Coloring the CD House Green: Green Audit by the EnWG

Last year, the Environmental Working Group (EnWG) called upon the Comité Directeur (CD), complaining about the high costs in energy and utility bills of the head office in Brussels. After the decision had been taken at Autumn Agora Budapest 2012, the CD moved to another house. The EnWG took the initiative, and after getting permission from the CD, visited the house for a green audit day in April to make sure that high costs of utilities are not being repeated.

The new CD house seems well in shape when it comes to being environmentally friendly. There are many different examples, like eco-friendly light bulbs, appliances out of plugs, no taps running or dripping etc. But still there are many things that may need to be put into practice or need replacing. Here are some of the issues that came up during auditing:

– Single-flushing Toilets

It is proven that dual flush toilets save up to 67% of water usage. Having that said, some of the toilets had only single flush button/handle. It would be best to install dual flush toilet systems in the house in order to save up on water consumption.

– Insufficient/Over-sufficient lighting

Insufficient and over-sufficient lighting are problems that need to be addressed. A flickering light, a bulb that may not be working and altogether not using eco-friendly light bulbs is something we should all take into account in our own homes. In the CD house there were many eco-friendly light bulbs, but still there were some bulb sockets that were not used and some bulbs that were not functioning. Also, too much lighting, redundant to mention, leads to using energy that is not needed, as observed in a few rooms of the CD house.

– Appliances left in plugs

Appliances left in plugs, even if they are switched off, still consume energy. Although in the CD house they seem to have this rule in mind, still, there were a few appliances left in plugs. This is not only harmful for the environment, but also for our personal health, in case of an appliance catching on fire (eg. hair dryers).

There were many more things that needed to be done, but these were the main issues. Of course, there were many things done that were perfect! For example, the refrigerators were filled and not empty in any way! Also, computers were always switched off if not needed. Finally, none of the taps were dripping any water and were perfectly in shape, and there was also the dishwasher (eco-friendly in comparison to washing by hand).

AEGEE takes a strong stance on its beliefs, and environmental issues are a part of these beliefs. Green auditing the CD house is the first tiny step to making our organization more eco-friendly. Next step? All members leading environmentally friendly daily lives, doing our voluntary work in green AEGEE offices, even if that means installing dual flush toilet systems.

Keep your eyes peeled! Some tips and tricks on making your everyday life and your AEGEE environments more green are coming exclusively in The AEGEEan!

Want to take a glimpse on last year’s green audit?


Written by John Ikosidekas, HR Responsible of the Environmental Working Group