United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)


HQ: New York, USA

Focal Point: Oliver Buhler 


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Executive Director's Message


“UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is committed not only to promoting sustainable global development, but to leading by example by reducing our own carbon footprint. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering an organizational culture based on the conscious use of resources is essential to ensure the health and well-being of current and future generations, particularly women and girls. Investing in the human potential of today’s young people must go hand in hand with investing in the environment they will inherit. That is the key to sustainable development."

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)




UNFPA: Delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted,
every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.


Experience so far


he ultimate goal of UNFPA Going Green – the Initiative for a Climate Neutral UNFPA – is to make UNFPA a “zero impact” organization by eliminating the negative environmental effects stemming from daily operations and facilities. In order to achieve this goal, UNFPA is implementing its Emissions Reduction Plan on the basis of annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions calculations. Data for these calculations are collected through the UNFPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator online tool, which is based on the UN Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator. In line with UNFPA’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 the current Emissions Reduction Plan will be replaced with an Environmental Management System to spell out details on how the emissions reductions of 10%, established in the Strategic Plan will be achieved over the next four years.


Reduction efforts


Based on the UNFPA Emission Reduction Plan developed in 2010, the organization focuses on four key areas: organizational culture, travel, facilities and processes. This has resulted in mitigation of the environmental impacts of UNFPA‘s facilities and operations. UNFPA’s emissions per staff have gone from 6 tonnes per staff in 2008 to 5.1 t/staff in 2016

Reduction achievements

UNFPA's per capita emissions have been significantly reduced due to a more efficient use of space. In Field Offices, UNFPA supports the introduction of environmentally sustainable technologies as showcased in the Green One UN House in Vietnam or the completely solar powered UNFPA office in Eritrea.


Inventory boundary


UNFPA’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory includes emissions from all main UNFPA  offices globally. We do not include the emissions of our project offices at this stage. Furthermore, our inventory includes all Travel paid for by UNFPA with the exception of entitlement travel.




UNFPA purchased offsets for all its emissions in 2016 from UNFCCC, which makes the organization climate neutral for the third year in a row.


Waste management


UNFPA measures e-waste systematically through our emissions calculator. Through measuring this data we try to avoid wrongful disposal of e-waste globally. Furthermore, UNFPA measures paper waste through its emissions calculator.


Other environmental measures


In addition to GHG emissions UNFPA also measures other environmental indicators such as water use, paper use, waste and bottled water consumption. Currently the numbers for waste and bottled water are not reliable but we will continue to improve our data collection system.

  • Water usage: 3.9m liters of water, which is 5,723 liters of water per staff per year.
  • Paper usage: 518.7 tonnes of paper, which is 158 kg of paper per staff per year.

Next steps


UNFPA is currently updating its Environmental Management System to bring it in line with targets established in its strategic plan 2018-2021. In 2018 we will increase our efforts to reduce emissions in targeted areas in Country Offices as well as in HQ.


UNFPA case studies

UNFPA and climate change

UNFPA corporate environmental responsibility