UNOPS

12/05/2015

UNOPS shows continued commitment to decreasing corporate carbon emissions

UNOPS has completed its fifth annual inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, reporting a reduction in emissions from the previous year.

Corporate emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent fell to 14,383 metric tons in 2013 from 14,516 in 2012, according to UNOPS fifth annual greenhouse gas emissions inventory, compiled at UNOPS headquarters in Copenhagen.

The report shows that 50 percent of UNOPS emissions are attributable to official travel, and 50 percent to facilities. The United Nations Environment Programme compiles emissions data annually for all UN organizations, the results of which are published in Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN.

This fifth greenhouse gas emissions inventory covers 50 reporting locations in over 40 countries and close to 3,500 personnel. Seven different sources of emissions are reported in the inventory.

Generators' usage produced the highest emissions for UNOPS offices around the world, representing one-third of corporate emissions in 2013. As in previous years, high emissions were also attributed to official travel, with air travel and vehicle fleets both contributing to one-quarter of the total.

However, between 2011 and 2013, UNOPS reduced its travel-related emissions by 10 percent and air travel emissions per person by 30 percent. The remaining one-fifth of UNOPS emissions in 2013 was produced from the use of electricity, public transport, steam for heating and refrigerants.

As part of the United Nations' goal of becoming climate neutral, and in line with UNOPS 2014-2017 strategic plan, the organization is increasingly incorporating sustainability into all of its projects. An important aspect of this is the measurement, reporting and reduction of UNOPS carbon footprint on an annual basis. Measuring our carbon footprint is an important first step, as what is not measured, cannot be managed. The inventory therefore helps the organization identify areas where it can reduce negative environmental, economic and social impacts, as well as increase efficiency.

UNOPS also works to reduce its emissions through a range of other initiatives. The organization is one of the leading UN agencies in sustainable procurement, regularly developing guidance, tools, training and pilot projects to procure more efficient, sustainable goods and services to achieve the organization's goals. UNOPS was awarded a gold level certificate by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply in March 2015, which recognizes the effectiveness of its sustainable procurement practices.

In 2013, UNOPS headquarters in Copenhagen was transferred to the highly energy-efficient LEED Platinum certified UN City building. With energy use under 50 kilowatt-hours per square meter per year, the building was granted a Low-Energy Class 1 rating, the most energy efficient rating in the Danish building code. Further, to better monitor and control the environmental impacts of our operations, an Environmental Management System is currently under development for both headquarters and field offices.