UN Missions Discuss UN’s Environmental Sustainability Management

2 February 2012: The UN Greening the Blue Campaign has announced that the UN has held its first meeting with diplomatic missions to the UN on the UN's environmental sustainability management. The meeting was designed to share lessons and best practices on sustainability initiatives, and included presentations by the Green Diplomacy programmes of Chile and the UK.

According to Greening the Blue, the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has committed to a Zero Carbon Programme, which aims to identify practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Similarly, the UK Mission's Green Team is promoting practical steps to create an environmentally-friendly work place, setting targets for reductions in paper use, waste generation and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

As the communication platform for the UN system's Climate Neutral Strategy, and with the support of the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Sustainable UN facility, the UN has developed common systems to coordinate sustainability efforts. The newly-renovated UN Secretariat building is expected to reduce emissions at UN Headquarters by over 40 percent, and a newly established senior-level steering group will set the pace for further action.

Greening the Blue reports that, at the meeting on "Sharing Lessons and Best Practices on Sustainability Initiatives," one participant called for the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) to include a call to the UN to move towards environmental sustainability in its own operations. [UN Greening the Blue Press Release]