27 April 2021
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The European Patent Office (EPO) has adopted a new environmental policy that outlines its plan to be carbon neutral by 2030. The policy will serve as an agreed framework that outlines the Office's overall strategy and defines measurable objectives. The EPO recognises that as a large employer with sites across Europe, it has a responsibility to contribute to environmental efforts at local and global levels.
The publication emphasises that by 2030, the Office aims to be carbon neutral and explores the combined role of the Patent Grant Process, infrastructure, the organisation itself and staff in achieving this goal. The holistic approach covers direct emissions, for example, from the EPO's buildings, paper consumption, IT infrastructure, and business-related travel. It also considers indirect emissions and explores means to reduce the impact of staff commuting by facilitating teleworking, public transport and cycling.
Speaking about the policy, EPO President António Campinos emphasised the importance of cooperation, saying: “Our new environmental policy is a clear commitment to intensify our efforts to achieve a more environmentally sustainable organisation. By working with our stakeholders, and by implementing ambitious new measures, we can fulfil our aspiration of becoming a carbon neutral organisation, and ensure we’re making a real contribution to society’s efforts to combat climate change.”
The EPO is working to align with the European Green Deal, which aims for zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050; and the United Nations Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.