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WFP Dakar Office Reduces Emissions, Lowers Costs

World Food Programme27 May 2014: As part of the UN campaign 'Greening the Blue,' the World Food Programme's (WFP) regional bureau in Dakar, Senegal, undertook a campaign to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The WFP office saved US$18,000 and reduced emissions by 24% over the period 2010-2012.

The Dakar office's successful campaign included five steps, according to WFP Climate Neutral Officer Andy Cole. First, staff collected information about energy use and areas for improvement. The UN 'Green Champions,' employees who voluntarily promote sustainability efforts, in the Dakar bureau identified inefficiencies in, inter alia, air conditioning practices, printing and vehicle usage.

Next, the team prioritized key actions, selecting awareness raising as the number one priority. They then initiated an information campaign and monitored the results. From 2010-2012, the bureau decreased their grid-derived electricity use by 41,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) and diesel-powered generators consumed 3,000 less liters of fuel. As its final step, Cole explained, the office is seeking to maintain momentum by refreshing its awareness campaign in 2014.

The UN launched 'Greening the Blue' in 2010 to communicate the importance of sustainability to UN staff worldwide, highlight results both internally and externally and encourage staff to become involved. In 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on UN programmes and agencies to move their operations toward climate neutrality. [Greening the Blue Press Release] [Greening the Blue WFP Webpage] [IISD RS Story on UN Progress Towards Climate Neutrality]