Environment-friendly office building
On Tuesday Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended the opening of Pannon House in Budapest, a new office building that aims to be the most environment-friendly in Hungary.
Prior to the opening, they met with Hungarys President László Sólyom.
Contact between Norway and Hungary is steadily increasing. Some 800 Norwegian students are currently studying in Hungary, primarily medicine, and Budapest is emerging as an increasingly popular destination for Norwegian tourists.
The meeting with President Sólyom took place at Sandór Palace, the official residence and office of the President.
Seminar on sustainability and architecture
Following their meeting with the Hungarian president, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess went to Pannon House, where Crown Princess Mette-Marit opened the seminar Sustainability and Architecture. In her opening remarks she emphasised the importance of developing technology that can help companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions:
"Todays seminar is an important initiative. The topics Sustainability and Architecture will give examples of how business and industries can address the challenges of climate change and contribute to the reduction of CO² emissions through innovative technological solutions."
Following the opening of the seminar, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended an outdoor exhibition of traditional Hungarian handicrafts at which Norwegian food was served.
In the afternoon, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess attended the official opening of Pannons new office building. Pannon, Hungarys second largest mobile communications company, is a subsidiary of the Norwegian company Telenor. Pannon has received several awards and been actively involved in issues relating to the external environment, the working environment and the companys corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The new building will serve as the daily workplace for 1,500 people, and is being called one of the most environment-friendly office buildings in Hungary. Pannon House has been constructed with a focus on renewable energy and energy-saving measures.
- Use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling;
- Use of solar cell panels to heat up to 60-70 per cent of all warm water in the building;
- Sun protection that adjusts to changes in the weather to minimise the need for air conditioning;
- Use of motion sensors that turn down lights when no people are present in the room.
Crown Prince Haakon praised Pannons efforts in his opening remarks, noting that companies which have a conscious strategy for creating a good work place for their employees and which give consideration to the companys place in society will have a competitive advantage in todays market.
Projects funded with support from Norway
Wednesday, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited two projects that have received funding from the EEA and Norway Grants. The projects are the A-HA programme, which focuses on mental health for adolescents, and the Compass project, which helps at-risk youth to gain access to the labour market.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.