Among other things, the Embassy and the Moscovite eco-movement "Sobirator" conducted an awareness campaign in 2020 in a school, a university and a children’s library. Together, the Embassy and “Sobirator” have been holding and organizing eco-classes and lectures on ecology and circular economy in the three Russian institutions mentioned above and helped them implement their own waste separation. During these events, Swiss experiences in recycling and the circular economy in general are shared and it is discussed how a recycling and circular economy can be developed further and how current challenges can be addressed.
Reduce Reuse Recycle
To the same institutions, the Embassy provided kick-off funding for the introduction of waste separation (The “Reduce Reuse Recycle” project) and for a new waste collection infrastructure (containers, bins etc.), so that they could start waste separation on their own. Separated waste is collected by “Sobirator”, which runs a big collection and separation facility (eco-center) and brings separated waste directly to recycling companies. In 2020, the Embassy published a video entitled "Going Green" on its social media, which was met with a very positive response. In the same year, the Embassy also held roundtable discussions for a broader Russian audience on the topics of "climate change" and "sustainable gold mining."
The positive image of Switzerland as a recycling economy has been promoted through the different projects and the active participation of the Ambassador. The Sustainable Development Group aims to continue and broaden the cooperation with the partner institutions and to implement a fully-fledged recycling system at the Embassy. At the same time, the Sustainable Development Group seeks to promote a high awareness of ecological aspects in daily life both in the partner institutions and the Embassy itself. The Sustainable Development Group has identified further possible measures to be taken at the Embassy, such as eco-friendly cleaning agents, seasonal cuisine, vegetarian and vegan menus at official events and setting up a compost bin.
The new building as starting point
The new Swiss Embassy, which has been inaugurated in June 2019, is an environment-friendly building in harmony with the surrounding environment. Special attention was paid to the use of non-toxic construction materials, the lighting system and the intelligent use of glass. Due to modern floor-to-ceiling windows, the Embassy uses natural light to its full potential and it allows to reduce the use of electric lights inside the building. Another example of resource saving technologies is the Embassy’s climate control system, which has replaced the traditional central heating.
The new construction design contributed to lower the buildings’ environmental footprint and has inspired its occupants to seize new opportunities and develop initiatives towards the promotion of more sustainable practices.
It is indeed its staff’s motivation to make further commitments towards sustainable practices that makes the Embassy stand out.