This morning I and my secretariat were shown around the works and the innards of the Jacques Delors building. Luc Raes was our expert guide. We started on the roof, where we admired the huge machines that suck in outside air, filter it, humidify it, warm it and push it through the building. There are machines that suck the air out again afterwards. We visited the chillers and the cooling tower. We saw the water heaters for the kitchens and the heating units. For everything there is a back up unit. Then we went down to the basement, where rivulets from the nearby now subterranean Maelbeek are channeled across the rooms. We saw where the electricity arrives and is transformed down and then distributed. We visited the battery room, constantly on stand by to provide energy should there ever be a sudden power cut. And we saw the massive emergency paraffin tank and visited the back-up diesel generator (always warmed by electrical circuits so that it can immediately be run at full power). The purpose of our visit was primarily educational (I will know better what I am talking about in management board meetings from now on!) but was also to show my personal commitment to the Committee’s efforts to be ever more ‘green’ and efficient. I was struck by how clean everything was – no dirt, grime, grease or fluff anywhere. I was also struck by the tailor-made insulating ‘jackets’ (there are some in the picture) designed to ensure that as little heat and energy as possible is lost. Whilst we were on the roof Luc showed us the new lift motors. These high-techie things do not only balance weights to minimise energy consumption – they also use downward travel to generate electricity which is fed back into the circuits. In other words, we should use the stairs to go up, but if we use the lifts to go down, we help cut our energy bill!