One UN Rwanda cuts carbon emissions by 10%

Thu, 06/08/15

Over the last three years the One UN Rwanda mission has been pushing forward efforts to reduce the environmental impact of all agencies in the country. Under the banner of the global Greening the Blue initiative, the Rwanda office developed its own Annual Carbon Reduction Strategy. This plan included different initiatives across agencies, involving all UN staff in the country.

Significant reductions in CO2 emissions per staff member have been achieved already, with a reduction of over 10% against 2012 baseline measures. The reductions have come through increased efficiencies in the use of fuel, electricity,                                   water and consumables.

  

The introduction of a car-pooling system is one example of the kind of innovative projects that have been introduced. The car pool is available to any UN staff attending meetings and during field missions and has led to substantial reduction in fuel consumption. Electricity consumption has also declined, thanks to a reduction in the number of light bulbs in UN offices and the replacement of traditional high energy consuming bulbs with energy saving bulbs. Another example is a campaign to encourage UN staff to reduce energy at work by using stairs instead of the elevator, switching off computers and lights in offices when not in use and reducing the use of air conditioning when not necessary. These small acts have helped to reduce electricity consumption.

  

In addition to focusing on carbon footprint reduction in UN operations, the One UN Rwanda Greening the Blue team recently invited UN staff to join the Government of Rwanda and other stakeholders for the World Environment Day and National Environment Week celebrations.

The One UN Rwanda example shows how progress can be made quickly with a co-ordinated effort to reduce environmental impacts. Keep it up, Rwanda.