HQ: Geneva, Switzerland
Number of staff: 2,162
Number of locations: 1
Total emissions: 12,844 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Emissions per staff member: 5.9 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Emissions from air travel: 9,679 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Air travel as a proportion of total emissions: 75%
Air travel per staff member: 4.5 tonnes CO2
Building-related emissions: 21.1 kg CO2 equivalent per square metre
*UNOG data includes UNCTAD, UNECE, UNIDIR, UNISDR, UNJSPF, UNRISD, JIU. Air travel of the Basel Convention HQ & Geneva offices of: OCHA, UNODA, CEB and OIOS.
“Sustainability is about providing choices for future generations by making the right decisions now – every day and in everything we do.”
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Director General's Message
“Combating climate change is a priority for UNOG. As a service provider of excellence, UNOG has made sustainability a core operating principle, which is integrated into all aspects of our work. Leading by example, UNOG has over the past decade significantly cut consumption of electricity, water and heating fuel through innovation and a readiness to embrace change. We continue to build on these achievements with more efficient use of energy, elimination of wasteful practices, sustainable procurement and better demand management. Each individual staff member makes an important contribution through sustainable work practices. Because real sustainability is about providing choices for future generations by making the right decisions now – every day and in everything we do.”
UNOG is the representative office of the Secretary-General in Switzerland and the largest duty station outside of UNHQ. Servicing close to 10,000 meetings annually, UNOG is one of the busiest global conference venues and a focal point for multilateral diplomacy. As a regional service hub, UNOG provides critical administrative, conference management, security, information and knowledge-management support to a large number of United Nations entities in Geneva and beyond.
During the past ten (10) years much has been done to decrease UNOG’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The most significant initiatives and achievements are:
- cooling of the buildings with water from the Leman lake;
- replacement of fuel oil by natural gas for winter heating;
- replacement of fuel oil boilers with gas at the Annex Bocage;
- replacement of the lighting fixtures at Palais des Nations (except E-Building);
- development of a Building Management System (BMS) controlling ventilation, heating, air conditioning and automatic lighting;
- replacement of the flushes of the toilets, and complete renovation of some bathrooms;
- solar panels for hot water production (partial);
- installation of thermostatic valves to reach about 90% of the heating radiators;
- issuance of broadcasts encouraging building occupants to switch off the lights and equipment to adjust the temperature of their office, etc;
- temperature in air-conditioned meeting rooms kept at an average of 24°C (74°F) when rooms are in use. All air-conditioners are turned off when rooms are not in use;
- improvement of thermal insulation on the roofs of buildings;
- separation of storm water from sewage water;
- recycling program for waste;
- award of the “Certificat de qualité nature et économie” for Ariana Park by Fondation Nature & Economie;
- sheep grazing the meadows of the Park Ariana in autumn every year, thereby cutting the grass in an ecologically sustainable manner and providing natural fertilizers.
The following reductions in emissions were realized:
- UNOG has cut electricity consumption by 24.5 % (4081552 KWH less between 2000 and 2010).
- UNOG has reduced heating energy consumption by 13.8% (2654 MWH less between 2000 and 2010).
- UNOG has cut water consumption by 58.9% (179056 m3 less between 2000 and 2010).
- Promotion of non-stop and more direct air itineraries was implemented.
- Encouragement to travel by train, whenever a convenient solution exists, was implemented. The future travel policy should also encourage travel by train and facilitate further implementation.
- Inauguration of the new Geneva Technology Centre (data centre), which dramatically lowers energy consumption in comparison with traditional solutions;
- Upgrading of videoconference bridge;
- Consolidation of server rooms;
- Continued virtualization of servers, reducing the total number of physical machines.
Reduction in paper consumption
- Electronic forms used instead of paper forms.
- Several e-tools made available to UNOG Divisions and Services.
- Porcelain mugs, with the inscription “Act now!” are available for sale in all bars and restaurants of the Palais des Nations and its annexes with the objective of reducing the consumption of disposable cups and, in this way, reducing significantly the volume of waste.
There are currently no budgetary provisions for purchasing carbon offsets.
Building on past achievements, a number of additional measures are under consideration (where applicable, this is subject to availability of funds):
- replacement of windows and doors;
- thermal insulation of some roofs and facades;
- replacement of the lighting fixtures in the E-Building;
- replacement of air ventilation and conditioning units;
- installation of a large number of photovoltaic solar panels;
- extension of the thermal solar panels to produce all sanitary hot water during summer time;
- continuation of the programme of separation of storm water from sewage water;
- irrigation of green areas using lake and rain water;
- further improvement of light fixtures if LED technology becomes commercially available;
- improvement to waste management;
- gradual replacement of official vehicles by more fuel-efficient models;
- a hybrid vehicle to support the distribution of mail to the Palais des Nations, its annexes and all client entities will be operational during the first quarter 2012;
- progressive replacement of fuel-based gardening equipment;
- introduction of additional paperless processes, such as the use of new electronic forms/workflows (a software that allows organizations to request catering services for receptions on-line should inter alia be available during 2012), improvement of the range of available e-tools (including inter alia the development of IT tools for e-bidding on the UNOG Website) and a broader use of e-mails to streamline communications;
- default settings on IT equipment for recto/verso printing and use of fonts that reduce not only paper consumption but also toner consumption;
- elimination of fax devices, switching to an electronic solution;
- new RFP for multi-functional printing services;
- new printing policy supporting the objective of eliminating the numbers of desktop printing machines; desktop printer allocation and related consolidation of office printing devices into larger, more efficient multi-functional printing devices;
- technically enforce hibernation of inactive PCs after long periods of inactivity;
- extend the benchmark usable life for hardware computers from four (4) to five (5) years, subject to further analysis since older devices are higher consumers of power;
- study of other environmental friendly IT solutions.