angle-left Sustainable Europe – Sustainable Future: Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union begins

Sustainable Europe – Sustainable Future: Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union begins

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union begins today, on 1 July 2019. As a commitment to the environment, and to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action, Finland’s EU Presidency Programme and Priorities focus on sustainability. 

Deputy Head of Mission Sampo Saarinen riding a bike
Riding a bike is not common in the congested traffic of Athens but the Deputy Head of Mission Sampo Saarinen is a dedicated commuter cycler. Daily cycling from the hills of Papagou to the Embassy is an environmentally friendly, time saving and healthy form of traffic!

Embassy of Finland in Athens to increase climate awareness in Greece

We, at the Embassy of Finland in Athens, represent Finland in Greece and want to take part in the sustainable course of action during Finland’s EU Presidency and in the future. Our commitment to the environment is to encourage and increase climate awareness in Greece and internationally. We commit to publish our own sustainable actions online and challenge Greek and international Colleagues in Greece to pledge their own sustainable acts and commitments to climate. Only by acting together and defending our common values can the EU tackle the major challenges of climate change.

Sustainability at the office and on the way to office

During the next 6 months and further on, the crosscutting theme of sustainability will be implemented in our Embassy’s daily work. Functional public transport in Athens will continue to be our diplomats’ prioritized mean of transport, as well as walking or biking shorter distances. Our staff has committed to avoiding the usage of single use containers, minimizing food waste and rationalizing the use of water.

Cutting down consumption and reducing climate footprint through meeting arrangements

During its Council Presidency, Finland will host both informal meetings of Ministers and meetings of working groups and experts. All the Ministerial meetings are considered as #Greenmeetings: centralized in Helsinki and implemented without food waste or garbage. The carbon emissions caused by the official air travelling to Helsinki will be offset by financing projects that reduce emissions with the amount traditionally used for the EU Presidency gifts.

The Embassy of Finland in Athens will emphasize the #Greenmeetings, as well. With digital capabilities, we avoid the environmental impacts of unnecessary official travelling. By assessing the venues from environmental perspective, we can minimize the use of private cars. Preferring local and plant based menus in all our events will be in the focus as well as reducing food waste and garbage. With exemplary meeting and event arrangements we encourage the local organizations to find more sustainable models of operations.