Travel is an essential part of the jobs of many UN staff, yet it is a main GHG emission sources. In fact, in 2015 it was responsible for 54% of the UN’s greenhouse gas emissions - 40% from air travel and the remainder from other forms of travel.
The challenge facing all UN staff and organization is how to reduce our travel-related carbon-footprint without reducing the effectiveness of our work.
There are a number of ways to do this including:
It’s not just about cutting carbon emissions: a more sustainable approach to travel planning also helps to cut costs and reduce stress for staff.
A number of UN organizations have already introduced policies to help reduce the costs and carbon associated with travel. You can see some examples on the case studies page.
We’re keen to hear how you have cut your travel-related carbon emissions. Please feel free to share your tips below. Or to suggest measures the UN could introduce to make our transport more efficient.
Sustainable Travel in the UN (2010) provides guidance on what UN organizations can do to improve the sustainability of their travel. Travel is responsible for approximately 50% of the United Nations’ climate footprint and represents a major cost to UN - over 1 US$ billion per year for the collective UN family. At the same time, travel is an essential means by which the UN delivers its mandate, and often cannot be avoided.
ICAO Planetary Priorities (2009) is a journal containing articles and insights discussing the addressal of emissions from international aviation.
Towards a Low Carbon Travel & Tourism Sector (2009) examines the ways in which the Travel & ToTourism sector could reduce its impact on climate change. Current findings indicate that the Travel & Tourism sector's contribution to GHG is at 5% (global anthropogenic emissions).
Green Passport is a great website aimed at all of us travellers, who want top tips on how to make tourism a sustainable and enjoyable activity.