16.03.2021 - UNESCO

Towards a Green UNESCO: New Guide for Staff launched

UNESCO is stepping up its environmental commitments. To accompany a series of organizational changes that are currently under way, a new Staff Guide for a Green UNESCO, a hands-on guidebook written by staff for staff, was released earlier this year.

The UN Strategy for Sustainability Management 2020-2030 has set ambitious targets for all UN organizations to improve their environmental performance, aiming notably to accomplish a 45% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2010 levels.

In the framework of the establishment of an Environmental Management System, UNESCO has committed to progressively integrate environmental sustainability into all policies and practices of its administrative and management function. This has already resulted in a series of concrete changes over the past year, such as the establishment of an internal carbon tax on air travel, and a new waste management system at Headquarters.

Yet, such a transformation cannot be achieved without UNESCO’s most valuable asset: its staff. The Staff Guide for a Green UNESCO aims to foster green behaviour across the organization on a day-to-day basis, be it at the office, when travelling on mission or while telecommuting. It has been elaborated by 15 committed colleagues from Young UNESCO and the Environmental Management Working Group, under the guidance and coordination of the Sector for Administration and Management.

It provides concrete tips to reduce one’s environmental footprint in their daily work and actively contribute to greening UNESCO. It contains nine parts – from commuting, office life, events and missions, lunch breaks and greening at home. Comprehensive figures and facts, as well as examples of good practices across UNESCO’s Headquarters and Field offices, complement and support the list of action-driven solutions.

These clear, simple tips can be useful to anyone concerned about reducing their impact on the environment, including members of Permanent Delegations and National Commissions for UNESCO. We invite you to take a look at the guide, find out more about current practices at Headquarters and in the Field, and possibly engage in some green action at your own workplace.

- Click here to access the staff guide (available in English and French).

- For any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact the Executive Office of the Sector for Administration and Management at environment(at)unesco.org. Kindly note that some of the links for further reading on good practices are only accessible from UNESCO’s intranet. Please also write to environment(at)unesco.org if you would like to receive the content of specific articles or resources. 



-          Environmental Sustainability at UNESCO

-          UNESCO makes the grade in UN Greening the Blue report


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