Climate Friendly Buildings and Offices: A Practical Guide (2010)


Climate-Friendly Buildings and Offices: A Practical Guide provides robust, hands-on advice to facility managers to reduce energy consumption and improve the efficiency of their buildings. With the UN  currently maintaining offices in more than 530 locations worldwide, the guide is an important resource for all those who are interested in energy efficient buildings. Though primarily aimed at assisting UN facility and property managers, this Guide is also applicable to other building mangers who are looking to reduce office-related energy and GHG emissions. Download the full PDF or download the summary PDF and checklists. 


Buildings & Climate Change: Status, Challenges & Opportunities (2009)


This report provides an overview of current knowledge of greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, and eight key messages for decision makers. The report states that the building sector presents the largest single opportunity for improved energy efficiency. It is estimated that at present buildings contribute as much as one third of total greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through the use of fossil fuels during their operational phase.  Furthermore, evidence based recommendations are given to encourage action and commitment to energy efficient buildings, which will be of interest to all parties involved in pursuing climate neutrality. Download the full PDF or download the summary PDF and checklists


Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Guidance for Facility Managers (2009)


This guide assists UN facility managers in reducing GHG emissions from buildings. The report identifies various ways in which energy can be saved in buildings as well as containing simple tips on implementing energy efficiency measures and carbon management. It also provides further information sources on energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as best practice examples. Download the full PDF or download the summary PDF.




Assessment of Policy Instruments for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Buildings (2007)


Buildings contribute on average to 30% of energy use in society causing similar levels of associated greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, focusing on energy use in buildings is vital to addressing the climate neutrality goals of the UN.  This study came about through a collaboration between UNEP & the Central European University and complements the work of the UN’s Sustainable Buildings & Construction Initiative (SBCI). The assessment examines energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions in the building sector, and presents the results of different policy tools. The aim is to provide governments with knowledge & inspiration to formulate effective policy tools that enable energy efficiency in the building sector.  Download the full PDF or download the summary PDF


Information resources on sustainable facilities


1) General resources, including educational material, guidelines and case studies

2) Ratings, Standards and Labels

3) Free Software

4) Sustainable buildings and construction programme


Helpdesk service on energy management in facilities


SUN, in collaboration with the Working Group on Sustainability of the Inter-agency Network of Facility Managers (INFM) is providing a helpdesk service on energy management in facilities. We will be able to provide broad guidance to queries, at the conceptual and practical levels. However, we would not be able to undertake resource intensive work like designing, modeling, reviewing detailed documents etc. If any UN entity or member of the INFM needs support on this issue, please contact Hillary Green at hillary.green@unep.org. For the sake of coordination and consistency, it would be better if the queries are sent in consultation with your facility management group or other relevant divisions.


UN Groups &  Networks


Interagency Network for Facility Managers

The INFM meet annually to discuss common issues within facilities management and share experiences from duty stations worldwide. INFM provides a collective effort for the UN Common System to maintain and enhance the infrastructures and ensure a safe and efficient working environment.

In March 2010, SUN helped establish a working group on sustainable facility management at the annual meeting on Facility Managers (INFM-10) in Nairobi. At that time 13 organizations joined the working group and identified 5 priority work areas. The following year, at INFM-11 in Washington, DC, Dominique Brief the new SUN lead for this working group presented the work accomplished so far and at this meeting another 4 organizations joined the working group bringing the membership to a total of 14 organizations.



•    INFM 2010:  13 organizations
•    INFM 2011: 17 organizations



Take a walk around the UNEP green building in Gigiri, Nairobi.


Case Studies


See the UN's building-related case studies here