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Foreword “The United Nations system is strongly committed to leading by example and ensuring that our operations are continuously monitored and improved.

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Presentation on theme: "Foreword “The United Nations system is strongly committed to leading by example and ensuring that our operations are continuously monitored and improved."— Presentation transcript:


2 Foreword “The United Nations system is strongly committed to leading by example and ensuring that our operations are continuously monitored and improved - not just in terms of what we deliver, but also how we deliver. We are also looking to this year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development -- Rio+20 -- to generate ideas that will energize sustainability efforts worldwide.”

3 Preface All UN entities are working together under the banner of ‘sustainability’ In 2010, UN’s emissions were 1.8 million tonnes of CO 2 equivalent and 8.2 tonnes of CO 2 equivalent per capita. In 2012, the year of Rio+20, UNEP leads the UN in continuing to work towards neutrality. Working towards climate neutrality binds all entities together in a global community.

4 The UN system

5 1. Climate neutrality and sustainability within the UN system In 2007 the UN Secretary-General announced that the UN would be moving towards climate neutrality and the UN Climate Neutral Strategy was approved by the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination The 2007 UN Climate Neutral Strategy commits heads of UN entities to: – Estimate their greenhouse gas emissions, – Undertake efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the greatest extent possible, and – Analyze the cost implications and explore budgetary modalities of purchasing carbon offsets. The Issue Management Group (IMG) on Environmental Sustainability Management implements the strategy and reports to the UN Environment Management Group (EMG) and is supported by UNEP’s Sustainable United Nations (SUN) facility. This report details the UN system’s footprint in 2010 and efforts made in 2011 to reduce it.

6 2. UN greenhouse gas emissions for 2010 The UN greenhouse gas inventory follows the principles of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The UN measures the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol and commonly reports them as CO 2 equivalent. The UN measures emissions from facility operations and travel that can be influenced by management level decisions. The inventory covers 54 UN entities.

7 2010 emissions from UN entities

8 Total emissions by source

9 Total emissions by source excluding DKPO

10 2010 emissions per capita

11 Emissions Reduction Strategies: an overview Emission Reduction Strategies detail each UN entity’s commitments and plan for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. 34 of 54 (63%) participating entities have completed draft emission reduction strategies. The following trends have been observed in strategies submitted in 2011: – Organization – implementing green efforts is increasingly being recognised as an official responsibility. – Targets – most organizations are aiming for annual overall reductions of 2-5%. – Financing – small upfront investment can result in long-term savings. – Travel – is a major source of emissions and a key focus for most agencies. – Facilities – many organizations are upgrading older equipment to increase energy efficiency and reduce running costs. – Sustainable procurement – most strategies include a plan to improve procurement policies.

12 Examples from Emissions Reductions Strategies received in 2011

13 Emissions from travel and efforts to reduce them E missions from travel (particularly air travel) are the largest source of emissions (64%). Finding alternatives to travel not only present opportunities to reduce emissions but also operational expenses. The following tools were launched in 2011: – Vehicle procurement guidelines – ICAO Green Meetings calculator – Blue and REDD Carbon mobile phone app.

14 2010 travel related emissions per capita

15 Emissions from facilities and efforts to reduce them Emissions from facilities are the UN’s largest source of emissions after travel. Actions taken so far include; retrofits and upgrades to existing structures and up-to-date design and technology for new construction.

16 Emissions from facilities and efforts to reduce them cont. The following features are common to many of the strategies submitted in 2011: – Audits and management plans - Focal Points are fine-tuning their Terms of Reference so audits reflect organization specific needs. – Certification - green building certification such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED EB) and LOTUS are providing structured frameworks and guidance for making improvements. – Energy sourcing - some agencies are switching from fossil fuels to low carbon alternatives. – Energy consumption - making energy consumption more efficient is a key way to achieve a quick return on investment. High and low-end technologies can be used to reduce energy consumption in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. Retro- fitting light fixtures and installing motion activated light sensors are among initiatives to reduce emissions from lighting. Larger scale initiatives are happening at a regional level where large-scale retro-fits and new builds are being carried out.

