Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

HQ: Geneva, Switzerland

Focal Point: Susan Bolvenkel-Prior


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions

Key Figures: Waste

Key Figures: Water


Executive Director’s message

“Climate disasters affect people living in low and middle income countries most drastically and have led to a gradual decline in health, hitting marginalized communities the hardest. Where people struggle to access basic resources such as food and water, conflict and abuse of human rights make their way, leading to an ever greater disempowerment of the most vulnerable populations, including people living with or affected by HIV. As the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, we must address the complex overlapping vulnerabilities of people and strengthen the resilience of health systems. Our action to mitigate climate change must start with our own reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, better waste management and more efficient water usage."

Gunilla Carlsson
Executive Director a.i., Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)



The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Experience so far


The UNAIDS Secretariat has successful collected data from field offices and HQ to complete its 10th annual GHG inventory.

EMS and Reduction efforts


The UNAIDS Secretariat adopted its second Emissions Reduction Strategy in 2016. The focus of the strategy is to sensitize staff to the consequences of both business and personal decisions on the environment and sustainability.



The UNAIDS Secretariat has signed an agreement with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to purchase 3,937 tons of offsets which will offset the Secretariat’s emissions resulting from its 2018 operations.  The Secretariat has offset its emissions from operations since 2012. 

Waste management


The Secretariat HQ is piloting a project to centralize office waste collection system which will improve waste sorting and reduce consumption of plastic garbage bags.  UNAIDS country offices are working to obtain information and data from office landlords on waste volumes and processes, information which can be challenging to obtain.

Water Management


UNAIDS Secretariat HQ will continue to work with its building facilities supplier to reduce water consumption and encourages country offices to obtain reliable data on water consumption and management.

Other environmental measures

In 2019, the Secretariat’s HQ has focussed on reducing single-use plastic and has switched from supplying water for meetings in plastic bottles and plastic cups to reusable glass carafes and water glasses which are filled with local tap water. Single-use plastic take-away food containers have been replaced with reusable containers. 

Next steps


UNAIDS Secretariat is considering ways in which to reduce air travel and to make its governance meetings as “paper free” as possible. 


UNAIDS case studies