PEOPLE - STORIES - CENTRAL EUROPE

energy efficiency

Innovative Financing for Energy Efficient Public Buildings

eCentral

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires all buildings to be nearly zero-energy (nZEB) by the end of 2020, so the clock is ticking.

Such renovations however require significant investments. Local municipalities are often challenged to find budget for such renovations upfront and return on this investment could only be seen in years.

Combining public with private funds is a great option, which can already be seen in practice around Europe, but it often applies to large-scale projects. So how could small municipality raise funds to renovate their cultural centre or school?

Partners in our eCentral project are testing various financing options, which allow municipalities to combine their funds with those of private investors on much smaller scale. In Valenje for example, by using combined crowdfunding approach: a crowdfunding campaign on a platform and traditional campaign collecting contributions as donations and sponsorships, they managed to raised 50%?? of the investment needed for the renovation of University for Lifelong Learning.

Now this building that has significant historical, cultural and social value for the local community, can continue serving its community without any future worries about its heating or electricity costs.

Learn more about the nZEB approach, as an optimal and cost-effective solution for the renovation and construction of public buildings.

www.interreg-central.eu/ecentral  

Commuting

One step at a time towards sustainable commuting

© MOVECIT

Are you feeling stressed by your daily commute? You are not alone. But there are ways how to make it more enjoyable. Studies show that while just one in six employees enjoy their car commute, more than half of commuters prefer to walk or bike to work. Fresh air, time to think and doing something for your health, what is not to like.

To encourage employees to use more sustainable transport modes on short travel distances many municipalities in central Europe already promote bike to work commuting. 

But still, there was no incentive for those who prefer to walk. So partners in our project MOVECIT decided to set up a walking campaign. With message "make positive impact on our environment and your health", they invited municipal employees to participate in their walking competition. It started during the European Mobility Week and ran over a period of one month. The employees of Baden, Leoben and Mödling in Austria participated and achieved an impressive result: 154 participants walked more than 21.000 kilometres. Due to its success, the competition will now take place regularly all over Austria. 

Step by step, the MOVECIT project partners help to change commuting patterns around central Europe. Learn more about how these three Austrian municipalities literally walked halfway around the world.

www.interreg-central.eu/movecit

Freight transport

safer and greener chemical transport 

© SHUTTERSTOCK

The European chemical industry transports more than 1.5 billion tonnes of chemical products annually and it requires the strictest safety measures, because in case of an accident consequences are simply too great.

Shifting the transport of chemicals from road to the other means of transport can significantly decrease this risk and in addition also save our environment. Often however  businesses associate this shift with increased costs and therefore are unwilling to make a change.

Partners in our ChemMultimodal project prove that shifting from unimodal road transport to multimodal transport by combining road, short sea shipping and rail transports is indeed move in the right direction. Through their pilot actions, project already managed to save more than 8448 tonnes of CO2, but more importantly they managed to change attitude of more than 60 companies, which now understand that safe and sustainable transport is critical to the future of the European chemical industry.

Together with the companies, project partners identified 45 transport routes in central Europe, which offer a huge potential of shift from pure road to a multimodal solutions. This is a great step towards improved safety and better environmental performance.

Learn more about multimodal freight transport offering an economically competitive option to the road transport.

www.interreg-central.eu/chemmultimodal