17 Staff engagement and Greening the Blue provides UN staff with guidance on how to progress the environmental, social and economic performance of the organization. There are over 15 Green Groups, 50 Focal Points and 100 Green Champions from all agencies. The website hosts a range of multi- lingual promotional materials and is supported by a social media presence. has now set up it’s own sustainability page.

18 Procurement Sustainable procurement practices are widely used in Emission Reduction Strategies. HLCM Procurement Network has included sustainable procurement among its five strategic priorities and is promoting it through its work plan. SUN has developed a support pack including a generic guide on sustainable procurement, product –specific guidelines on eight product categories and an on-line training module is being launched in 2012. Going forward, assistance will be given to agencies interested in launching sustainable tenders.

19 Offsets Some UN emissions are unavoidable and need to be offset. UN specific guidance has been developed on offsetting emissions – Carbon Credits – Recommendations for selection and procurement. Several entities are now purchasing offsets and many are taking an interest in using offsets to make their UN events carbon neutral.

20 Sustainability Management Systems In September 2011 the Strategic Plan for Sustainability Management was approved. The plan highlights the need for an integrated approach based on a clear mandate from governing bodies. The plan requires UN agencies to undertake two actions: – Implement agency focused Sustainability Management Systems following a common approach for all agencies. – Design a Common UN Sustainability Office to coordinate essential joint activities. The Strategic Plan goes further than the UN Climate Neutral Strategy not just monitoring Greenhouse Gas emissions but also fresh water use and waste generation This initiative will be adopted alongside two others: Enterprise Resource Planning system and the EMG led consultations on advancing the framework for environmental and social sustainability in the UN system.

21 Challenges There are many challenges in greening the UN: – Mandate - the forthcoming Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development could give a new impetus to internal sustainability at the UN. – Leadership - interviews with the heads of 20 UN agencies on the importance of future-proofing their organizations will provide a vision of what a sustainable UN might look like. – Budgeting - current structures hinder sustainability initiatives which often produce longer-term returns on investment. Restrictions on carrying budgets forward and moving budgets between capital and operational limit opportunities for innovation. – Finding the right balance – there is a danger of staff becoming immune to terms such as ‘sustainability’.

22 Next steps Move the UN to a position of leadership in the pursuit of sustainability Ensure sustainable development principles are integrated into every aspect of UN policy and day-to-day work practices Design a system for environmental sustainability management Provide an range of options for the common sustainability office

23 Case studies Ombudsman’s office reaches out using remote conferencing. Nairobi’s New Office Facility: Building for the future UN Secretariat in New York powered by renewable energy Offsetting at the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre The inside story: UN Department of Field Support The inside story: UNDP

24 WFP’s Ombudsman’s Office reaches out using remote conferencing Video conferencing enabled the WFP Ombudsman to raise awareness of conflict and dispute resolution amongst 600 staff in 35 countries in just over two months.

25 UN Office in Nairobi’s new office facility: Building for the future The new UN office facility in Nairobi was created to work with the ecological characteristics of the natural surroundings and is capable of being energy-neutral.

26 UN Secretariat in New York powered by renewable energy New York’s UN Secretariat has been renovated to reduce its energy consumption by 50% and carbon emissions by 45%. By purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates the campus can operate on 100% renewable energy.

27 Offsetting at the UNDP regional office in Bratislava Energy savings and income from the rooftops solar panels at the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre paid for 650 tons of Gold Standard Certificated Emission Reductions to offset 2010 emissions.

28 The inside story: UN Department of Field Support DFS is developing and coordinating environmental initiatives to reduce the field missions’ footprints in host countries.

29 The inside story: UNDP Over 60 UNDP offices are monitoring and reporting annual greenhouse gas emissions from their global operations and are working to produce a UNDP Environmental Management System.


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