In the coming months, the innovative staff of the Aarhus software company Systematic will be putting their creative skills to work on making suggestions for ways to save energy. Systematic will be taking over the Aarhus city council “climate baton”, which involves an obligation to involve the company’s staff in efforts to help our shared climate, and also to work with direct, quantifiable targets for such measures.

Using the overall slogan “Use your head – give us your climate idea”, the Aarhus city council has launched a special initiative based on a “climate baton” being passed on from one company to another within the framework of the “Energy City Aarhus” arrangement. The aim is to strengthen collaboration between Aarhus-based companies and organisations – in both the private and public sectors – on combating climate issues, and to map out innovative shared solutions and measures. And also – by no means least – to involve both staff and the general public in shared efforts to deal with climate problems.

“We feel we already do a lot to save on energy, but at the same time we are a company that is always interested in making improvements. So we will make an increased effort to boost climate awareness within the company, and make even more energy savings,” says Systematic CEO Michael Holm.

The Aarhus main office of Systematic was built in 2003, which means it is already relatively energy-efficient. Energy-saving server installations and photocopiers, low-energy light bulbs, water-saving fixtures on taps and hot-water circulation pumps that automatically turn off at night are just some of the solutions Systematic has already installed to keep the company’s energy consumption down. Other measures include “green” company cars, bikes for staff to use getting to meetings elsewhere in the city of Aarhus, and the fact that about 50% of Systematic staff normally cycle to and from work.

According to Michael Holm, it has always been Systematic’s declared aim to “make a difference”, and to make a contribution to the society of which the company is a part.

“That’s why we consider it natural to support our local council’s ambitious objectives in this field,” explains Systematic’s CEO.

The environmental affairs director in the Aarhus city council, Jan Nielsen, has expressed his appreciation of Systematic’s support for the C02030 plan – the designation for the council’s overall efforts to make the city of Aarhus C02-neutral by 2030. “We will only be able to reach this target by working together, and it’s important that business enterprises in the city are part of the overall effort. Systematic’s contribution is helping pave the way forward,” explains Jan Nielsen.

Last stop before city hall

The Aarhus city council ”climate baton” is a two-metre-long acrylic tube intended for prominent display on the company premises, along with a box of balls. The idea is that staff members and visitors to the company can write ideas for climate improvements on the balls, and place them in the tube.

The climate improvement ideas are registered and collated on a continuous basis, and made public via the web site, accompanied by newsworthy stories from energy-saving measures curried out by the individual companies and organisations.

First stop for the “climate baton” was the Aarhus office of Danmarks Radio (the Danish public service broadcasting organisation) in October 2009. The honours have subsequently passed through the hands of Århus Universitetshospital Skejby, ARoS, NRGi, Vestas, Lokalenergi and Arla.

Towards the end of November 2010, the journey that the “climate baton” has undertaken through climate-conscious Aarhus enterprises will be celebrated by a photo exhibition in the city hall. The plan is for this exhibition and the “climate baton” idea to kick-start the next stages in Aarhus City Council’s work on climate partnerships with the local business community.