Environment and sustainability

Symbolic image for the environment


Every year, the impact of climate change on our planet is more tangible, making any mitigating or adaptive actions increasingly urgent. As a large employer with sites across Europe, the European Patent Office recognises that we have a responsibility to contribute to local and global environmental efforts.

The EPO plans to reach CO2 neutrality by 2030 and has embedded concrete actions to achieve this ambitious objective. We have adopted an ambitious, comprehensive and collaborative environmental policy guiding all aspects of our work including our core business - the patent granting process.

As a sustainable organisation, we intend to contribute to the United Nations Paris Agreement (limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels), to the UN Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as to the more recent European Union action plan for climate neutrality: the European Green Deal (no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050).

We are committed to delivering all our activities with the lowest possible environmental impact. This holistic approach covers direct and indirect emissions, such as those originating from the EPO's buildings, paper consumption, IT infrastructure, business-related travel and commuting.

The EPO adheres to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). Since its introduction in 2009, the Office has significantly reduced its annual consumption of electricity, water and heat, produced less residual waste and lowered its CO2 emissions.

Every employee has an important role to play in bringing the EPO one step closer to carbon neutrality. We are proud of the commitment of our staff to sustainability as well as their readiness to embrace new and more sustainable ways of working during these times of crisis and beyond.

Collaboration extends beyond the EPO. We have simplified access to patent information on sustainable technologies for the public and relevant stakeholders. We have developed the Y02/Y04S patent classification scheme dedicated to climate change mitigation or adaptation technologies.

Moreover, we are increasing our cooperation with local, regional and international partners focusing on environmental sustainability, for example by producing empirical studies on critical technologies to foster an informed policy debate.

Our "Environmental policy" and "Environmental reports" are available in the "Transparency portal". 


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