Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)

www.unescwa.org
HQ: Beirut, Lebanon
Focal Point: Halim Nader
Email: [email protected]

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY’S MESSAGE

 ESCWA is fully engaged with its member States in advancing climate action to address rising temperatures, increased water scarcity, and recurrence of extreme weather events. Such efforts include mainstreaming climate policies in national and sectoral development plans and assessing financing and technological needs for building resilience to climate change and achieving carbon neutrality.

Fully committed to leading by example, ESCWA has adopted concrete measures to limit its carbon emissions and environmental footprint by erecting energy-saving and water-saving installations on its premises, introducing recycling measures and green procurement, and incentivizing staff members to use electric vehicles and to carpool. ESCWA has launched a pro-active awareness campaign on social media and through engagement with non-governmental organizations, startups and youth groups, highlighting the message that ‘each one of us can make a difference’.

Dr. Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary, UNESCWA

MISSION

Committed to the 2030 Agenda, ESCWA’s passionate team produces innovative knowledge, fosters regional consensus and delivers transformational policy advice.

Together, we work for a sustainable future for all.

ALIGNMENT WITH THE STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT IN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM, 2020–2030 

ESCWA has an emission reduction strategy in place and undertook several projects pursuant to an energy audit consisting of lighting retrofit with LED lights in various areas, lighting controls, decentralized power factor correction for motors, replacement of air conditioning chillers with energy efficient and eco-friendly ones.

EMISSION REDUCTION

  • Office lighting is switched off in the evening during working days, except for emergency lighting during night and weekends. Additional lighting may be provided for official purposes upon request.
  • Air-conditioning in office floors is turned off after office hours during working days, additional air conditioning may be provided for official purposes upon request.
  • Water is heated for the minimum time during winter and switched off for the remainder of the year.
  • Staff members are encouraged to switch off computers every evening.
  • Temperature is raised in the summer in the offices to reduce power consumption ranging between 24 and 25oC.
  • Installation of blackout curtains which has participated in keeping the offices cooler by intercepting the heat from the sun, and thereby contributing to decrease power consumption for air-conditioning.
  • ESCWA is promoting the use of stairs instead of elevators for one or two floors.
  • Use of teleconferencing and video conferencing, thus reducing the need for international travel. Associated technology, including new telephone/videophones, computer equipment and telephony applications have been purchased and installed to facilitate video and tele-conferencing.
  • ESCWA no longer procures desktop printers and focuses on network shared printers. Photocopiers are used as network printers with double sided printing set as default.
  • Purchase of hybrid vehicles 
  • Encourage use of environmentally friendly equipment and products

WASTE MANAGEMENT

  • Non-hazardous waste is measured by weighing. 
  • Paper, cardboard, plastics and metal cans are weighed and recycled. 
  • ESCWA minimized the number of individual printers and provided network printers with double-sided printing.
  • ESCWA is using 23 liters refillable plastic bottles for its water dispensers.
  • Single use plastic water bottles are no longer distributed during meetings effective March 2019.
  • Water dispensers are available outside the meeting rooms on conference floors

WATER MANAGEMENT 

Domestic water consumption is measured by meters.

CLIMATE NEUTRALITY

ESCWA is climate neutral and purchases UNFCCC approved offsets.

EMISSION REDUCTION

ESCWA managed to reduce its emissions for 2019 by 4% in comparison with 2017 and by 14% in comparison with 2016. In 2020 emissions were less by 14% in comparison with 2019 in view of COVID 19 restrictions and emissions reduction measures.  ESCWA plans to continue sustainability efforts to further improve its performance.

EMS AND REDUCTION EFFORTS

ESCWA has its Emissions Reduction Strategy and reduction efforts are in place. 

ESCWA is working to obtain ISO 14001 certification. 

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT PLAN

ESCWA’s inventory included:

  1. Purchased electricity
  2. Stationery combustion
  3. Refrigerants
  4. Air Travel
  5. Public transport
  6. Mobile sources (road transportation)
  7. Waste and water inventory

OFFSETTING

ESCWA became climate neutral in 2017 by offsetting 100% of its unavoidable emissions for the year 2016. Year 2020 is the 5th year in a row that ESCWA is climate neutral.

WASTE MANAGEMENT

  • Non-hazardous waste is measured by weighing
  • Paper, cardboard, plastics and metal cans are weighed and recycled.
  • ESCWA minimized the number of individual printers and provided network printers with double-sided printing.
  • ESCWA is using 23 liters refillable plastic bottles for its water dispensers
  • Single use plastic water bottles are no longer distributed during meetings effective March 2019.
  • Water dispensers are available outside the meeting rooms on conference floors. 

WATER AND WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT

Domestic water consumption is measured by meters.

NEXT STEPS

Continue implementing energy saving measures and energy efficient operating schedules and explore possibilities to further reduce consumption and recycle plastic bottles and metal cans.