Public energy role models commit to ambitious climate protection goals
Bern, 19.10.2021 - The Civil Federal Administration, the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) and 13 other participants in the Exemplary Energy and Climate Initiative are leading the way: by 2030, they will increase energy efficiency and expand renewable energies. Federal Councillors Simonetta Sommaruga (DETEC) and Viola Amherd (DDPS) today joined the other participants to launch the second phase of the Exemplary Energy and Climate Initiative at the Thun military training ground. The initiative contributes to implementing the Energy Strategy 2050 and achieving the net zero climate target by 2050. A new aspect in the second phase is climate-compatible financing, because today's investment decisions will in part determine future levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
During the first phase from 2013 to 2020, ten participants - Swiss Post, the ETH Domain, Geneva Airport, SBB, SIG, Skyguide, Suva, Swisscom, the DDPS and the federal civil administration - joined forces in the Exemplary Energy and Climate initiative to increase their energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energies. For the new phase from 2021 to 2030, five additional participants - PostFinance, PostBus, SRG, Zurich Airport and RUAG MRO Holding AG - have committed to the initiative. The combined energy consumption of all participants accounts for more than 2.5 per cent of Switzerland's total energy consumption.
Ambitious targets defined for new phase from 2021 to 2030
At the launch event on 19 October, Federal Councillors Simonetta Sommaruga and Viola Amherd and the directors and CEOs of the participants signed the memorandum of understanding for the new 2021 to 2030 phase. In doing so, they all commit themselves to further increasing energy efficiency and promoting the switch to renewable energies. They will implement 15 joint measures in the areas of management, procurement and operations, as well as numerous measures tailored to their individual needs. The participants have set ambitious individual targets for energy efficiency, green electricity production, the share of heating from renewables by 2026 and the share of cooling and fuels from renewables by 2030. They all aim to obtain 100% of their electricity from renewables by 2026 at the latest.
Energy targets exceeded in the first phase
The results of the first phase are extremely positive. From 2013 to 2020, the ten participants increased their energy efficiency by 31.1 per cent compared with the 2006 baseline. By 2015, they had already achieved their joint goal of increasing energy efficiency by 25 per cent. They increased their share of renewable energies - including electricity - from the original 35.5 to 60.2 per cent. Almost all of the electricity already comes from renewable sources. That is explained in the report on the first phase 2013-2020 published in June. This progress was possible thanks to 39 joint measures and 117 individual measures. They included the projects that were awarded the Watt d'Or: ETH Zurich's anergy (cold district heating) network and Swisscom's rainwater-cooled data centre, whose waste heat provides warmth to an entire neighbourhood. Other examples of measures taken included the conversion of half of the postal delivery vehicles to environmentally friendly drive systems and Skyguide's optimised approach management for Zurich Airport.
Specialist forums: Sustainable construction and climate-friendly investment
After the ceremonial launch in the morning, the launch event on 19 October will offer energy and climate professionals three specialist forums in which they can exchange views on sustainable construction and climate-friendly investment. A new aspect in the initiative's second phase is climate-compatible financing, because today's investment decisions will in part determine future levels of greenhouse gas emissions. An increasing number of insurance companies, pension funds, banks and asset managers are testing their portfolios as part of the FOEN's voluntary PACTA climate test (PACTA stands for Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment). The next round of tests for the Swiss financial centre will take place in 2022.
Joint progress and visibility of the measures
With its clear objectives, measures, controlling and joint exchange, the initiative offers participants a supportive framework for making progress in the climate and energy sector and ensures the visibility and acceptance of the measures. The participants serve as a model for others and use good examples and practical tools to demonstrate how the goal of a climate-neutral Switzerland can be achieved. The arrival of the five new participants and the interest shown by other companies and organisations show that the initiative meets the need for a structured framework and an active network in order to implement the Energy Strategy 2050.
About the Exemplary Energy and Climate Initiative
The initiative is an Energy Strategy 2050 measure and is aimed at Switzerland's most important public service providers. The participants want to act innovatively and in an exemplary manner in relation to energy and climate by increasing their energy efficiency and promoting the switch to renewable energies. They are thus contributing to the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement. This aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times and to achieve a maximum temperature increase of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Information for journalists
- Programme for the launch event for the new 2021 to 2030 phase, see link below.
- You can find examples of successful measures taken by the ten participants in the first phase from 2013 to 2020 in the 2013-2020 report, see link below.
- More information on the new phase of the Exemplary Energy and Climate Initiative can be found in the brochure 'On course for the climate - the initiative in brief', see link below.
Address for enquiries
Andreas Renggli, Polarstern AG, Communications for the Exemplary Energy and Climate Unit, 079 304 17 07, email@example.com
SFOE Media Office, 058 460 81 52
Swiss Federal Office of Energy
General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC
General Secretariat DDPS