In 2018, buildings accounted for about 46% of the UN’s greenhouse gas emissions. With offices around the world, this presents plenty of opportunities. Work is ongoing to integrate environmental considerations into procurement and decision-making processes for new buildings, leases and retro-fits and to engage staff in using buildings more efficiently.
In recent years several UN facilities new builds and retrofits have been awarded energy certificates such as LEED, Lotus, or Minergie. Using both new technologies and old traditions, architects and developers around the world are finding better, more natural ways to build, light, heat and cool our buildings.
The Sustainable United Nations (SUN) team has provided support to many building projects across the UN, including the Capital Master Plan in New York, the One UN buildings in country offices such as the One UN house in Hanoi, Vietnam or the UN house in Panama City and the New Office Facility in Nairobi.
Much of SUN's work is done through the UN Interagency Network of Facilities Managers (INFM), which meets annually to discuss common issues within facilities management and to inform policy-level decisions. Experiences and good practices from different duty stations around the world are shared. SUN is currently leading the sustainability working group.
Opportunities to improve the performance of buildings depend first on how a building is designed and constructed, and second on how it is maintained and operated. Regardless of whether the building you are working in is owned or rented, SUN have compiled a selection of publications and tools to help improve the efficiency of your facility.
SUN works with INFM and SBCI (Sustainable Building and Construction Initiative) partners to build capacity in the region and in country offices.