United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)


Geneva, Switzerland

Focal Point: Angus Mackay


Key figures


Key figures: Waste


** Please note that the following information was last updated November 2009 **



UNITAR's mission is to deliver innovative training and conduct research on knowledge systems to develop the capacity of beneficiaries. Building on our experience, we optimize expertise, information and knowledge-sharing to achieve this mission.

Experience so far

  • Introduced recycled paper, with printers automatically set to print on both sides
  • Plan to set up an Emissions Reductions Team
  • Produced a Frequently Asked Questions for Staff about UNITAR becoming climate-neutral
  • Set up a climate-neutral task force to coordinate UNITARs commitment to becoming carbon-neutral
  • Plan to introduce sustainable travel measures such as coordinating travel at UNITAR

Reduction efforts

The goal of continuously reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be achieved by:

  • Strengthening networks of regional training institutions to reduce travel distances to workshop sites
  • Limiting, whenever possible, the number of UNITAR representatives in international meetings and training
  • workshops
  • Introducing modern video-conferencing facilities
  • Encouraging UNITAR staff to engage in daily energy saving measures


For 2008 UNITAR will offset 100% of all emissions included in the 2008 greenhouse gas Inventory (i.e. staff travel and Headquarters office emissions) and from January 2009 on, new project documents and budget proposals will not be approved by the Executive Director, unless they include a climate-neutral component. For 2009, the Institute has set the goal of offsetting:

  • 100% of the greenhouse gas emissions from all its office locations
  • 100% of emissions originating from staff travel
  • 50% of emissions from travel of workshop participants and trainees.

By 2010, the Institute plans to offset 100% of the emission originating from participants travel to be consistent with the 2008 CEB decision that all emissions will be offset through the Clean Development Mechanism.

Next steps

UNITAR is committed to measure and continuously reduce and offset the emissions of greenhouse gases associated with its operations at Headquarters, out posted offices and training activities in the field.

  • Starting in 2009, the Institute will establish a tracking and monitoring system to calculate emissions of greenhouse gases per person trained and units of training delivered
  • The Institute will pursue a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions per person trained and unit of training delivered. The envisioned reduction goal of the Institute’s carbon footprint per unit of training delivered is 50% by 2012, using 2008 data as a baseline
  • All remaining emissions will be compensated with an increasingly robust carbon offsetting programme

UNITAR and sustainability
UNITAR case studies