The Hellenic Ornithological Society (hereinafter referred to as “HOS”), as an nonprofit organization whose purpose is the conservation of wild birds, the areas important for them and their habitats, recognizes its responsibility towards the environment and the use of the planet by future generations, in accordance also with international, EU and national legislation. HOS recognizes that, although its work is aimed at protecting wild birds and their habitats, it may also have an impact on the environment. The overall environmental policy of HOS is to adhere to the principles of sustainable development, to reduce the environmental footprint of its activities and to support efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
In order to achieve these goals, HOS is oriented towards taking measures for the sustainable use of the planet's resources and participating in the sustainable production and consumption of energy, goods and services. An essential step towards these goals is their direct integration into the strategic planning of HOS and their adoption as an integral part of HOS practices and actions.
An essential prerequisite for the continuous improvement of the environmental performance of HOS is the constant upgrade of this policy and the optimization of the practices we apply for the achievement of HOS objectives.
Finally, as part of our effort for a planet that operates according to the principles of environmental sustainability, we will do our utmost to inspire and encourage all our members, colleagues and volunteers to follow suit.
Responsibility to Track the Implementation
The Management of HOS is responsible for the proper implementation of the Sustainable Policy of HOS and the continuous review and updating of its objectives. At the same time, all workers, members and volunteers have to take care of their work in the field to achieve the most effective implementation of the policy.
HOS commits to pursue the following practices of sustainable environmental management:
1. Materials and Packaging
• HOS uses recycled paper products wherever possible.
• Where virgin pulp is being used, priority should be given to the supply of certified Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper and the products received should be accompanied by the relevant accreditation. If this is not possible, the suppliers will be invited to exhibit how they obtain FSC-certified or recycled paper pulp.
Timber and Wood Products
• The use of reclaimed or recycled timber and wood products will be preferred to new material, when technically appropriate. All timber raw materials purchased by HOS must be FSC-certified.
• New timber and wood products supplied from rare and declining tree species or from threatened habitats will not be used. The same applies to illegally logged products.
• Any timber and wood to be used must be capable of being re-used and/or recycled. • Locally grown and converted / manufactured FSC-certified timber and wood products will be preferred to those from more distant sources.
• Imported timber will only be used in the absence of an alternative domestic product. Imported timber and wood products will only be used when there is no viable domestic alternative.
Plastic products are associated with a multitude of environmentally harmful chemicals, present in all phases of their life, from production to disposal or recycling.
• The goal of HOS is to minimize the use of plastic and, where possible, to avoid using it. In the absence of an alternative, plastic products will be used under the condition they are recyclable and the waste generated is minimized.
• Plastic that is not recycled or containing toxic substances should be avoided.
• It is forbidden to burn plastic.
Chemicals and Cleaners
All chemicals and cleaners to be used by HOS will be environmentally friendly.
• All detergents will be biodegradable.
• If chemicals can not be avoided, handling and storage should follow all hygiene and safety rules.
• When possible, chemicals will be withdrawed by qualified partners or recycled.
• Only organic fertilizers will be used in farming and gardening practices.
• All toxic substances will be avoided, wherever possible, and in their place the respective non-toxic ones will be used.
• Rechargeable batteries will be used.
• If the use of hazardous materials can not be avoided, their use should follow all hygiene and safety rules.
• If the use of hazardous materials can not be avoided, their withdrawal should follow the appropriate conditions and be entrusted to qualified and certified partners.
• Batteries and bulbs will be recycled.
• Lubricants and other toxic substances in vehicles will be recycled.
Packaging must be fit for purpose and meet all legislation requirements.
• Over-packaging is not permissible. Packaging must be minimized for all applications.
• The most environmentally beneficial packaging format and materials should be used.
• Degradable, recyclable and biodegradable plastics should be used, as an alternative to conventional plastics, wherever appropriate.
• Recycled materials should be used wherever possible.
2. Waste Management
• A basic principle of HOS is the minimum possible production of any kind of waste.
• We take care to recycle all packaging materials, the paper we consume and the raw materials that are left over during the technical work and all kinds of construction.
• All products must be purchased under the condition that the waste generated is recyclable.
• During the Antikythira Bird Obs operation, all organic waste will be composted.
3. Energy Use & Transport
The main goal of HOS is to minimize energy consumption when carrying out its work. HOS chooses goods, services and products taking account of the least environmental impact throughout their life cycle, in comparison with others performing the same work. For this reason, where possible, the following actions will be taken:
• The less demanding energy solutions for lighting, heating and, more generally, energy consumption will be selected.
• The supply of new electrical appliances, electronic equipment and other machinery always takes energy consumption into account.
• As far as the supply of products and materials is concerned, the shortest routes from the place of production to the place of delivery is to be taken, so as to reduce exhaust emissions and minimize energy consumption.
• For trips within the city as well as in the region, HOS always chooses the shortest and most economical routes, while the use of public transport is an absolute priority in urban areas.
• For trips during the field missions, whether by car or boat, the minimum fuel consumption is a strict condition, as long as the safety rules of the staff are met and the minimum possible nuisance of the wild fauna is obtained. This applies both during the travel to the field and during the fieldwork itself.
• Maintenance of HOS fleet is regular and ensures smooth engine operation and minimizes fuel consumption.
• Air travel will be avoided when possible.
The principle of HOS is the minimum possible consumption of water resources. For this purpose the following actions must be ensured:
• The faucets of HOS facilities must be equipped with a consumption reduction system.
• The staff of HOS must make reasonable water use.
• Washing equipment should be done with the minimum water consumption.
• Wherever irrigation is required, plants should be watered by drip irrigation and never in an excessive manner.
• It is forbidden to throw any kind of waste, as well as a chemical or a toxic agent into water.
5. Policy Monitoring and Improvement
• All relevant legislation will be respected.
• Improving the performance of our efforts will be continuous and systematically controlled.
• HOS environmental footprint will be continually decreasing.
• Sustainable environmental management will be taken into account in the operational planning.
• Awareness and education of employees, members and volunteers on environmental sustainability issues will be increased.
• This environmental sustainability policy will be reviewed annually, in order to be improved and achieve higher targets.
6. Creating Environmental Consciousness
• All staff will be actively involved in implementing the policy.
• The policy review will be done with the involvement of all staff and other stakeholders, if appropriate.
• Staff will be trained on environmental sustainability issues.
• Wherever possible, HOS will seek cooperation with suppliers, partners and subcontractors pursuing a sustainable environmental policy.
• Wherever possible, workers from the activity area will be employed, in order to reduce carbon footprint and strengthen the local communities.
• The principles of environmental sustainability will be promoted through the HOS information and awareness activities.
the full tex is also available
Last Review: 10/01/2023
Next Review: 10/01/2024
Hellenic Ornithological Society