Greening the Blue is a UN-wide initiative to engage and support UN System personnel at all levels of the organisation in the transition to integrate environmental considerations into UN management decisions and actions.

Greening the Blue is managed by the UNEP Sustainable United Nations (SUN) Facility. The SUN facility assists UN System entities in: 

MEASURING their environmental performance 
REDUCING their environmental impacts
OFFSETTING their unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions 

The interventions of the SUN Initiative focus on the environmental footprint resulting from facilities and operations. 

The SUN team works with designated Focal Points from all UN System entities, providing technical assistance and capacity building, as well as services to support knowledge-sharing and reporting.

SUN helps support the Focal Points in part by managing the Working Group on Environmental Sustainability Management (formerly Issue Management Group). The Working Group has established a harmonized, UN-wide approach to measuring the green house gas emissions from all UN agencies, funds and programmes and shared emissions reduction plans and efforts. Each year the results are published in the Greening the Blue Report.

The Working Group is overseen by the UN Environment Management Group (EMG), which is tasked with both coordinating the UN’s efforts to move towards climate neutrality and with ensuring the UN ‘walks the talk’ on sustainability across all its activities and operations. The membership of the EMG is made up of the agencies, funds and programmes of the UN system, together with the secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements. 

The United Nations Environment Programme both provides the secretariat for the UN Environment Management Group and hosts SUN.

The Executive Heads of the EMG members are brought together via the Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB). CEB is chaired by the Secretary-General of the UN and has been moving the UN System towards climate neutrality and environmental sustainability since 2007.

Recently, under the leadership of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Executive Heads endorsed the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations System 2020 - 2030, which demands that the UN ‘walks the talk’ on sustainability across all its activities and operations.


Greening the Blue is partners with several organizations outside of the United Nations. These partners act as observers on the Working Group, help support some of the work done by Greening the Blue, and make use of some of Greening the Blue’s tools and strategies to implement environmental sustainability in their own organizations.

Learn more about these partners at their websites: