The Ministry of Finance decided to act in a new way and allow an interested staff member to execute a project to define a Sustainable Development Strategy for the Ministry as part of a Management Training course. The project was perfectly in line with a number of other objectives already set by the Government and the Ministry: the struggle to find budgetary savings, the decision to limit travelling expenses, the decision to save on real estate expenditures, and the need to find ways of implementing environmental targets set for the public sector.
The approach created avenues to a new level of acceptance of a number of internal targets among staff and turned out to be a success in numerous ways, namely:
The Ministry of Finance Green Office was launched to the general public in June 2011, with the whole government sector under the Ministry of Finance participating (namely Customs, Taxation, Government Economic Research, Population Register Centre, State Treasury, Statistical Office, regional state administration, state service centres). With the Ministry of Finance being the official in Finland to steer other public institutions, the impact of its actions goes beyond its own governmental sector. Under the slogan ‘The Ministry of Finance Saves Money and the Environment’ the Ministry has set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by its activities. To achieve this, goals for the use of electricity, heating energy, use of paper and the emissions from travelling have been set, and will be monitored and supervised by an external evaluator. The use of water and other materials will also be monitored, although not reported as of yet. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Finland and its Green Office certificate and its network of comparable organisations (almost 200 organisations at this time) will act as the outside verifiers of activities and the public reporters of goals and achievements.
The Ministry of Finance chose to get involved to ensure continuity of the goals and comparability of efforts. At this stage the staff are being taken onboard through direct involvement in their everyday worklife. Environmental considerations are gradually being filtered in all aspects of work: buildings, IT systems, waste recycling, travelling decisions. A new budget preparation system called BUKETTI is being devised; it is expected to result in dramatic savings in the consumption of paper. IT systems decisions now all take aspects of energy, travel need and paper consumption into consideration on a much more visible level than before. Initial indications of savings resulting from the new environmental goals are substantial.
|Award category:||going green|
|Sector:||Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Environmental management, public finance, staff empowerment|
|Short English description:||The project was perfectly in line with a number of other objectives already set by the Government and the Ministry: the struggle to find budgetary savings, the decision to limit travelling expenses, the decision to save on real estate expenditures, and the need to find ways of implementing environmental targets set for the public sector.|
|Organisation:||Ministry of Finance|
|Level of government:||national level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||>15|
|EU membership:||EU member|