International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Vienna, Austria

Focal Point: Paul J Kilmartin


Key Figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Key Figures: Waste

Key Figures: Water


Messages from the Director General

"Climate change is the biggest environmental challenge of our time. More and more countries are using nuclear technology to combat climate change. Nuclear power is an important source of clean low-carbon energy and has a significant role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear science also provides valuable data that help scientists to better understand climate change so that policymakers can make the right decisions. In addition, many non-power applications of nuclear energy help countries to adapt to some of the consequences of climate change which the world is already facing.”

Cornel Feruta, acting Director General



The International Atomic Energy Agency is an independent intergovernmental, science and technology-based organization, in the United Nations family, that serves as the global focal point for nuclear cooperation; assists its Member States, in the context of social and economic goals, in planning for and using nuclear science and technology for various peaceful purposes, including the generation of electricity, and facilitates the transfer of such technology and knowledge in a sustainable manner to developing Member States; develops nuclear safety standards and, based on these standards, promotes the achievement and maintenance of high levels of safety in applications of nuclear energy, as well as the protection of human health and the environment against ionizing radiation; verifies through its inspection system that States comply with their commitments, under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and other non-proliferation agreements, to use nuclear material and facilities only for peaceful purposes.

Experience so far


Vienna International Centre (VIC) energy provider “Wien Energie” has installed 3 heat pumps that produce district heating to the extent of 2000 households for the public system. The heating comes from the rejected heat of the cooler that operates the VIC. As of October 2019 this will be available all year around (except on days with 0° C or lower when free cooling is in operation).

On the basis of the production of roughly 20,000 MWh/year, Wien Energie calculate savings on CO² emissions for the whole VIC of approx. 3,470t CO²/year, taking into account the savings on necessary natural gas and the power requirement of the heat pumps. The system is operated by Wien Energie in the Utility Transfer Station.

EMS and reduction efforts


A draft EMS has been produced



Following on from the Vienna International Centre carbon neutral facility in 2016, the Agency has off set 100% of its emission of since 2015

Offset in 2017 was for 27,990 tons of CO2

Waste and water management


In partnership with the other Vienna Based Organisations located at Vienna International Centre, as a common services UNIDO – Building Maintenance Services takes the lead.

Next steps


IAEA plans on introducing an environmental management system (EMS).


For more information on sustainability activities at IAEA, please visit their website.

IAEA case studies