canberra, Australia, is an excellent example. The embassy has adopted numerous climate- and energy-related measures, becoming a role model at home and abroad.
Sustainable living and working
The Swiss embassy in Australia is pursuing numerous sustainability measures including a high-performance photovoltaic system that largely covers the embassy's electricity requirements. Consequently, when possible, rechargeable batteries are also charged during the day, when the system is at its peak performance.
Other energy and climate protection measures include the use of solar energy for hot water, active waste, recycling and water management, and the use of energy-efficient appliances. Outdated, inefficient spotlights, which illuminated the site at night, were disposed of. The optimal orientation of the building and selected structural elements contribute to the efficient use of sunlight and shade, thus reducing heating and cooling energy costs as well. Simple but effective measures also include switching on the central air conditioning system late (at 10am instead of 7am) and lowering the thermostat during the heating period.
The two ambassadors regularly use electric bikes to travel to official events in the capital. In just under two years, they have travelled a total of 3,250km on their e-bikes. Air travel is increasingly being avoided, with employees now taking the bus or train for longer distances too, e.g. to Sydney. In addition, the embassy provides a service bike, which is regularly used by embassy staff. Living sustainably rather than just talking about it!