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The EPO is fully committed to boosting sustainability and reducing its environmental footprint. In 2009 we adopted the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS3) as the overarching framework for minimising our environmental impact and fostering a sustainable work environment for staff. But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to corporate sustainability.
Moving beyond early wins means constantly searching for solutions that are unique to our business and finding innovative ways to improve our sustainability. In 2019 the EPO once again set ambitious targets for cutting energy, water and paper consumption, improving its recycling ratio, reducing CO2 emissions and increasing its use of renewable energies and organic food compounds. Compared to 2018, we achieved significant reductions in heat energy consumption (-19.2%), residual waste generation (-29.2%) and CO2 emissions (-24.2%).
The next phase in our journey towards greater sustainability is outlined in the EPO's Strategic Plan 2023. Under Goal 1 "Build an engaged, knowledgeable and collaborative organisation" we are planning maintenance and refurbishment projects to improve the condition and sustainability of our buildings, while cutting their running costs.
With energy-efficient, state-of-the-art buildings the EPO will reduce its impact on the environment by decreasing its energy intake and lowering its CO2 output. We aim to achieve an outstanding level of "BREEAM4" certification for all of our buildings. To promote environmentally-friendly transport for our staff, we installed bike parks and charging stations for e-cars and e-bikes in 2019 and plan to expand these facilities in 2020.
We also launched new projects on cutting paper consumption, green IT and implementing environmental management systems, which are bundled under Goal 5 "Secure long-term sustainability." All of these projects feed into our long-term goal of cutting CO2 emissions.
Going forward, the EPO will continuously track the environmental impact of its operations with a set of clearly-defined key performance indicators (KPIs) and remains firmly committed to creating a more sustainable future.