World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Geneva, Switzerland

Focal Point: Carlo Tancredi



Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions

Key figures: Waste

Key Figures: Water




The vision of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is that, by 2030, all nations, especially the most vulnerable, will be more resilient to the socioeconomic impact of extreme weather, water, climate and other environmental events, and be empowered to boost their sustainable development through the best possible services, whether over land, at sea or in the air.

Experience so far


The WMO building was designed in 1999 to minimize the environmental and climate impact by mixing modern and traditional technology such as the use of a Canadian well for building ventilation. The intake air circulates permanently through pipes buried in the ground at a depth that guarantees a stable temperature, in order to preheat intake air in winter and precool it in summer, all without using energy. WMO is now focusing on technical installations in order to reduce its building’s environmental impact by using new technology and green energy.

EMS and Reduction efforts

WMO is working on several fronts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions:

  • Increased use of remote translation for WMO conferences;
  • Replacement of paper by the distribution of electronic documents and publications;
  • Collection and recycling of paper, old computers, printer toners and batteries;
  • A model has been developed to compute the CO2 emissions for international conferences with participants from across the globe. This model is being introduced in practice to enable “minimum emissions” criteria for selecting meeting venues;
  • Development and widespread use of tele- and video-conferencing in order to limit travel to the strict minimum;
  • Development of teleworking which was formally introduced in 2018;
  • Development of a system for the circulation and archiving of documents, with the aim of zero paper use, which has been in place since June 2016. As of [DATE, e.g. “December 2018”, or similar] 17,175 documents have been circulated and shared, thereby avoiding printing and mailing;
  • A centralized selective sorting waste system has been set up on each floor of the WMO building and the individual office’s bins have been removed;
  • Connection of the WMO’s building to the Geneva Lake Nation  project, which uses geothermal technology for cooling and heating by deploying water drawn from Lake Geneva;
  • Installation of solar panels on the roof of our building.



The WMO has offset its entire greenhouse gas emissions since 2014 by buying certified emission reductions from the Adaptation Fund, as well as through an agreement with the UNFCCC secretariat.

Next steps


The WMO approach is consistent with the CEB statement “Moving towards a climate-neutral United Nations” and the “Strategy for a climate-neutral United Nations” developed by the EMG.

WMO has been mandated by its Executive Council to develop a climate-friendly operations concept that includes a greenhouse gas emissions inventory, baseline analysis, and targets and measures for reduction of carbon emissions. The aim is to achieve the appropriate balance between targets and associated resource requirements so that that priority services to Members are not compromised.

WMO continues to pursue efforts to modernize its business practices to reduce carbon emissions deriving from its operations, particularly through increased use of tele- and videoconferencing and consolidating meetings, to the extent possible within the current programme and budget.

The WMO also raises awareness, promotes and advocates for climate-friendly practices among the staff, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, meteorological and hydrological communities, and the general public.

WMO Members and Staff Associations collaborate on the organization’s greening, with staff being the source of many of the initiatives. In the future WMO will further improve the energy efficiency of its building, advocate for green procurement, introduce green office/workshop practices, and optimize travel.

WMO and the environment