Greening the blue report 2019 – UNEP’s scorecard

Mazino Dickson

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In a bid to improve its environmental sustainability over several years, based on latest scientific evidence, United Nations system – through its entities – are now accelerating this work with the introduction of a new UN Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030.

This demands ambitious reductions of environmental impacts and the full integration of the Sustainable Development Goals in the management of facilities and operations.

This in summary is the of the ‘Greening the blue report 2019.’

The main thematic areas of focus are: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Offsetting, Waste and Water.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres says as the world mobilises to address the climate emergency, the United Nations must “walk the talk.”

We are taking decisive action to lower our greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy use across our facilities and operations, transition to cleaner energy sources and improve waste management systems,” he notes.

The United Nations is on course to be climate neutral by 2020, and I am strongly committed to ensuring that the Organisation continues to lead by example by pursuing efforts in all areas of environmental sustainability.”

Milestones achieved

  • UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF piloted a fleet-sharing and driving-performance project in five countries. As well as reducing the combined vehicle fleet of the piloting entities by 10%, it led to a 60-98% improvement in safety, an increase in fuel-efficiency and a 13% reduction in total costs.
  • UNON installed three new cooling units under a hot- and cold-aisles strategy for its servers, resulting in a 30% reduction in energy consumption of the data centre.
  • The new MINUSMA Main Operating Base in Bamako, Mali, was designed to minimise the loss of trees and maximise their cooling effect. The project saved 243 trees and 1,130 more were planted, all of which are looked after using treated wastewater.
  • WFP Kenya is recycling plastic food packaging. A local recycler purchased an initial 60 tonnes of polypropylene bags to create 600,000 new bags to supply local markets. The proceeds will be used to scale-up the initiative and invest in further environmental projects.