Interview with Kathrin Renz, provisional head of Directorate General I (Executive committee and International Affairs)

On the 7th of April 2022 an Interview with the Head of DG I of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology (BMK), which hosts EMAS and is also responsible for the public administration to become climate neutral, was done. The main items were the COVID impacts on the implementation of EMAS in the public sector and the resulting consequences.

In her opinion, climate-neutral administration hides more issues than just EMAS. There must be a responsible person in the ministry who takes care of the issue. The real effects of Covid can only be classified after discussions with other ministries: In general: decrease in business trips; at least 2 days of home office, which means that some commuter tax reliefs are no longer applicable. An environment team was founded in the Covid period; all departments in the Ministry should be informed about activities in the house, e.g. in the facility area. In the summer of 2021, together with the maintenance company - the so-called ecological. operational management was installed; Major refurbishment but also simple measures were determined; The world of work has changed due to Covid (question: how would we like to work together? - more exchange, recovery phases)

A new mobility concept has been developed - the business travel regulation must be adapted for this purpose; there is already a project for this; promotion of renewable energies has more to do with Ukraine crisis than with Covid; schools are also demanding solar systems.

Covid Pandemic has put focus on health rather than focus on “carbon neutral administration”, it must first be established in-house before the topic can be passed on to the other departments.

Detected good practises: Interministerial working groups are needed; Secretary General has to support this; First milestones: all ministries have to procure electricity with Ecolabel, there will also be a training for procurers in all ministries.