The International Bureau, based in Berne, Switzerland, which acts as the Universal Postal Union’s secretariat and employs some 250 people, emitted the equivalent of about 1,105 tonnes of CO2 in 2011 - 27% less than in 2008 (1,515 tonnes).
A promise made, and a promise kept. During the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the UPU Director General pledged to reduce the International Bureau’s carbon emissions by 20% by 2012 from 2008 levels. This was in response to the UN Secretary General’s call for UN agencies, funds and programmes to lead by example by adopting greener approaches to managing their activities, resources and facilities.
Emissions at the UPU International Bureau remain low. Taken as a whole, the UN – with over 50 organizations and specialized agencies worldwide employing 215,000 people – emitted 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent) in 2010.
The International Bureau took several steps to deliver on its promise, including renovating its building facade, cutting down on staff travel, investing in more energy-efficient IT equipment, and reducing paper consumption.
The renovation work alone netted energy savings of 42%, as well as a 48% reduction in heating oil consumption.
In addition, the International Bureau continues to encourage its staff to use more environmentally friendly modes of transport to come to work.
Efforts to further reduce the International Bureau’s environmental footprint will continue.