HQ: Amman, Jordan and Gaza
Number of staff: 2,591
Number of locations: 5
Total emissions: 11,455 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Emissions per staff member: 4.4 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Emissions from air travel: 246 tonnes CO2 equivalent
Air travel as a proportion of total emissions: 2%
Air travel per staff member: 0.1 tonnes CO2
Building-related emissions: 66.2 kg CO2 equivalent per square metre
“The Palestine refugees we serve understand the importance of maintaining the land and communities where they live. A healthy environment is part of a decent quality of life, so UNRWA is making sustainability a cornerstone of every project we undertake. From green schools to conservation programmes, these initiatives protect the environment, invest in the future of young refugees, and provide savings for both the Agency and our beneficiaries.”
Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
“UNRWA aims to contribute to UN efforts to collectively achieve climate neutrality through systematic, sustained, and measured reduction in consumption of electricity, travel, and fuel and energy consumption in its operations, when possible in all areas that are under its direct control Since unsustainable human activities are the root cause of environmental issues, changes in attitudes and human behaviour, correcting misconceptions of the environment are all required to solve the pervasive problem of environmental degradation. UNRWA acknowledges that it has a key role to play in addressing the environmental issues within the Palestine refugee community and an obligation to minimize the negative environmental impacts of its own operations. UNRWA will also promote energy, water, and material conservation amongst the Palestine refugee community, emphasizing the environmental benefits and prospective cost-savings to refugees as consumers. In support of the above, UNRWA is in the process of developing an Environmental management framework to guide the efforts of the organization.”
Karen Koning AbuZayd
UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for nearly five million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight. The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, social safety-net, camp infrastructure and improvement, community support, microfinance and emergency response, including in times of armed conflict.
UNRWA started the process to become climate-neutral as of 1 January 2008, which means that emissions are to be reduced in so far as operationally possible. In 2008, UNRWA attempted to track the required information to capture main emissions related to its operations and completed, by August 2009, its first climate footprint assessment.
UNRWA is piloting a near climate neutral school in Gaza.
Due to financial constraints, it is not expected to offset emissions in the next two years.
The Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Department plans to design buildings with a lower energy and water consumption for two different climate zones.