The landscaping contractor, Diani Flowers, composts almost all organic waste produced on the compound. This includes garden waste such as grass, weed, leaves and small branches, and also organic waste from our catering firms and coffee points.
Gardening and landscaping on the Gigiri compound aims to use environmentally sensitive approaches including:
Not using of pesticides
Using only organic fertilizers
Phasing-out non-indigenous species
Re-introducing indigenous species
Allowing some areas to dry during dry season (i.e. no irrigation)
The Near Zero Station is a waste separation facility where all waste is sorted. Since its inauguration on World Environment Day 2008, garbage being sent for disposal has decreased by fifty percent.
Waste at the Near Zero Station is separated into:
Organic (for compost)
Garbage (i.e. remaining fractions)
The Nature Trail Shop is located near the petrol station and sells products from the Gigiri compound. No pesticides are used, and only organic fertilizers have been applied. The transportation from source to selling point is minimal. Items for sale include:
Fire wood (from pruning and wind falls)
Charcoal (wood from pruning and wind falls)
Spices (thyme, rosemary, oregano)
Tooth picks made out of acacia thorns
The man-made wetland inside the compound is used as storage of rainwater and treated waste water. The biodiversity of the wetland is amazing, with plentiful birdlife, fish and insects. Special care is taken when managing the wetland. We aim to keep some water areas cleared for the purpose of fish and certain birds, and yet allow the natural vegetation growth. The water in the wetland is also used for irrigation of the compound.
Wetland by UN Recreation Centre
The natural wetland by the UN Recreation Centre is the recipient of all treated waste water from the recreation centre. The biodiversity of the wetland is diverse with numerous birds, fish and insects. Some water areas are cleared for fish and certain birds, and natural vegetation growth is also permitted.
Charcoal is produced on the compound using wood from pruning and wind falls within the compound. The small scale production site is located along the Nature Trail.
All water from office facilities, washrooms and kitchens at Gigiri are led to the local waste water treatment plant. In 2007, a total of about 105,000 m3 (i.e. 2700 m3/m2 floor space) waste water was treated at the treatment plant.
This specific area of the compound has been allowed to grow naturally for the past few years. The result is a bushy and somewhat dry habitat with many birds in the thick vegetation.
A small team has been established to develop routines for systematic documentation of all activities relating to environmental aspects of Gigiri, and to ensure continuous improvement of the environmental performance at Gigiri. For each aspect (e.g. water use) the team is drafting specific objectives, including indicators to monitor progress and routines for monitoring and collecting of data.
Several ongoing initiatives exist to minimize the Gigiri compound's environmental footprint. Activities includeStep-by- Step campaigns for double-sided printing, and turning off lights and computers at the end of the day. UNEP's Division for Law and Environmental Conventions has also introduced a number of actions to reduce the consumption of energy and paper, and to green the procurement of goods.
Initiatives to reduce energy consumption at Gigiri include:
During World Environment Day 2008, UNON changed almost all desktop reading lights to low energy light bulbs;
Step-by-Step team initiated a “Turn-off-the-lights” campaign;
Printshop invested in low energy printing equipment;
Solar-driven lawn mover is operated on a trial basis at the front roundabout;
Solar heaters for hot water are used at the main Cafeteria and at the Recreation Centre;
Preparations for solar panels for electricity production at the new building are taking place.
Step-by-Step is a voluntary group of staff members at Gigiri who advocate for improving the environmental performance within the compound. Step-by-Step initiatives include:
Turning off lights;
Greening UNEP's 25th session of the Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum;
Using organic and locally produced food at the cafeterias;
Selling organic and Fair Trade produce at the UN Commissary.
Beekeeping also enhances the biodiversity of flowers and plants. There are several beehives on the Gigiri Compound, and the honey is for sale at the Nature Trail Shop.
The Printshop is part of the UN Office at Nairobi. Printshop staff have put tremendous efforts into improving the environmental performance of their operations in the last two years.
In December 2008, the Printshop was awarded an ISO 14001 certificate for its environmental management system.
The Gigiri Printshop is the first UN Printshop to get ISO 14001 certificate, and the second UN agency in the world to achieve the award.
Other UN printshops are showing great interest in the work of the Gigiri Printshop and have expressed keen interest to follow suit.