Author: Agharazi Dadashev - Operations Manager, UNICEF Sri Lanka
In January 2018, UNICEF Sri Lanka launched a bold action plan to deliver UNICEF Eco-Efficiency & Inclusive Access objectives to its premises and operations, which included the establishment of a staff GREEN TEAM and the implementation of several initiatives, to enable all three Country Office locations to maximize eco-efficiency and achieve level 1 accessibility. Watch Video
Ensuring Eco-efficiency and Sustainability
Using the move to a new office location in Colombo as a unique opportunity, the Sri Lanka CO ensured that the new premises included energy-saving lighting systems and air-conditioners, and started procuring recycled paper and eco-friendly cleaning products.
In March 2016, the project’s phase one integrated the Solar System into the national grid with a system capacity of 33 kWh. Since then the system has generated around 114,030 units. This is equivalent to around 85.5 tons in CO2 emission savings and equates to an electricity bill saving of LKR 2,600,000 (US$ 17,000).
In 2017, phase two was initiated with financial support from the Greening and Accessibility Fund (GrAF), with full system installation completed in June 2018. The capacity of the second phase system is 26 kWh with the expected generation of 2,900 kWh (units) per month enabling the Sri Lanka CO to save an additional 25 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, with an average monthly bill saving of around LKR 65,000 (US$ 5,000 per year).
In total, the Sri Lanka CO will reduce yearly CO2 emissions by 57 tonnes and generate around 79,000 kWh per year - an impressive 80% of the Colombo head office’s yearly average electricity consumption.
Beyond actions within the office, the fleet of office vehicles has been upgraded to eco-friendly models including the purchase of a Toyota Camry Hybrid car, saving approx. 2,400 liters of gasoline per year, and a zero-emission full-electric BYD E6 car, reducing CO2 emissions by 5.3 tonnes per year.
Reflecting on the importance of this work, the Sri Lanka CO will undertake annual assessments of its environmental footprint to determine any appropriate action to maintain the minimum environmental impact possible.
As part of a global initiative, the web-based Environmental Footprint & Accessibility Assessment Tool (EFAAT) was rolled-out globally, helping to effectively undertake data collection (including utility and fuel consumption, travel authorizations, etc.).
In 2019, the Sri Lanka CO implemented a vehicle tracking and fuel management system (VTFMS). VTFMS gives better reports for monitoring fuel consumption and enables Sri Lanka CO to better monitor the fleet. Driver’s behaviors that are against green principles, such as excessive idling, can be flagged. It also allows the fleet manager to better track the service history of vehicles (vehicles being driven past due services are worse for the environment since engine performance will no longer be optimal). With greater monitoring, unnecessary trips are eliminated; hence, reducing the carbon emissions – fuel consumption can be reduced by 50% with a VTS available.
Also in 2019, automatic lights and air conditioner sensors/controllers, which turn on only when a person occupies the workspace and turns off as soon as the person vacates, as well as smart energy and water meters were installed in conference rooms and washrooms.
The accessibility of the workspace will be continually monitored with relevant actions and investments taken when needed.