In May this year Greening the Blue reported on the savings achieved during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio+20, thanks to the UN’s new PaperSmart initiative.
Through the use of new PaperSmart technology the meeting organizers and delegates succeeded in reducing paper usage by 50 per cent compared to the same event in the previous year.
We’re now delighted to report that based on this success, the DohaClimate Change Conference in November – COP18 - is just as ambitious and has adopted a range of PaperSmart tools to reduce dependency on paper and increase efficiency. Through various measures, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and delegates already succeeded in reducing paper usage during the Bonn Climate Change Talks in June 2012 by 50 per cent compared to the same event in the previous year.
For COP 18, the UNFCCC secretariat has partnered with the UN ISPS secretariat to ensure that the reproduction of documentation and other information is being further reduced in favour of providing these items electronically. Check the Tree Counter to see how many sheets of paper have not been printed but downloaded, and to find out more about how PaperSmart and other sustainability measures can work at large conferences.
The United Nations Integrated Sustainable PaperSmart Services (ISPS) terms PaperSmart “not a fight against paper, more a war against waste”. PaperSmart is an initiative borne out of the secretariat’s commitment to enhance the environmental sustainability of its operations, which in turn means making conferences and meetings as sustainable as possible.
This is all great news for UN staff who recently voted in a Greening the Blue on-line survey for all meetings to be organized as ‘green’ meetings. An overwhelming 91% of the 466 people who voted said that they would like all UN meetings to be organized this way.
UN staff can find out more about how to organize green meetings and events for themselves with publications available on Greening the Blue.