As well as all the work that’s going on within individual UN organizations, there’s also a considerable amount of activity at the UN-system level to reduce our environmental impacts, including:
Details of these activites can be found below. A general guide for reducing emissions in UN organisations can be found here.
Unsurprisingly, travel is the UN’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. Work is underway with the inter-agency travel teams to identify ways of reducing the impacts of our travel, without jeopardizing the work that we do. Click here for more.
Buildings account for about 30% of the UN’s greenhouse gas emissions. With offices in over 530 locations around the world, there are plenty of opportunities to improve the efficiency of our buildings. Click here for more.
The UN is a big spender. In 2008 alone the UN purchased goods and services worth USD 13.6 billion - similar to the GDPs of Botswana and Senegal. The UN is therefore able to directly influence the market place by choosing more sustainable goods and services. Click here for more.
The UN employs over 130,000 staff, including 60,000 peacekeepers. Engaging with staff is critical if we're to succeed in creating a more sustainable UN. Click here for more.
The UN, like many large international organizations, convenes a huge number of meetings each year, from small workshops to high-profile international gatherings. Making our meetings more sustainable is not just critical for reducing our impacts - it's also an effective way of communicating our values. Click here for more.
Distance work is rapidly becoming a widely accepted as a feature of working life. Providing staff with the flexibility to work from outside the office for periods of time reduces the need to travel and can reduce associated emissions. For the organization it also provides improved efficiency, reduced need for office space and improved work-life balance for its staff. Click here for more.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) includes common office equipment such as computers, printers, servers, phone systems and video conferencing systems. Mismanaged, ICT can be a climate change culprit. But managed well, ICT can be a source of emissions reductions. Click here for more.
Investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions often deliver long-term savings for the organization, e.g. through reduced energy use. Unfortunately most budgeting systems encourage short-term thinking and don't recognize savings in the longer term. Work is therefore underway to identify and share effective models for life cycle budgeting within the UN system.