The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Sustainability is at the forefront of UNOPS work around the world. We aim to help our partners maximize the positive impact and sustainability of their projects, to better serve communities in need.
We measure our commitment to sustainability through Global Reporting Initiative standards.
Our aspirations are clear – we must and can do more, together, to take care of our planet and its people.
Sustainable Development Goals
UNOPS works towards a better, more sustainable future by contributing to broader efforts to help partners achieve all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of this, we’re also committed to helping achieve the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and are working with partners – like UN-Habitat – to make progress on the New Urban Agenda.
The development needs, as articulated by the above agreements and the Addis Ababa Agenda on Financing for Development, will require trillions of dollars in investments. UNOPS is committed to facilitating private sector investment to achieve the Global Goals.
Measuring our impact on the planet is a foundation of sustainability. In 2016, global temperatures soared, recording the hottest year on record.
UNOPS works to support and protect our environment. We mitigate adverse impact on the environment and improve biodiversity and ecological resilience. We use renewable resources, taking into account the interactions between human development and environmental sustainability. And we increase the resilience of countries and communities to withstand the shocks of natural disasters.
UNOPS is further committed to climate neutrality. All of our emissions are offset using certified emission reductions, with Gold Standard certification developed under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism. UNOPS has been climate neutral since 2012.
Building local economies
UNOPS engages local communities and beneficiaries and ensures equitable access to project benefits, with a particular emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable.
Throughout our projects, we work to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
One of the strongest ways we help develop local economies is through our expertise in procurement. We continue to encourage local procurement across all of our projects and we track these results.
In recent years, hundreds of millions of US dollars’ worth of overall procurement activities took place in the country where the project was undertaken. These efforts not only lessened our environmental impacts, by reducing emissions, they also directly supported local economies, ensuring that we help our partners strengthen local and national capacity within the same communities.
In 2019, around 5 million days of paid work were created through UNOPS-supported projects.
The jobs we create
Few measures can describe UNOPS commitment to sustainability better than the jobs we create for local people.
In the past years, millions of days of paid work for beneficiaries were created through UNOPS-supported projects.
By creating employment opportunities to communities, we directly and indirectly support more sustainable outcomes. By both providing an income and training people in important skills, we not only increase the potential for future employment, we increase the chances that salaries are spent locally, thus supporting local economies.
The knowledge we bring
In 2019, we provided almost 28,000 days of technical advice to stakeholders across a range of projects.
A core contribution to social sustainability and developing national capacity is through passing our skills and experience to the people we work with on our projects.
We take pride in the fact that our expertise – from procurement to resilient infrastructure development – is grounded in international practices, norms and standards, and adheres to principles of transparency and accountability.
In recent years, we have provided tens of thousands of days of technical advice to stakeholders across a range of projects. This includes governments, NGOs, UN partners and community groups. In addition, we help develop local capacity by supporting training days for partners and beneficiaries.
To learn more about our annual results and commitment to sustainability, please see UNOPS Annual Reports to the Executive Board.