IPU Parliaments for the Planet Case Study: The Bundestag Blueprint for Sustainability
In a world grappling with the pressing need to address climate change, the German Bundestag offers an interesting case study in how to reduce energy consumption and minimize environmental impact.
The measures implemented by the Bundestag since July 2022 encompass building operations and vehicle management, reflecting the institution’s commitment to sustainability.
The Bundestag has made significant changes to the temperature settings within its buildings. These adjustments include:
. Reducing room temperatures by two degrees when heating is required, lowering the standard room temperature from 22°C to 20°C.
. Raising room temperatures by two degrees in air-conditioned offices when the air conditioning is on, ranging from 24-26°C to 26-28°C depending on outside temperatures.
Similar temperature adjustments are applied to parliamentary group and committee meeting rooms, as well as the plenary chamber.
While the same air exchange rates remain in place, the energy needed for air treatment (heating, cooling and humidification) is reduced due to the adapted room temperatures.
Warm water supply to office washbasins has been discontinued in buildings with decentralized warm water systems. This ensures that only cold water is available at these washbasins, with instantaneous water heaters turned off.
Centralized control of lighting in building interiors, particularly in halls and larger rooms, has also been implemented.
Building users are continuously informed about energy-saving practices as part of environmental management through energy-saving tips on the intranet.
The initial data from August and September 2022 revealed impressive results. The restrictions on air conditioning led to approximately 25% energy savings in cooling and 15% in electricity consumption.
In addition to these building operations measures, the Bundestag is also committed to greening its transport. Efforts are underway to increase the use of electric vehicles and expand charging infrastructure.
The Bundestag is committed to offsetting CO2 emissions generated by official trips, including flights and journeys with official vehicles. This commitment involves supporting international climate protection projects and marshland renaturation initiatives in national natural heritage areas.
The German Bundestag is making significant strides in climate-conscious practices, demonstrating that even venerable institutions can take bold steps towards sustainability. By leading by example, the Bundestag is showing the world that every effort counts in the fight against climate change.
Many of the measures implemented by the Bundestag are contained in the IPU’s 10 actions for greener parliaments and those who work in them.
Find out more about the IPU’s climate campaign Parliaments for the Planet.