As part of efforts of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) to have sustainable practices adopted throughout its publishing operations, the Publishing Service of the Division of Conference Management (DCM) of the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) has obtained ISO 14001:2004 environmental certification for its printing and distribution operations.
Over the past 15 months, the Publishing Service has successfully developed and documented an Environmental Management System (EMS), assessed the environmental impact of its operations, made presentations on the merits of ISO to both senior management and the staff at large, and appointed and trained internal auditors.
In addition, to ensure that staff members maintain environmental awareness, documentation on all aspects of EMS is available for staff to consult at any time. After being audited by an independent body on 28 October 2010, the certification was issued on 5 November 2010.
The project covers the environmental impact of printing and distribution activities, including material flow, waste material management, secure handling of chemicals, energy consumption, and noise levels.
The UN Office at Geneva joins the UN Office at Nairobi in achieving the certification. The UN Office at Vienna and UN Headquarters in New York will implement this standardized system for environmental management next year.
ISO 14001 certification is one of several sustainable practices discussed at last year's sustainable publishing workshop held on 10 and 11 December 2009 at UNOG. The first workshop took place on 20 and 21 November 2008 at Headquarters, with a wide-range of participants adopting a "code of ethics" to serve as the guiding foundation to ensure that the Organization achieves a sustainable practice across all publishing operations worldwide.
A third workshop has been planned for early next year, and is scheduled to be held at UNOV covering the role of digital publishing in sustainable practices.