United Nations Volunteers (UNV)


HQ: Bonn, Germany

Focal Point: Heidi Nabel-Meyer


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Key Figures: Waste 


Executive Coordinator's Message


Climate change impacts all of us. Addressing this challenge, while at the same time protecting the most vulnerable, will require the energy and solidarity of every citizen. Through voluntary action all of us can take responsibility and make a contribution. Volunteerism has been a key driver of the global environmental movement, mobilizing communities all over the world. Incorporating volunteerism is crucial for communities to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse environmental situations. Taken together, all our small actions can lead to big results. Our UN Volunteers contribute to community resilience for local climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, with a focus on climate change adaptation through people-centred approaches. UN Volunteers offer technical assistance in natural resource management, sustainable biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation, and encourage civil society to take responsibility for their environment.”

Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator, UNV




Volunteering brings benefits to both society and the individual. It contributes to a more cohesive society by building trust and reciprocity among citizens.

The UNV programme supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism. It serves the causes of peace and development by enhancing opportunities for participation by all peoples. It is universal, inclusive and embraces volunteer action in all its diversity. It values free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.


Experience so far


At the HQ level, UNV continues to strive to reduce emissions where possible. For example, the UN Bonn Green Team negotiated a job-related public transit ticket for all UN Agency staff based in Bonn, UNV purchased multiple bicycles that staff can borrow during and after office hours, a travel policy was put in place and an online Recycling brochure was created to inform staff of the numerous local recycling options and requirements.

UNV is fully aware of the significant emissions which result from the travel of UNV volunteers from almost 160 different countries providing support to the work of the UN in more than 130 countries. In a globalized world where capacity-building is essential, UNV tries to promote South-South capacity-building in an environmentally conscious way.




UNV has been carbon neutral since 2012.


UNV case studies