HQ: Vienna, Austria
UNIDO is committed to achieving the UN-wide goal of climate neutrality. To this effect, it is the Organization’s goal to prepare annually and make publicly available a detailed analysis of its greenhouse gas emissions, to take steps to reduce these emissions wherever possible, and – subject to approval by its Governing Bodies – to offset those emissions which it cannot eliminate through emission- reduction credits purchased through the Clean Development Mechanism.
A UNIDO Climate Team tasked with coordinating the emissions calculation and ongoing reduction efforts has been established. The Climate Team developed specific methods and tools to come up with the most accurate estimates possible while trying to keep the reporting burden to a minimum. Furthermore, it continuously evaluates and develops ideas looking to improve the environmental performance of UNIDO. To date, a number of measures have been taken to raise awareness, reduce the footprint and encourage staff to reduce travel wherever possible.
Air travel emissions: Settings have been inserted in the Travel Authorization system, asking the authorizing party to confirm that the purpose of the travel cannot be achieved through video conferencing or similar. Also, travel authorizations state the amount of tons of greenhouse gas emissions the staff member has been responsible for in the last rolling 12 months, and each travel reservation lists the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the travel.
Building-related emissions: At Headquarters, UNIDO, which is in charge of buildings management for the entire Vienna International Centre, has already implemented a number of energy efficiency measures over the last few years.
Having gained a better understanding of the Organization’s footprint, UNIDO is currently analyzing the cost implications and exploring budgetary modalities of purchasing carbon offsets to reach climate neutrality. Several options available to the Organization are being explored and discussions regarding the possibility of partnerships and collaborations are ongoing.
Current indications from the analysis of its 2008 emissions are that the majority of UNIDO’s emissions can be attributed to air travel, energy use in its various offices worldwide, and the Organization’s, primarily project and field office, vehicles.
Air travel emissions: A number of initiatives have been implemented. UNIDO’s Climate Team is currently considering further options to further reduce emissions from this field of activity. Possibilities include a “tax” on air travel to discourage travel; a cross-the-board percentage reduction in travel; improvement of videoconferencing and other communication systems to reduce the need for physical travel; increased decentralization of project implementation responsibilities to field offices to reduce project-related travel from Headquarters.
Building-related emissions: Various options reducing these types of emissions, some identified in a recent energy audit, are being considered. In the field offices, a better understanding of UNIDO’s role and responsibilities in the management of the buildings where it rents office space is a pre requisite before further actions can be considered. Vehicles: Discussions on the introduction of benchmarks are ongoing, and the Climate Team is exploring the different options available.