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Serco is proud to contribute to the European Green Deal with the Probono Project

Serco will play a key role in the H2020 Probono project by working with partners to build sustainable neighbourhoods across Europe.  

Probono, by definition, means for the public good. 

The Horizon 2020 Probono project aims to create multiple European locations that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly by working together with stakeholders to develop green neighbourhoods and communities.     

project duration
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new technology innovations
citizens impacted

Probono completely aligns with our environmental policy and our vision of Zero Harm, where we strive to prevent any environmental damage that could result from our work. We do this by measuring and understanding the environmental impact of what we do and putting effective systems in place to manage, minimise and prevent it.

Gaetan Desclee, Europe Managing Director

What is Probono all about?

The Probono project will create a green, people-centric European construction industry that constantly transforms and manages buildings in ways that reduce emissions and combat climate change.  

Probono aims to establish validated solutions for the design, construction, and operation of zero-emission and positive energy buildings in a sustainable built environment. All this will be tested and validated through the so-called Living Labs in each of the six districts of European cities that have been selected: Madrid (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Porto (Portugal), Brussels (Belgium), Aarhus (Denmark) and Prague (Czech Republic). The vision is for these Living Labs to become energy-positive zones with zero-carbon buildings. 

With this initiative, scalable urban regeneration solutions can be devised and implemented that meet the European Green Deal's sustainability standards. As part of the project, unique methodologies and solutions will be developed to implement in individual buildings and for creating green districts, which are not only neutral in CO2 emissions but also have a positive energy balance, generating more power than they consume.  
For the sake of our planet and the security threat of being dependent on fossil fuels, Europe has to change the way we build, manage, heat, cool, and use our buildings as 40% of the EU’s energy consumption goes to buildings. Through the Paris Climate Agreement, the European Green Deal, and related initiatives for a green transition measures are being taken on a target setting and regulatory level.

Probono investigates how to reach these targets in reality and provides tools, innovation, data-driven decision-making platforms, and technical solutions to enable this transition journey in buildings and neighbourhoods through its Living Labs beyond the Living Labs

What is Serco’s Role? 

The European Commission has entrusted Serco with the role of anticipating the project's success by shaping policy and carrying out all primary strategies and responsibilities in this project. 

However, Serco’s primary role is delivering the methodology for Green Sustainable Neighbourhoods.  

This means providing policy recommendations to decision-makers to accelerate the Green Transition and, based on the Probono Living Lab findings, creating a methodology framework for rolling out the transition journey beyond the project cities.  

Serco’s role in the Probono project is pivotal as they will lead the Brussels Living Lab, but Serco will also be heavily involved in leading the business socio-economic aspects for the cluster of Living Labs involving Porto and Aarhus.  

Serco will investigate how employees, students, visitors and other building users use these sites and how both internal and external behaviours and usage impact and influence sustainability, including but not limited to energy usage, carbon output and mobility. 

Serco will then contribute evidence-based policy recommendations, standardisation actions, and robust adoption and commercialisation strategies to enhance wide-scale adoption and standard creation for a greener future for Europe and the overall benefit of society.  

What is Serco’s commitment?

Serco’s ambition with the Probono project is to make a difference and leverage our years of experience in conducting research and innovative solutions to combat climate change and provide clear guidance for partners who can implement such solutions.   

Our environmental commitment allows this project to achieve its ambitious objectives and expected long-term impacts and contribute to an environmentally friendly infrastructure and community. Serco hopes to positively impact over 8 million citizens across six major cities in Europe.  

Our global environmental commitments

Alongside our customers and other stakeholders, Serco recognises that environmental sustainability is a critical factor in the well-being of society. Serco also recognises that the impacts of climate and environmental emergencies will be felt ever more acutely across the public service landscape, driving evolution, adaptation, and innovation to keep pace with the changing needs of society. 

With projects and contracts such as Probono, alongside our environmental objectives to become a net-zero business by 2030 and our internal and growing eco-friendly initiatives such as the Serco Europe Goes Green initiative – our impact and opportunity to make a positive environmental difference in Europe finally becomes a reality. We hope you can follow us on this journey to creating a better tomorrow.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.