Bonum Certa Men Certa

Environmental Sustainability at EPO Must Become More Than a Buzzword

And sure, granting loads of monopolies on alternative energy only exacerbates the climate crisis

EPO greening

Summary: Battistelli's 'Nemesis', Ion Brumme, wrote a letter to Battistelli's sidekick last week; the EPO is being challenged to pursue real sustainability rather than name-drop that as a buzzword

WHEN António Campinos was parachuted into the EPO by his mate Benoît Battistelli, serving in a role he was not qualified to fill, Campinos reportedly spared not much time. He told Ion Brumme he would be better off leaving; remember that Battistelli attacked Brumme and the EPO was forced to reinstate Brumme only years later when ILOAT finally delivered a much-needed ruling.

Months ago Brumme wrote about the situation and it doesn't look too good. Now, after another election in Munich, the Local Staff Committee Munich (LSCMN) kicks into action. Brumme writes as Vice-Chair of LSCMN. "In this letter," LSCMN explains, "we propose that the Office considers financially supporting the purchase of these tickets by staff up to a 100% refund."

Since Campinos fancies talking about "sustainability" all the time (distracting from the EPO's abuses) maybe he should listen. Here's the full letter from Brumme, dated about a week ago:

European Patent Office 80298 Munich Germany

Local Staff Committee Munich Comité local du personnel de Munich Örtlicher Personalausschuss München


Date: 29.03.2023 sc23010ml

European Patent Office | LSC Munich | GERMANY

President of the EPO Mr António Campinos via email

OPEN LETTER Subject: Deutschlandticket – Environmental sustainability

Dear Mr. President,

The yearly environmental report of 2021, section 5.9 “Employee commuting and teleworking”, recites that “[i]t is important that, while improving our approach in estimating category 7 emissions, we will continue to incentivise the use of public transport and bicycles for staff travelling to our premises.”

In our opinion, there is a good chance to achieve that now in Germany, with the introduction in May of the new “Deutschlandticket”. This ticket will cost €49 per month and be valid on local transport in the whole of Germany, thus in both Munich and Berlin. There is an offer for employers offering this ticket as a “JobTicket”: if the employer supports this ticket by at least 25%, the price is reduced by 5% so that the price of the Deutschlandticket for employees is at most €34.50.

You have already subsidised the use of e-cars for EPO employees (and their families). By also subsiding the Deutschlandticket the Office can show that it does not neglect public transportation as a viable alternative to individual transportation when trying to limit the global environmental footprint of employees. To this end, we propose that the Office considers financially supporting the purchase of these tickets by staff up to a 100% refund.

For our part we strongly recommend that our colleagues be encouraged to use this ticket to travel to work.

With kind regards, Ion Brumme Vice-Chair of the Local Staff Committee Munich City, Haar und Brussels

"Environmental sustainability" is something that EPO management only ever pretends to care about. For instance, it compels people to not work from the office and instead turn on the heating in a cold winter... in thousands of households. There are other examples of contradictions in policies; the staff union points them out routinely.

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