The Confederation: exemplary in energy group increases its energy efficiency by 27% and takes Geneva Airport on board

Bern, 30.06.2017 - Much energy and large sums of money can be saved by implementing a consequent efficiency strategy. This has been proven by the group The Confederation: exemplary in energy. The group incorporates the civil federal administration, the DDPS, the ETH Domain and the state-owned entities Swiss Post, SBB, Skyguide, and Swisscom; and now the first public company from one of the cantons is joining the group, Geneva airport. The parties have all signed a joint declaration of intent with the aim of increasing energy efficiency by 25% by 2020 compared to base year 2006. The results for 2016 indicate that the group takes its role model status seriously. Energy efficiency within the group has been improved by 27%, and 72% of the planned measures have been implemented. Today, at the premises of new partner Geneva Airport, the group will provide information about past experiences and plans for the future. The aim too is to encourage further public entities and organisations or companies to join the club of energy role models.

The civil federal administration, the DDPS, state-owned entities and the ETH Domain are jointly responsible for 2% of the overall energy consumption in Switzerland. In founding The Confederation: exemplary in energy group and by signing the joint declaration of intent in November 2014, these entities made plain their intention to figure as role models in the field of energy efficiency. Taking 2006 as the base year, all the actors are striving to increase energy efficiency by 25% by 2020. To this end 39 common measures were defined, and a target achievement rate of 80% was set to be achieved by 2020. In addition, each actor undertook to implement 15 sector-specific measures.

Geneva Airport is now the first public entity from one of the cantons to join the initiative. Discussions are currently being held at national and cantonal level with further potential actors.

Geneva Airport, our new partner

In 2016, 16.5 million passengers passed through Geneva Airport. In the airport's energy strategy the emphasis is on efficient energy consumption, limitation of the energy required to operate the airport, the most efficient means of energy production and distribution, and renewable sources of energy. In 2016, economies made throughout the entire area of the airport resulted in savings of almost 13 gigawatt-hours, an amount equivalent to the consumption of 3,250 households.

Targets for 2020 within range

In 2016 the entire Confederation: exemplary in energy group increased its energy efficiency by 27% on average (2015: 26.7%), which means the efficiency target for 2020 has already been surpassed. However, now is no time to relax because without further effort there is no guarantee that this rate can be attained, or even exceeded, in the following year. By the end of 2016, the 39 joint measures had been implemented with a degree of implementation of 72% (2015: 67%). However, the average proportion of renewable energy used in overall consumption has fallen slightly and was 57.4% in 2016 (2015: 59%).

Highlights of the group The Confederation: exemplary in energy 2016

Geneva Airport
To date, compared to the base year 2006, Geneva Airport has increased its energy efficiency by 21.5% Significant measures taken in 2016 include installation of a photo-voltaic array on a noise abatement building, construction of a new facility to Minergie-P standard, and a mobility solution especially for employees working in shifts.

In order to reduce kerosene consumption and greenhouse gases emitted by air traffic, Skyguide is committed to guiding aircraft to their destination as directly as possible. It has therefore developed a network of direct routes over Switzerland, reduced aircraft waiting times before takeoff and improved a number of technical systems. The company also aims to maximise the energy efficiency of its own infrastructures. Skyguide increased its energy efficiency by 30.3% from 2006 to 2016, while keeping its total consumption virtually constant.

Swiss Post
In 2016 Swiss Post's final energy consumption amounted to 980 gigawatt-hours. Compared to base year 2006, consumption has fallen by 7% despite periods of strong growth. In this time the postal service increased its energy efficiency by 26.7%. Last year the company renewed its transport fleet and now utilises energy efficient railway wagons and lorries and it has also completely replaced petrol-powered scooters with electric ones. In addition, Swiss Post has begun to replace tube lighting in sorting offices with LED lighting.

Swiss Federal Railways SBB
SBB plans to save 600 gigawatt-hours of current every year with a comprehensive package of measures. This reduction constitutes 20% of the annual consumption forecast for 2025. In 2016 the company optimised the electricity supply for railway operations, invested in energy efficient buildings and trained locomotive drivers to save energy by implementing a new driving style. Although passenger traffic has grown strongly, SBB has increased its efficiency by 18% compared to base year 2006.

Swissom's commitment to sustainability focuses on increasing energy efficiency in operations and use of electrical energy with the least detriment to the climate. Last year, for example, the company further expanded the use of resource-saving virtual servers, opened nine repair centres for mobile phones spread throughout Switzerland, brought an energy efficient TV box to market, and concluded an energy-saving project to employ fresh air for cooling of telephone exchanges. Energy efficiency was increased by 42.9% from 2006 to 2016.

ETH Domain
Additional services and tasks in teaching, research and KTT, extensive growth in the number of students, and major novel research facilities have been some of the main characteristics of the ETH Domain since 2006. The degree of technology in buildings with modern laboratory facilities and other innovations is increasing constantly. Thanks to modernisation of building technology, greater use of ambient heat and large research facilities which are more economical in use, energy efficiency has been increased by 19.7% since 2006, whereas overall energy consumption increased by 5.7%.

Compared to 2006 the DDPS reduced its overall energy consumption last year by 7.3% to 1,079 gigawatt-hours. Some of the successfully employed measures include the DDPS's own energy certificate for buildings (GEAVBS), training of staff and members of the army, a pilot project with gas-fuelled lorries and the use of resource-saving low-friction engine oils.

Civil federal administration
Last year the civil federal administration once again increased its energy efficiency. The increase compared to 2006 is now 53.9%. Overall energy consumption fell by 12% in the same period to 120 gigawatt-hours. Current measures being implemented in the civil federal administration are for example energy efficient tunnel lighting and establishment of an ecological motorway maintenance depot by ASTRA, as well as photovoltaic arrays and updating of eco-balance data for the construction sector by the BBL.

Address for enquiries

Marianne Z√ľnd, Head of Media and Political Affairs SFOE
058 462 56 75; 079 763 86 11,

Office for the Exemplary Role of the Confederation in Energy ERCE
Olivier Meile, 058 462 56 99,


Swiss Federal Office of Energy