Greening the GC
UNEP is organizing the 25th session of its Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC25/GMEF) in Nairobi in February 2009. In order to align this important event with the overall ambition of UNEP to move towards climate neutrality and improved sustainability, GC25/GMEF will be organized in an as green way as possible so as to minimize its carbon footprint. This means that all significant environmental aspects and impacts will be minimized, including waste management, catering, and water use as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions including mitigation measures and GHG emission offsets. The experiences gained from this effort are expected to feed into a framework for organizing future climate neutral and green UNEP GC/GMEF meetings.
By “greening” the GC25/GMEF, the aim is to include all footprint aspects of the conference, and minimize and mitigate negative impacts to the extent possible, and enhance potential positive impacts. Activities will include:
- Ensuring the application of sound environmental performance at the conference venue.
- Providing recommendations to participants on how to “go green” in Nairobi through the Green Guide (coordinated local transport, choice of hotel etc).
By arranging a climate neutral GC25, UNEP will minimize the emissions of greenhouse gases and purchase offsets. Activities will include:
- Provide information on the GHG emissions related to the international air travel of all participants.
- Develop a GHG inventory covering all participants sponsored by UNEP. The inventory will cover international travel, local travel (taxi), conference and stay in Nairobi.
- UNEP will offset the GHG emissions caused by participants where the cost of travel is covered by UNEP.
- UNEP will recommend all other participants to offset for GHG emissions caused by air travel, and GHG emissions caused during the stay in Nairobi.
+ Examples of UNEP Actions to Minimize the GC25 Carbon Footprint
- Preference will be given to the most environmentally appropriate goods and services procured for GC25.
- Conference materials will be distributed on CD-ROMs, posted on the Web, e-mailed or put on a memory stick in order to reduce paper waste.
- Recyclable paper is used when printing cannot be avoided.
- Conference printing will be done using and recycles paper, printed in double sided format on an Energy Star certified printer. Recycled toner cartridges will also be used in all printers and photocopiers.
- Use reusable dry-mark erasable boards or blackboards, overheads and slides instead of paper flip charts.
- All dishes, cutlery, and linens are reusable.
- Purchase locally grown produce, local food supplies and locally produced beverages
- Collect food wastes for composting and/or supply to farmers for livestock feed.
- Ensure that the energy saving features of all electronic equipment are enabled (e.g. double sided printing pre-programmed).
- Collect used camera batteries for recycling or proper disposal.
- Prepare separate report or brochure about the meeting’s green aspects (describing lessons learned and encouraging others) to be placed on the conference website or distributed electronically to participants.
- Set up an information booth in the exhibition area- i.e. the main lobby- on the greening efforts before, during and after the GC25.
- Materials are to include posters on greening initiatives, “green” and environmentally friendly measures and activities on the Gigiri compound, the local recycling options in Kenya and copies of the green meeting guide.
+ Further Resources
- Greener" Accommodation
- Organizations that self-sponsored participants can use to offset for their greenhouse gas emissions: