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What the EUI Can Do To Go Green

 

Here below you can find a list of action items that the EUI is committed to implement in order to comply with an environmentally friendly energy saving strategy. 

A detailed report on the initiatives implemented over the course of years is available here below:

 

Electricity

Energy saving lamps or fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than the old bulbs (incandescent bulbs); their mechanism is based on an electrical discharge generated by a potential difference between two electrodes immersed in a gas. They can reach 10,000 hours of operation ensuring a reduction in energy consumption of about 75%.

LED bulbs consume even less, and they operate with the emission of photons from diodes powered by an electronic circuit. Saving compared to traditional halogen lamps can get up to 80-90%, and they can be used for more than 50.000 hours.

In those settings requiring illumination only in the presence of people and for a limited time, a quick and easy way to avoid wasting energy is to use motion sensors.

A motion sensor is a type of infra-red sensor capable of detecting even the slightest movement and of managing independently the switching on and off of the whole lighting system in a given environment.

Lighting control and a smart and efficient energy use are thus possible, along with significant savings both in terms of costs and CO2 emissions.

Water heating is the second largest energy expense in buildings: it typically accounts for about 18% of utility bills after heating and cooling.

To save energy end reduce emissions the installation of energy efficient electric water heaters. wherever possible, is recommended. In addition to that  the water heater temperature should be lowered, and the thermostat set at the lowest temperature that provides with sufficient hot water. For most buildings, 40°C water is fine (about midway between the “low” and “medium” setting). Each 1°C reduction in water temperature will generally save 10–15% on water heating costs. 

 

 

Heating & Cooling

Central heating systems must be equipped with control units and timers, with which switch on times are set and the water temperature to the radiators is automatically adjusted based on the outside temperature. 

For heating and cooling systems the use of thermostats (a component which senses the temperature of a system so that the system's temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint) is highly recommended to reduce consumption: the thermostat switches heating or cooling devices on or off, and regulates the flow of a heat transfer fluid as needed in order to maintain the correct temperature (see also EUI heating and cooling policy).

Installing and correctly using room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves can lead to potentially save 160 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

 

The installation of thermostatic valves on radiators, thus limiting the use of the heating to the periods in which it is actually needed, gives a great contribution to the energy saving campaign and to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

TRV (thermostatic radiator valves) help control the temperature of a room by changing the flow of hot water to the radiator.

Installing and correctly using room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves can lead to potentially save 160 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Self bleeding radiator valves automatically vent the air from radiators without the need for manual intervention, thus helping heating systems to run much more efficiently.

Their installation saves energy, enhances radiators' efficiency, reduces pipes' corrosion and system noise.

 

 

Water

Tap aerators are also known as flow regulators. The aerator is a small attachment that either fits onto the end of the tap or can be inserted inside of the existing spout. These water saving devices will control the amount of water that flows through the tap without affecting the water pressure as they mix the water with air. The aerator acts as a sieve, separating a single flow of water into many tiny streams which introduces the air in to the water flow. Also as there is less space for the water to flow through, the water flow is reduced, resulting in water savings.

Tap aerators are of most use to those with older taps in their home which run on average around 15 litres of water per minute. Adding an aerator to an older tap can reduce this to as little as 6 litres of water per minute.Estimates are that aerators can save up to 1,274 litres of water a month and when we save water, we will use less gas or oil to heat it and save on this consumption also.

 

 

Paper

Copying images on both sides of a sheet of paper can save up to 50% of paper costs.Copying images on both sides, or duplexing, saves money on paper purchasing, as well as on storage and mailing. Duplex copies are also easier to fold and staple.

A company of 5,000 employees that uses double-sided printing for only 10% of its printing could save up to 220,000 €.

one of the world's large financial services company, determined that if each employee used double-sided copying to conserve just one sheet of paper each week, the firm would save 600,000 € each year.

Sometimes all it takes is choosing the right printer setting to print in just black and white. Colour ink and toner costs a lot more than black ink, so conserve it and use it only when you need to. If you must print in colour try printing colour in “draft” mode if you don’t need exceptional quality. This will extend the life of your colour cartridges.

 

 

Plastic Consumption

Plastic forks, knives and spoons may be convenient, but they’re killing our oceans. In fact, 6 (six) million tons of non-durable plastics, like spoons, forks and knives are discarded every year. “Non-durable” means that the plastic has a useful life of less than three years. Other examples of non-durable plastics include plastic packaging, trash bags, cups, and more.

These plastic are putting around 700 marine species in danger of extinction due to the threat plastic poses to them from entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. Every year, 300 million tons of plastic materials come into circulation – be it in the form of plastic packaging, utensils, containers, bags, or even clothing. While many of us make efforts to recycle, it’s simply not enough. In fact, 85 percent of the world’s plastic is not recycled. That means it’s sent to landfills.

The EUI joins the fight to reduce plastic consumption: as of 2018 plastic cups, plastic cutlery and straws have been definitely been banned from the EUI canteens. 

 

 

 

Sustainable Mobility

Cars are not all equal in terms of exhaust gas produced, but there are many alternatives to conventional gasoline and diesel cars.

We often hear about “pollution warning” in our towns, and the real culprit is smog produced by urban traffic.

Vehicles fueled with fossil fuel (such as petroleum), are those that produce pollution, not only CO2, but also fine particles, nitrogen monoxide and carbon monoxide, all extremely harmful substances to our health. These last substances, in favorable conditions, react causing the “ozone hole”, that can have deleterious effects on our planet; air quality is compromised, as well as health of both people and animals.

European traffic is responsible for about a third of all CO2 emissions in the whole world: it is therefore crucial to identify an alternative mobility to enhance the fight against climate change and to contribute for the reduction of harmful substances to our health.

The EUI has decided to commit towards environment protection purchasing 2 electric zero-emission vehicles (Twizy). These are 100% electric cars that guarantee zero pollutants and noise emissions, have an autonomy of about 100km and meet the needs of about 90% of drivers.

In addition to that, as of September 2018 an electric vehicle will replace one of the existing shuttles buses.

Disposal and reuse of exhausted batteries may further increase the positive contribution to the environment.

Page last updated on 12 February 2020

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