UN staff 'say yes to less' and reduce waste to landfill

Mon, 05/03/18

Greening the Blue has launched a new campaign designed to improve waste management practices in UN offices around the world.

Mainstreaming sustainable resource management, including reforming our approach to waste management, is a cross-cutting issue that is essential to achieving sustainable development priorities in areas such as climate change, health, poverty reduction, food security and sustainable consumption and production.

In 2016 the average UN staff member produced 554 kg of waste. The ‘Say Yes to Less’ campaign aims to engage staff in efforts to improve waste management practices in the UN, and suggests ways in which staff can contribute to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Specifically, it promotes the ‘three Rs’ approach to waste management – reduce, reuse, recycle.

The campaign was developed by UN Environment's Sustainable United Nations team, together with the World Food Programme, and in consultation with the Issue Management Group on Sustainability.

Campaign materials have been made publically available and include logos and posters, which can be downloaded and adapted to fit local circumstances.

The campaign organisers have emphasised that the initiative is not designed to describe the problems caused by waste. Nor does it prescribe particular solutions. Instead it looks at the behaviours that can be deployed by all UN staff, no matter which country they are located in, that will impact the amount of waste produced and assist in supporting progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking about the campaign, Isabella Marras, Coordinator of the Sustainable United Nations facility, said: “Awareness of the problems caused by waste has increased a lot in recent years. Whilst there’s no single solution for reducing waste, there are basic principles we can all keep in mind which play an important part in minimising waste to landfill.”

As well as making materials available to all UN staff, a series of factsheets and a guidance manual have also been created as reference materials for staff with responsibility for facilities and environmental management.

For more information about the campaign please contact greeningtheblue@un.org

Categories: Waste