In line with the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, Switzerland is very dedicated towards a more sustainable future. An important element of a sustainable working routine is efficient waste management. Over 25 million tons of waste are produced each year in the city of Moscow. The waste processing facilities are nearly running at full capacity. It is thus important for the Swiss Embassy in Moscow to act and make its own meaningful contribution to tackle the waste management problem. The Embassy’s example underlines how environment-friendly activities, which can be done with little means and mostly by adapting behaviors, can in time lead to positive outcomes for our planet.
Together towards efficient waste management
The 2020 Russian regulation prescribes to separate waste in household garbage and recyclable waste. The Embassy goes further and introduces a more thorough recycling system based on the Swiss approach: Paper, glass, batteries and plastic bottles (PET) are separated at the Embassy, picked up and brought to a special waste treating site managed by a well-known Russian NGO. Also, by collecting plastic bottle caps separately, the Embassy supports an important social project called “Dobrye kryshechki” (Kind Caps). Not only is the plastic from the bottle caps reused, but the money paid by the recycling plants goes to “Dobrye kryshechki” and supports children with developmental disorders.
Good communication is a prerequisite for triggering change in behavior and the Swiss Embassy supports this actively: It inspires its workers not only to recycle at the workplace, but also in their private life. Embassy employees are encouraged to bring batteries and plastic bottles from their own home to the Embassy, where they can be easily recycled.
Promoting Sustainability: The Embassies’ Sustainable Development Group
Raising awareness among all employees is crucial and sustainability is thus a key topic on the Embassy’s agenda. Measures aiming at increasing the sustainability of the Embassy are discussed within a dedicated working group, the Sustainable Development Group. Members of the Sustainable Development Group meet for regular brainstorming sessions, implement internal and external projects, and promote events and cooperation in the field of sustainability. This group advises both the Ambassador and the whole staff of the Embassy on matters of sustainable development, circular economy, ecology and climate change.