Thursday, May 19, 2016

Austria 2016
Think Green

ISSUE DATE: 14 May 2016
ARTWORK:Doxia Sergidou

EUROPE stamps are issued annually by European post offices, based on a theme which is relevant to all countries and selected by PostEurop. Since 1956 the aim has been to thereby underscore international cooperation and our common roots and cultures, as well as promoting philately. On the 60th anniversary, in 2016, the topic is "Ecology in Europe – Think Green". The word ecology is linked to a range of topics from environmental protection, air pollution, energy saving and renewable energy, biological farming and sustainability right through to ecological housekeeping, sorting waste and "eco-fashion" based on natural fibres and fair trade. 
"Think Green" is the buzzword: many private individuals, businessmen and women and organisations are attempting to do their bit for the environment and to make the world a "greener" place. Austrian Post is also active in this respect: as part of our "CO2 neutral delivery", the delivery of all letters and items sent in the post within Austria is CO2 neutral. The basis for achieving this is avoiding emissions and improving efficiency – by optimising routes, for example. In addition to this, Austrian Post relies on renewable energy: since 2012 it has exclusively used electricity generated from renewable energy sources, and even produces some of this in-house, through the photovoltaic plant on the Vienna-Inserzdorf mail centre, for example. Furthermore, with its 862 electric vehicles it now has the largest e-mobility fleet in Austria, and also supports national and international climate protection projects in the fields of energy efficiency, geothermal energy or sustainable forestry. The subject for the 2016 EUROPE stamp was chosen by PostEurop from the 24 submissions to the design competition. Designer Doxia Sergidou designed it for the post office in Cyprus. 

Her aim was to show that the task of making our planet more ecological lies in our own hands – and this is symbolised in her design by a hand painting a green, vibrant landscape over the grey, dirty, industrial city on the left of the stamp. Human activities such as industry, traffic and energy production impact significantly upon our environment, whereas the use of renewable energies, such as wind power, and a more conscientious use of resources can have a positive effect. As a result, "Think Green" is important not only for current, but also for future generations. By selecting this topic PostEurop is stressing Europe's responsibility in the field of supra -regional environmental protection. Pointing out the effects of human activities on the environment is an important aim of the European postal organisation, and this meaningful, internationally comprehensible, 60th anniversary issue EUROPE stamp should make that clear to the public.

Stamp images thanks to Austrian Post - Österreichische Post
La Poste