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Beyond the midterm - sharing experiences in Budapest

October in Budapest brought around a Save@Work midterm event, inviting along all of the Hungarian Energy Teams. The event aimed to boost enthusiasm of the teams after the summer break and to carry this beyond the midterm of the competition.

At the event, the Energy Teams were encouraged to share their experiences. One member from the municipality of Tata recounted his battles with phantom colleagues to close windows in corridors when the heating is on, and how their Energy Team secretly turned down the faucets under the sinks to reduce water flow and prevent excessive use of hot water. At the same time they bought desk lamps; reorganised the areas around printers to encourage separate collection of paper waste; and have been rewarding all colleagues with Save@Work gifts, even those which are not heavily engaged with saving energy, with the idea that they develop a bad conscience prompting them to join the saving efforts - a novel logic indeed!

In another building, the smallest of the Miskolc municipality, the Energy Team put emphasis on the creative side of energy saving. Each month they set a special theme: they brought in and exchanged plants during spring, organised an energy saving and climate quiz in June, and challenged employees to come up with essays, poems, decorations and installations on the topic of climate change and environmentally-friendly living during July and August. They also have an “idea box” created using old cans where colleagues can share energy-saving tips, ideas or related events. Competition prizes included mugs and bags with the Save@Work logo on, which they received as part of their starter kit. The Save@Work design is used on all of their materials, including newsletters, which has even been noticed by their boss, commenting that the bright colours around the building cheers her up from time to time.

Photo HU blog 2

After presentations, there was a group discussion session where participants could exchange thoughts on the challenges and successes they had experienced so far as part of the competition. Several participants mentioned how beneficial the Save@Work campaign has been in strengthening the workplace community, providing a great opportunity to get to know their colleagues’ more which has appeared to cause pleasant surprises for several co-workers. Many also pointed out that their bosses’ support has been vital in introducing new energy saving measures, and providing rewards to colleagues every now and then can be very motivating.

To conclude the event, GreenDependent distributed prizes to the participating buildings’ employees for filling in so many pre-campaign surveys and for their contribution in the two Save@Work challenges they have held so far, as well as for a little game during the midterm event itself (participants competed in small groups to gather the most energy saving tips concerning their immediate workstations). Among other prizes, the buildings received 70 native Hungarian fruit trees, which in addition to providing delicious fruits in a few years’ time and helping to preserve biodiversity, actually help to offset the carbon footprint of the Save@Work starting event and training. Some Energy Teams decided to gift the trees to the most enthusiastic energy savers in their buildings, whilst others donated them to local school gardens. GreenDependent also presented the national and international results of the pre-campaign surveys, and the national energy savings so far, discussing the tasks of the second half of the Save@Work campaign, which will hopefully proceed in high spirits after such a “fruitful” midterm event!  

Photo HU blog 3

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