HQ: New York, USA
Number of staff: 8,185
Number of locations: 1
Total emissions: 63,059 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Emissions per staff member: 7.7 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Emissions from air travel: 30,560 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Air travel as a proportion of total emissions: 48%
Air travel per staff member: 3.7 tonnes CO2
Building-related emissions: 116.2 kg CO2 equivalent per square metre
“We are already moving towards making our Headquarters in New York climate-neutral and environmentally sustainable. I would like to see our renovated Headquarters complex eventually become a globally acclaimed model of efficient use of energy and resources. Beyond New York, the initiative should include the other United Nations headquarters and offices around the globe.”
Ban Ki-moon, 5th June 2007, Address to World Tourism Organization, World Environment Day
“... as we mark World Environment Day today, I would like to make a public commitment, as the Organization’s direct contribution to global efforts to safeguard our planet and climate. We are already moving towards making our Headquarters in New York climate-neutral and environmentally sustainable. The UN’s Capital Master Plan to renovate the 55-year old landmark is a good starting point, and we have already identified ways to reduce our energy use significantly. I would like to see our renovated headquarters complex eventually become a globally acclaimed model of efficient use of energy and resources. Beyond New York, the initiative should include the other UN headquarters and offices around the globe. We need to work on our operations too, by using energy more efficiently and eliminating wasteful practices. That is why, today, I am asking the heads of all UN agencies, funds and programmes to join me in this effort. And I am asking all staff members throughout the UN family to make common cause with me. This undertaking will require dedication, perseverance and considerable financial resources, and the strong support of our Member States.”
Ban Ki-moon, on World Environment Day 2007
The Secretariat — an international staff working around the world — services the other principal organs of the United Nations and administers the programmes and policies laid down by them.
The duties carried out by the Secretariat range from administering peacekeeping operations to mediating international disputes, from surveying economic and social trends to preparing studies on human rights and sustainable development. Secretariat staff also inform the world's media about the work of the UN and organize international conferences on issues of worldwide concern.
Difficulties and solutions proposed:
Existing reporting tools often do not include critical GHG inventory information. Especially true of air travel data and rental office space energy consumption.
Remedy: Proxies used; GHG information is a criteria under consideration of new ERP software currently in design phase.
Staffing: GHG inventory difficult to complete with existing staffing resources.
Remedy: Recruitment of dedicated staff is underway.
Emissions related to the 2009 Summit on Climate Change were offset through the purchase of Gold Standard Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) provided by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The offsets were achieved through the Bagepalli CDM Biogas Programme, a renewable energy project in India, which delivers both environment and development benefits.
The “Cool UN” Initiative: lowering the thermostat 5 degrees in the winter and raising it by 5 degrees in the summer, as well as making operation hours of main HVAC equipment more efficient.
Key strategies of the Capital Master Plan:
1. Reduce energy consumption related to lighting at leased spaces
2. Reduce emissions related to use of refrigerants and fire suppression systems at leased spaces
3. Reduce emission related to the use of official vehicles, including use of hybrid vehicles
4. Consider requirements for reporting on GHG emissions related to air travel in the development of the Enterprise Resource Planning system
5. Discuss with airlines to consider the purchase of carbon offsets in lieu of the provision of frequent flyer miles for official travel
6. Ongoing coordinated communications campaign to staff on greening measures to inform and influence behaviours