International Organization for Migration (IOM)

HQ: Geneva, Switzerland

Focal Point: Eva Mach



Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


*2017 emissions cover IOM's HQs, 7 regional offices and one country office - and not for all IOM.


** Please note that the following information was last updated November 2017 **




IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts with its partners in the international community to:

  • Assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management.
  • Advance understanding of migration issues.
  • Encourage social and economic development through migration.
  • Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.

Note: mission statement available here.


Experience so far


IOM recognizes that a healthy environment is intrinsically linked to the well-being and resilience of migrants and host communities. In 2017, IOM launched its institutional programme of work on environmental sustainability. It has made an institutional commitment to improve the sustainability of its operations at the strategic, programmatic and facility levels, focusing on three key areas: energy, water and waste management. After joining the United Nations Environment Management Group in 2017 and in order to adhere to United Nations sustainability standards, it carried out an organization-wide mapping exercise that identified over 100 IOM projects with an environmentally sustainable component (implemented since 2012) and piloted the first greenhouse gas inventory in line with international standards (ISO 14001) at Headquarters and in one Regional and one Country Office. It also initiated new partnerships in line with the Organization’s commitment to a Climate Neutral United Nations and has been contributing to policy level discussions in order to highlight the significance of environmentally sustainable practices in migration management activities.


Reduction efforts


IOM has a variety of policy tools aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the organization. For example, as per IOM’s Air Travel Policy (2009), all IOM official travel, including that of senior management, are in economy class. IOM also encourages the use of video-conferencing as an alternative to travel activities. Furthermore, according to IOM’s Procurement Policy, local procurement is favored where feasible in order to promote local development and to reduce carbon footprint deriving from transportation.

IOM also incorporates environmental sustainability through its project programming. IOM’s Project Handbook, the primary reference material internally for project design, highlights environmental sustainability as a guiding principle.

IOM is institutionally committed to work towards environmental sustainability by setting up an environmental management system by 2025 in line with international standards.