United Nations Women (UN WOMEN)


HQ: New York, USA

Focal Point: Marianna Belsky


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions



Executive Director's Message


"UN Women fully supports the climate-neutral initiative and is working actively to play our part in achieving its goals. In much of the world, women are managers of household resources such as water, fuel, and food, and play a key role in farming. This places women and girls on the front line in facing the impacts of climate change, but also in a unique position to make a difference. That’s why, for UN Women, working to achieve gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment goes hand in hand with efforts to address climate change and to achieve sustainable development."

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women 




UN WOMEN is the women's fund at the UN, dedicated to advancing women’s rights and achieving gender equality. UN WOMEN supports implementation of existing international commitments to advance gender equality, focusing on four thematic areas: enhancing women’s economic security and rights; ending violence against women; reducing the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among women and girls; and advancing gender justice in democratic governance in stable and fragile states. UN WOMEN works on the premise that gender equality is essential to achieving development and to building just societies.


Experience so far


UN WOMEN’s leadership has shown significant support for the climate-neutral initiative as demonstrated through UN WOMEN’s Executive Director’s support for various environmental and social sustainability initiatives at UN Women.


Reduction efforts


UN WOMEN is understudying the strategies and policy for enhancing environmental streaming for operational effectiveness in UNDP and other UN Agencies. This will hasten the process towards making UN WOMEN a green working environment as well as responsive to environmental considerations in its normative and programme work on the ground. 




UN WOMEN has been offsetting since 2009. It continues to strive toward improved accuracy of its assessment process and increased participation from all its regional and country offices. UN Women continues to participate in the Environmental Management Group, Issues Management Group on Sustainability and the Chief Executive Board and receive guidance on emission reduction targets and offsetting strategies.


Next steps


UN WOMEN aims to target high emission areas identified by UN WOMEN’s internal green-house gas assessments, which began in 2011. Improved assessment methodology for 2009 and beyond may reveal other areas of high emissions and/or additional energy inefficient offices, however, this first assessment found that air travel and energy use in building(s) at Headquarters in New York are the areas of highest emissions.

To reduce emissions and help the UN green, UN WOMEN will:

  • Encourage staff to video- or tele-conference whenever possible
  • Provide necessary equipment for distance-conferencing when purchasing all new desk- and lap-top computers and to all staff upon request
  • Use UNDP green procurement guidelines for IT purchases immediately
  • Encourage a culture of energy conservation among staff, including recycling, turning off lights, shutting down computers at day’s end, use of mass transit, etc.
  • Incorporate UNDP green-building standards for any future remodeling of office space
  • Reassess these efforts and UN WOMEN’s overall strategies twice annually to determine means to further reduce emissions and/or purchase offsets.