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In Focus

  • UNEP's Gigiri Eco-building
  • A walk around the new United Nations Environment Programme “Green building” is breathtaking. The four-block complex located on the vast 140-acre piece of land in Gigiri has everything and anything you would call green.From the glorious thematic landscaping to the natural lighting, the building is a true picture of what countries should embrace as they move towards a green economy. >>More

  • Launch of Greening UN website
  • On World Environment Day,June 5 2009, www.unep.org/sustainability was launched. The site aims to be a platform for inspiration and creating awareness.

    Through this new website we want to inspire individual UN Staff members to support and contribute to a greener UN and a greener lifestyle. Worldwide awareness and knowledge on the environment will be stimulated and inspired.

    Initially this website is focusing on UN in Nairobi, where the UNEP Headquarters is based. Together with UNON and UN Habitat many initiatives have been undertaken to green Gigiri, the UN Compound in Nairobi. With time, we stimulate to include examples and success stories from many other UN duty stations!

  • Greenest Office
  • In relation to the 2009 World Environment Day, Step by Step asked all UNEP Divisions and Regional Offices together with UNON and UN Habitat to take stock of their office facilities. The offices were asked to provide information on issues, such as the number of printers per staff member, whether double sided printing was installed or whether screen savers have been turned off. Also the number of desk lamps with or without power saving bulbs and the presence of private electronic appliances has been assessed.

    Within UNEP, 15 out of 16 offices have replied. We want to thank you for all the replies! UNON and UN Habitat will launch their stock-taking on WED and the results will be published after 12 June.

    This exercise gives a good overview of which practices of environmental housekeeping are currently in place. Besides that UNEP and UNON are planning to set up an Environmental Management System (EMS). The results of this survey will help in setting up the EMS.

    This year's greenest office is:

     UNEP ROLAC (Panama)!!

    Number two is UNEP ROE (Geneva) and number three is UNEP DEPI.  Soon a full overview of the stock-taking exercise can be taken on www.unep.org/sustainability.

    Besides that we would like to mention a number of offices who have set up interesting and green initiatives to support the environment. Some offices do not have personal water boilers, others have automatic light switches in their bathrooms. The Geneva office even purchased a hybrid car as their official vehicle!

  • Green Office Competition
  • Next year the stock-taking exercise will be turned into a Green Office Competition between all offices, and held annually on World Environment Day. Let’s see who the winner will be!

    In the mean time, we would like to encourage you to keep your office as environmentally friendly as possible. Be an active part of all the greening activities that are going on within the UN!!

    In addition to the stock-taking exercise Step by Step has initiated the following activities:

  • Future activities
  • Step by Step is also working with UNON to install motion sensor lights and dual flush systems in all bathrooms. We also collaborate with the Cafeterias and coffee stations on the compound to phase out all plastic cups and aluminum wrapping. And, we will provide coffee stations with extra buckets to collect organic waste separately from other waste.

    Your help is needed

    Although this should go without saying: Step by Step only has limited capacities. Greening the compound really depends on each and every staff member. So, don't forget: the aggregate is made up of all individual contributions and yours counts too!