United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)


HQ: New York

Focal Point: William Abi Abdallah


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Key Figures: Waste


Key Figures: Water


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




UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress. UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children. UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. UNICEF aims, through its country programmes, to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social, and economic development of their communities.


Reduction efforts


Following the Senior Management’s endorsement of the action plan to improve the eco-efficiency of UNICEF operations, a dedicated team was created to support country offices, and UNICEF’s commitment to reducing emissions has been featured in UNICEF’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. 

UNICEF is committed to improving the efficiency of its operations in a number of ways:

  • Maintaining the Greening & Accessibility Fund which finances/co-finances selected energy and resource efficiency projects across UNICEF offices, in addition to accessibility improvement projects.
  • Supporting offices in identifying the projects that contribute most to improving their eco-efficiency. Offices around the world have started undertaking energy and water audits to identify the most feasible and impactful projects that contribute to lowering their environmental footprint and optimizing operational costs.

Inventory Management Plan


The 2016 Environmental Footprint Assessment captures emissions data from all offices, covering all HQ, Regional Offices, Country Offices, in addition to 260 other facilities, including guesthouses, zone/subnational offices, and warehouses.




UNICEF has offset all emissions through the purchase of carbon credits from the Adaptation Fund through UNFCCC.


Other environmental measures


Several offices systematically started to monitor and reduce water use and waste production, and/or encourage behavior change among staff through regular events, briefings or information campaigns. The Environmental Footprint Assessment also gathered information on backup generators, vehicles, type of lighting used at offices, water, and paper use to facilitate office-specific recommendations for reductions of the Environmental Footprint. In addition, UNICEF staff are participating in knowledge exchange regarding greening UNICEF through internal communication networks and/or office greening committees.


Next steps


Following the results of the energy and water audits, and inventory of the prescribed projects to reduce our environmental impact will be prepared, and projects will be systematically rolled out across all regions over the next 4 years.

An assessment of UNICEF’s e-waste flow is currently being prepared, focusing on e-waste generation from selected UNICEF offices in Africa & Asia.