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The MFA sustainability initiative

Denmark and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are warm advocates of a more sustainable world, and we work to promote the sustainability agenda in both national and international contexts.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched our own sustainability strategy, which aspires to create a more sustainable workplace and thereby contribute to the achievement of the 2030-agenda including the Global Goals and the Paris Agreement. By launching a sustainability strategy, we want to “walk the talk on the global goals” and ensure alignment between our internal procedures and external messages and actions.

It is our vision to become one of the world’s five most sustainable foreign services within the next five years. Thereby we wish to maintain high credibility among staff and partners and remain a relevant organisation as the world moves towards a more sustainable future.

The sustainability initiative will be implemented within three separate pillars - each pillar having its own concrete ambition:

  • Significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the Danish Foreign Service
  • Sustainability guides all of our everyday choices
  • The Danish Foreign Service is the best public workplace in Denmark

Within each pillar, there are several concrete initiatives on how we can make progress and achieve our ambitions. Some initiatives are implementable across the entire ministry, while others are primarily relevant in the home service or at the diplomatic missions abroad.

There is a lot of work ahead of us and we still face many unanswered questions. Therefore, the first phase of the initiative focuses among other things on defining ‘baselines’ - how sustainable are we today, where can we improve, and how can we acquire more sustainable habits?

Many concrete initiatives have already been implemented. In recent years, we have managed to reduce the energy consumption of the ministry at Asiatisk Plads in Copenhagen by around 40%, inter alia, because we have switched to low-energy consuming LED light bulbs, installed new heat pumps and replaced parts of our ventilation system. In addition, our conference center Eigtved’s Pakhus has received the sustainability stamp ‘Green Key certification’. At the embassy in Ghana, solar cells and new air conditioning have been installed reducing the energy consumption by 46% in only one year. Furthermore, at the embassy in Estonia we have made a complete shift away from using disposable plastic. These and other kinds of initiatives will be continued and expanded within the Foreign Service in the coming months and years.

 

Pillars

  • Significantly reduce the MFA carbon footprint
  • Sustainability guides all of our everyday choices
  • The Foreign Service is the best public workplace in Denmark

These pillars are linked to three overall ambitions and underlying global goals: