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4.2. Rethinking working methods

Aim: The session introduces sustainable ways of working in the public sector and in the broader arena of the society. These include, for example, use of new technologies and opportunities provided by the Internet, new channels of participation and dialogue, monitoring and assessment of activities and solutions.

Facilitator: Jukka Erkkilä, Counsellor, Ministry of Finance, Finland
Rapporteur: Marja Granlund, Financial Counsellor, Ministry of Finance, Finland

Eco-support brings eco-actions to workplaces

Eco-support activity is a working model and a practical tool for promoting environmental awareness at workplaces. Environmental responsibility is encouraged by appointing and training eco-supporters in the work communities. Eco-supporters guide and motivate their workmates to act in a more environmentally friendly way. Through eco-support activity, the willingness and capability of the employees to perform competent actions for the environment are translated into tangible activities. New environmental ideas and skills promoted by eco-supporters are saving money and natural resources.
Silja Sarkkinen, Eco-Support project Coordinator, City of Helsinki Environment Centre, Finland

CAF/SD Best Practices 2010

CAF is a self-evaluation tool developed jointly by EU-member states for public sector organisations. It includes also assessments of many aspects of sustainable development. To further strengthen this aspect a separate CAF sustainable development check-list has been developed for organisations. How does this work in practice and what kind of practical best practices can be found?
Johanna Nurmi, Financial Counsellor, Ministry of Finance, Finland

Knowledge, learning and change: Experiences from three Norwegian programmes on sustainable development

During the last five years, the national government and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (NALRA) have run three programmes on sustainable development, with climate and energy as main subjects. This presentation breifly discusses all three programmes First, the project Liveable/Viability municipalities, which ran in 2006-2010, involved more than 200 municipalities (50%) in more than 40 networks who worked on environment, climate and social development within the ordinary framework conditions. This was a broad scope programme and was most useful for “mainstreamers”. The project lead to closer inter-municipal coordination. Second, the programme Green Energy municipalities, which ran in 2007-2010, involved 20 municipalities and one county. This was a depth programme on climate and energy and lead to a new project on construction management and energy savings. Third, the programme Future of the cities, which is running in 2008-2014, involves 13 largest cities of Norway. The project is lead by the Ministry of Environment in cooperation with other Ministries, external expertise and NALRA. The project will lead to a closer cooperation between the cities and neighbouring municipalities and includes Climate initiative as one of three major initiatives in the period of 2008-2012.
Bjørg Tysdal Moe, Vice President at the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities and Deputy Mayor of the City of Stavanger, Norway

Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

The COP15 meeting that was held in Copenhagen in 2009 raised the issue of connections between gender equality and climate change. Finland has together with the other Nordic countries aimed at promoting the inclusion of women in processes underpinning sustainable development, such as negotiations. Climate change affects differently women and men, and also women’s and men’s carbon footprints are different. When discussing climate change people in general look at the technological and economic dimension, while the social dimension is ignored. Both women’s and men’s experience and inclusion is needed to combat climate change.
Aira Kalela, International expert, Global Gender and Climate Alliance, Finland

Co-operation with citizens

Methods of involving citizens in climate and sustainability solutions.
The speech will be based on a specific co-operation between the village of Guldager and the local authority of Esbjerg and will put perspective on the concept of energy villages.
Bodil Ankjær Nielsen, Climate Co-ordinator, Head of Climate & Sustainability in Municipality of Esbjerg, Denmark

Panel discussion

Summary of parallel session 4.2 Rethinking working methods

Following presentations were given in the session:

Silja Sarkkinen: Eco-support brings eco-actions to workplaces

The presentation introduced a working model Eco-support and a practical tool for promoting environmental awareness at workplaces. Environmental responsibility is encouraged by appointing and training eco-supporters in the work communities. Eco-supporters guide and motivate their workmates to act in a more environmentally friendly way. New environmental ideas and skills promoted by eco-supporters are saving money and natural resources.

Johanna Nurmi: CAF/SD Best Practices 2010

The presentation told about a self-evaluation tool CAF with a separate CAF sustainable development check-list developed jointly by EU-member states for public sector organizations. It includes also assessments of many aspects of sustainable development.

Bjørg Tysdal Moe: Knowledge, learning and change; Experiences from three Norwegian programmes on sustainable development

This presentation briefly discussed three programmes on sustainable development, with climate and energy as main subjects introduced by the national government and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (NALRA). First, the project Liveable/Viability municipalities, which ran in 2006-2010, involved more than 200 municipalities (50%) in more than 40 networks who worked on environment, climate and social development within the ordinary framework conditions. Second, the programme Green Energy municipalities, which ran in 2007-2010, involved 20 municipalities and one county leading to a new project on construction management and energy savings. Third, the programme Future of the cities, which is running in 2008-2014, involves 13 largest cities of Norway leading to a closer cooperation between the cities and neighbouring municipalities.
Aira Kalela: Gender Equality and Sustainable Development
The presentation raised the issue of connections between gender equality and climate change, where Finland has together with the other Nordic countries aimed at promoting the inclusion of women in processes underpinning sustainable development, such as negotiations.

Bodil Ankjær Nielsen: Co-operation with citizens

The presentation told methods of involving citizens in climate and sustainability solutions on the model of a specific co-operation between the village of Guldager and the local authority of Esbjerg and will put perspective on the concept of energy villages.

Especially following themes were discussed

  • Consciousness and commitment among the personnel and leaders is necessary in order to achieve results.
  • Assessment and self-assessment, for instance possibility for citizens to assess their own consumption of energy.
  • Environmental certification of technical solutions and for instance of meeting arrangements were discussed on the basis of the Norwegian presentation.
  • Knowledge, renewal, inspiration, learning from others. Internal coaching (eco-coaches) and external coaching – learning trough best practices.
  • Co-operation and dialogue over administrative boarders internally in municipal organisations, and between local authorities, regional organisations, private companies and citizens, partnership thinking – “give and take perspective”.
  • Women´s role in decision-making. In the developing countries a gender neutral perspective is of special importance in order to not to compound women´s burden. In the industrialised countries women play a central role in the private households decision-making concerning consumption.

Key issues:

  • Local solutions and targets and national programmes have to be compatible in order to achieve sustainable solutions.
  • Everyday solutions, including working methods and routines at work places and homes, for instance meeting preparations, and minimised use of paper do play an essential role.
  • Partnership is a key word in the strategy.
  • Environmental certification should be included into the public procurement procedures.