UNON commits to greening UN Nairobi compound

Mon, 15/06/15

The United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) signed a new Environmental Commitment Charter on the occasion of the World Environment Day on 5th June 2015. This is a key step towards improving the UN compound’s environmental sustainability and an example of inter-agency collaboration and joint efforts on environmental issues. Indeed, the Charter has been promoted by UNEP and will soon be signed both by UNEP and UN-Habitat, as major tenants in Nairobi’s Compound.

The Step-by-Step staff group has been instrumental in promoting the green charter and organizing the event. The Group is composed of volunteers from different UN agencies in Nairobi that have an interest in sustainability and promotes greening activities, with a particular focus on staff engagement.

Green Week was launched on 2nd June by Step-by-Step and UNEP and focused on enhancing responsible consumption at the Gigiri Compound in line with the 2015

WED theme: “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”.

Staff were encouraged to reduce their plastic waste by replacing single-use plastic bottles with reusable ones. E-waste bins were made available for UN staff to

bring their e-waste. Particular attention was given to reducing meat consumption, as a meat diet uses three times more resources than a vegetarian one. The main cafeteria replaced a meat option with a vegetarian one throughout the week. These initiatives showed staff how to reduce their environmental footprint in the workplace.

 

Additionally, staff were invited to make pledges through social media, on a writing-wall and on the WED website, and to bring their behaviour more in line with the sustainability principles endorsed by the UN. Staff also had the opportunity to learn more about the sustainable practices in the compound, including awareness of the Compound bicycle programme and the environmentally sustainable products produced in the Compound and sold at the Nature Trail Shop.