United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

www.unops.org 

HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark

Focal Point: Nives Costa / Riikka Jalasvirta

Email: nivesc [at] unops.org

 

Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions

 
 

Key Figures: Waste

 
 

Executive Director's Message

 

“To ensure a fair future for all, the world must set out on a path towards sustainable development. The international community, including the UN family, must work together to find innovative approaches to the challenges posed by climate change.

At UNOPS, we are committed to delivering truly sustainable results both in the projects we implement on behalf of our partners, and in our approach to our internal operations.

Furthermore, we commit to report on and work to reduce our carbon footprint on an annual basis, while ensuring climate neutrality through the annual purchasing of certified emission reduction units.

To better serve people in need, we must ensure that our actions have a long-lasting, positive impact. Combating the effects of climate change is a major part of this.”


Grete Faremo, Executive Director, UNOPS

 

Mission

 

Our mission

Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development.

Our vision

Our vision is a world where people can live full lives supported by appropriate, sustainable and resilient infrastructure and by the efficient, transparent use of public resources in procurement and project management.

Our purpose

We help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development.

 

Experience so far

 
  • A network of focal points has been created around the world to measure UNOPS progress via the annual environmental inventory.
  • A corporate-level Executive Office Directive on Health, Safety, Social and Environmental Management has been promulgated, with requirements for managing environmental risks and impacts from UNOPS facilities and operations.
  • UNOPS has developed an environmental management system (EMS) for both its projects and facilities. Jerusalem was the first field office to fully implement the EMS and achieve ISO 14001 certification, and in 2018 we reached 15 certified offices. The EMS continues being rolled out at all UNOPS field offices.

A range of sustainability projects, such as in renewable energy, sustainable building construction and capacity development in sustainable procurement have been implemented.
 

EMS and Reduction efforts

 

While we have qualitative evidence that emission reductions and environmental benefits are already being generated through our ISO14001 certification, sustainable procurement guidance and other sustainability initiatives, we do not yet have a system in place for capturing quantitative information at an organizational level.

 

Inventory Management Plans 

 

UNOPS applies the principle of financial and operational control to define the boundaries of its inventory. UNOPS adheres to the UN-wide boundary for emission reporting, covering all sources of emissions included in the UN-wide reporting boundary. Continuous focus on quality of reports has allowed UNOPS to achieve a nearly total coverage of field offices, personnel and emissions sources.

 

Offsetting

 

UNOPS has been fully climate neutral since 2012. To offset its emissions, UNOPS has purchased its Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from quality projects in developing countries.

For its 2017 offsets, UNOPS has renewed its commitment to buy Gold Standard certified CERs, ensuring that climate finance delivers both emission reductions and long-term sustainable development outcomes.

 

Waste management

 

UNOPS has been fully climate neutral since 2012. To offset its emissions, UNOPS has purchased its Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from quality projects in developing countries.

For its 2017 offsets, UNOPS has renewed its commitment to buy Gold Standard certified CERs, ensuring that climate finance delivers both emission reductions and long-term sustainable development outcomes.

 

Water Management

 

UNOPS introduced a water reporting protocol in its offices in 2012. As part of its EMS, water conservation and management are mainstreamed into the organization’s projects. Data quality is still a challenge; it is still early to set water-related targets, but anecdotal evidence show clear improvement in the way offices and projects conserve and manage water.

 

Other environmental measures

 

The UN City building in Copenhagen, Denmark, which houses UNOPS headquarters, is a state-of-the-art building in terms of energy efficiency, water savings and environmental performance. The building is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum level. The roof is covered by solar panels that contribute to internal energy demand. Rainwater is harvested and used for the toilets, and it has been estimated that UN City will capture an average of almost 3 million litres of rainwater annually – almost enough to flush the entire building's toilets for a year. Water use in the building's toilets, kitchens and showers has also been reduced by more than 60 percent, thanks to the installation of low-flow taps and low-flush toilets.

 

Next steps

 

UNOPS is committed to continuously improving its environmental performance and to providing transparent reporting. In 2016, UNOPS became the one of the first UN organizations to publish a Sustainability Report, using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. In the coming years, UNOPS will work to improve the data included in the Sustainability Report.

  

UNOPS and sustainability

UNOPS case studies