Greening the Blue Report 2020

The UN System’s Environmental Footprint and Efforts to Reduce it

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The 2020 report provides a snapshot of the UN System’s environmental impacts throughout 2019, and the activities underway to reduce them. This year’s report includes 2019 data on greenhouse gas emissions, waste, water, and environmental management from nearly 60 entities across the UN System, representing approximately 310,000 personnel. It shows that in 2019 the UN System emitted ~2 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq)– or 6.5 tCO2eq per capita. This is a further decrease since 2010, when the per capita emissions were 8.3 tCO2eq. According to Greening the Blue, in 2019, 43% of the UN’s greenhouse gas impact was from its facilities (headquarter offices, field offices, warehouses etc.), 45% from air travel, and 12% from other modes of travel. The report also shows that 97 per cent of the System’s reported greenhouse gas emissions were offset via the purchase of carbon credits from the Clean Development Mechanism. The most important action in a trajectory to climate neutrality is however emissions reductions. The report shows how, in 2019, 28 UN entities, five more than the previous year, are engaged in implementing environmental management systems. A number of best practices show how these efforts are operated at ground level and what concrete results they have been able to obtain.

Sustainable Development Goals:


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