Our Green Team

The Green Team operates under its Terms of Reference and Charter. It comprises of staff members from each of the component bodies in the Office of the Ombudsman organisation and meets on a monthly basis.  

The Office is committed to responsible energy management and strives to efficiently manage and reduce energy consumption. The Office commits to using energy in a prudent and responsible manner. This is fully supported by the Management Advisory Committee.

The key points in 2023 are as follows:

  • Communications – regular informative and behavioural Intranet articles for staff including topics such as energy and recycling awareness; two workshops held for staff on energy and travel; quarterly updates to Management Advisory Committee; presentations to all staff annually; notices placed around the office aimed at staff behaviour change; participation in the Reduce your Use campaign; and, spreading awareness among staff involved in procurement of Green Public Procurement requirements.
  • A Climate Action Roadmap was put in place which sets out how the Office will meet the targets set out in the government’s Climate Action Mandate, including our plans to reduce energy related emissions from our operations in line with the Climate Action Plan 2023.
  • An Energy Policy was put in place which outlines how the Office uses a combination of energy efficiency audits, SEAI guidance, Smart Energy Metering, staff awareness campaigns, DEC ratings and other centralised guidance to frame its Energy Policy.  It also outlines the Office policy on Green procurement, air conditioning/heating, lighting and transport with a central focus on assisting the Office in meeting our government targets.
  • The Office applied and achieved a Smarter Travel Mark Bronze, a National Transport Agency Initiative, which shows our commitment to prioritising the importance and value of sustainable travel initiatives and the associated environmental benefits.
  • The Green Team has worked to increase the awareness among staff to use the correct bins and to reduce waste as far as possible.  There has been a marked improvement in this area and the levels of recycling.
  • In 2023, there was a reduction of 11% on 2022 levels of paper being printed or a massive 74% decrease on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.  A swipe card printing system was introduced in 2023 to further cut down on printing.
  • A Business Travel Plan was approved by MAC during 2023 to ensure that staff are aware of the impact of certain forms of transport on the environment and to outline reporting and approval requirements associated with business travel.  In addition, there were 11 official journeys by air taken by staff during 2023, involving a total of 10,400 kilometres.  This resulted in an estimated 1.2266 tonnes of resulting in a total payment of €59.49 to the Climate Action Fund for 2023.

Targets for energy performance and CO2 emissions for government departments are set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 and Climate Action Plans.  Official data is not yet available centrally for 2023, however, the annual scorecard for 2022 showed that our energy performance in 2022 had improved by 79% over the baseline year (i.e. 2009) against a target of a 50% decrease by 2030.  The annual scorecard which shows that our total C02 emissions in 2022 has improved by 70% over the baseline (i.e. 2016-2018) against a target of a 51% decrease by 2030.