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In Focus


Step by Step is a group of enthusiastic volunteers working within the Girgiri UN Compound in Nairobi. At the moment, colleagues from UNON, UN Habitat and UNEP are involved. What connects us is caring for the environment. We believe that we can change our compound to a sustainable working environment. Step by Step and if everybody takes that step.

We meet every two weeks at the main cafeteria, on Thursdays during lunch time (12.30pm). We discuss in a very practical way what we can do to grow towards a sustainable working environment. At events but just as well in our daily office life we create awareness and discuss minor and major issues within our possibilities.

SBS objectives:

  1. To continuously improve the environmental, economic & social performance at the UN Gigiri complex in Nairobi, Kenya.

  2. By “practicing what we preach,” serve as catalyst for possible adoption of similar initiatives in greater Kenya and the region.

  3. Provide leadership within the entire UN system, as per mandate of EMG and the SG to become carbon neutral

Our success stories,

In close collaboration with UNON we achieved the following:

  • SBS conducted an assessment of practices at the UN Gigiri complex in November 2004, collecting data on the ground and using data provided by UNON and others. Details are available on Resources and Information

  • Dual-flush toilets installed (50% of the toilets)

  • Paper-saving toilet tissue dispensers installed

  • Recycling receptacles available outside the UN Commissary, petrol station as well as the Near Zero station which separates waste into paper, plastic ( different), organic, glass, metal

  • Commissary promotes the use of reusable shopping bags and offers fair trade and organic products

  • Lighting in office corridors reduced

  • UV film installed at some windows

  • Nature Trail Shop inaugurated last year

  • Installation of energy saving bulbs

What are we doing?

For WED we have asked all offices of UNEP, UNON, and UN Habitat to fill in an inventory list to get an idea of he level of awareness about green office issues of our colleagues, as well as the degree of implementation in each Division/Regional Office.

We are also trying to set in place a number of water and energy saving measures as well as waste management practices by or shortly after this year's WED.

Finally, SBS supports the establishment of an Environmental Management System (EMS) for UNEP, which is supposed to be set up by a steering committee, which in turn, we hope to launch on WED.Otherwise, we have a number of awareness raising activities, including info brochures, stickers, etc. which we try to place at strategic locations during major events for example the GC/GMEF.

Want to support us?

If you are committed to the environment and are not afraid to choose for a creative or different approach, we would be happy if you can join our meetings or contact us to give us feedback.

Write to: stepbystep@unep.org