FAO continues to 'walk the talk' with CER Report 2017

Thu, 11/01/18

The Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER) Report 2017 monitors the environmental impacts of FAO’s facilities and operations in 2016, as well as reduction efforts implemented at headquarters and decentralized offices in 2017. 

Data reveals that in 2016, FAO produced 47,108 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (4.18 tCO2eq per capita, that’s 3 tonnes less than the UN average). This represents a 14 percent drop compared to 2015 emissions, the biggest in many years! Facilities (headquarters, field offices, warehouses, etc.) accounted for 36 percent of the UN’s total greenhouse gas emissions, air travels for 59 percent and other travels for the remaining 5 percent. 

FAO’s CER report also took into account many other areas, setting new benchmarks for future performance. Water usage was recorded for the first time, reaching 4,566 m3 per capita, and waste management was found to average 257 kg per capita, with an average of 41 percent recycling rate. The report also covers sustainable procurement, identifying 15 percent of tenders for goods and services as including sustainable criteria. 

Also cited are ongoing or soon-to-be-introduced projects to improve the Organization’s environmental performance. Examples include investment in 100 percent renewable energy, the sustainable design incorporating multiple features in the recently inaugurated Sudan Room, energy audits in decentralized offices and training in sustainable procurement. 

Finally, the report presents the FAO Climate Neutrality Certificate in relation to the 2016 unavoidable emissions, offset by investment in Adaptation Funds projects. While unavoidable emissions constituted those that were produced by internal operations, such as travel, electricity and gas use, these emissions have been ‘offset’ with the acquisition of UN-certified carbon credits from projects that have either reduced or removed greenhouse gas emissions of an equivalent amount. 

Earlier in 2017, in a speech on climate action, UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the importance of working together to combat climate change: “All of us – governments, businesses, consumers – will have to make changes. More than that, we will have to ‘be’ the change. This may not be easy at times. But for the sake of today’s and future generations, it is the path we must pursue.” 

FAO’s efforts to monitor and reduce its environmental impact across the globe is testament to the Organization’s commitment to embodying change in everyday actions. 

For more information on the performance of other UN agencies, visit the Greening the Blue report and the UN annual report on the environmental impact of its facilities and operations in 2016. The report includes data from 67 entities that reported their greenhouse gas emissions for 2016, encompassing over 260,000 staff!  

Categories: Buildings, Energy, Offsets, Procurement, Travel, Waste, Water