Corporate Environmental Responsibility in UNFPA

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is committed not only to promoting sustainable global development, but to leading by example by reducing our own carbon footprint. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering an organizational culture based on the conscious use of resources is essential to ensure the health and well-being of current and future generations, particularly women and girls. Investing in the human potential of today’s young people must go hand in hand with investing in the environment they will inherit. That is the key to sustainable development.

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

  • Since 2008, UNFPA has adhered to the UN Movement towards Climate Neutrality and committed to reduce its environmental footprint in the areas of facilities management, travel, organizational culture and organizational processes (e.g. sustainable procurement, paperless administration).
  • In the past 9 years, UNFPA has monitored the carbon footprint of its functional operations and achieved a reduction of 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent per person (-16%) compared to our baseline of 2008.
  • UNFPA is Climate neutral since 2014 and is committed to continue to offset its unavoidable emissions every year in order to keep the climate neutral status. 

A Climate Neutral UNFPA - What are we doing?

UNFPA's 2016 organization-wide environmental footprint assessment showed that its overall greenhouse emissions amounted to 19,283 tCO2eq. This translates into 5.13 tCO2 per personnel. This means that since measuring our emissions UNFPA has achieved a per capita reduction of emissions of 1 tonne of CO2eq or 16%.

Our Inventory Management Plan explains in detail the boundaries and methodology used for measuring our emissions.

UNFPA has offset its emissions by purchasing and cancelling Certified Emission Reductions. So UNFPA is climate neutral since 2014 well ahead of the 2020 deadline provided by the Secretary General.

Since July 2015 UNFPA has imposed an organisation wide carbon surcharge of 2% on travel tickets issued by the organisation. By collecting this surcharge UNFPA can further invest in its environmental sustainability efforts around the globe and in continuous offsetting of its emissions.

2016 was the first year UNFPA established electronic waste recycling at UNFPA Headquarter avoiding 1281 lbs of electronic waste to be disposed in landfills and instead being reused and recycled in accordance with highest standards.


Bar graph illustrating annual CO2e emissions in tonnes from 2008-2016 Chart showing annual per capita emissions by tonne with trend line from 2008 to 2016
Vehicles (in tonnes CO2e) air travel (in tonnes CO2e) Electricity in tonnes
Cooling (in tonnes CO2e) Heating (in tonnes CO2e) Generator (in tonnes CO2e)