The UN Secretariat Office of Information and Communica- tions Technology (OICT) is in the process of implementing ICT Guidelines for Greening and Environmental Sustain- ability for the Secretariat. The guidelines, developed as part of the ICT Fast Forward Programme, promote high- level climate neutral and green ICT procurement practices to achieve GHG emissions reduction and reduce the waste of energy and paper.
The guidelines include: Recommendations on standards for acquisition of envi- ronmentally-friendly ICT equipment; Guidelines on replacement and disposal of old equipment; Recommendations concerning consolidation of equip- ment and server rooms to save energy;
Successful implementation of the Green ICT guidelines will therefore result in reduction of paper and power consump- tion, promotion of greening initiatives and a better work environment.
UN Headquarters in New York: ICT Electronic Measures •
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Proposals for reducing the number of peripheral de- vices such as desktop printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines; Measures to reduce paper consumption by using dou- ble-sided printing and document digitizing solutions; Green business processes such as electronic document workflow and electronic signatures; and Promoting new methods of work by using telepres- ence and telecommuting technology for reducing travel needs.
Sustainable procurement The ability of the UN to move towards climate neutral- ity depends to a large extent on its ability to identify and purchase services and equipment with a reduced life-cycle climate impact. Fuel-efficient vehicles, ener- gy-efficient office equipment, building systems that allow better control of energy usage, goods and com- modities with a lower life-cycle climate impact are examples of measures that can make a difference. Be- cause of the critical role of the UN procurement system, another EMG work stream has focussed on sustainable procurement for the past two years, alongside its work on climate-neutrality. This work will be integrated with the climate neutral work in 2010, contributes directly to the UN’s ability to move towards climate neutral- ity. Supporting activities include the preparation of specific guidelines for 20 different product categories and the provision of training and information of staff. An on-line training kit is to be released in 2010. At the same time it is very important that sustainable pro- curement be applied in such a way as to avoid distort- ing markets or skewing suppliers’ access to UN’s inter- nal markets. Instead, sustainable procurement should be introduced gradually and with great care to adopt its interpretation to local conditions and requirements, and in accordance with respective UN organizations’ governing bodies’ decisions.
Twenty-one UN organizations are in the process of in- troducing, and building capacity on, sustainable pro- curement. Examples of product categories where sus- tainable procurement principles are already applied in some UN organizations include ICT, cleaning, office sta- tionery, vehicles, furniture, communications hardware, and office equipment.
Training and awareness A key requirement for successful implementation of the UN Climate Neutral Strategy is to gain the full sup- port of the staff. While most UN staff are well aware of the challenge that climate change poses and how they may address this through UN’s external work, they are often do not realize how they too can contribute to re- ducing the UN’s climate footprint. Training and aware- ness are consequently core activities.
Twenty-five UN organizations have undertaken vari- ous forms of staff training and awareness campaigns. Examples of activities include: Preparation of green office guides, which are shared with all staff; Establish “Green house rules”; Regular formal staff training sessions on climate neu- trality and improved greening practices, as well as in- formal sessions (brown bag lunches, “green learning afternoons”, etc); Compulsory on-line training for all staff in headquar- ters and field offices; Intranet sites highlighting efforts to reduce the cli- mate footprint, and usually also to improve the sus- tainability of the organization; Notice boards in common areas where the perfor- mance (energy use, waste generation etc) of each individual department within the organization is posted every month; Campaigns use of energy, water and paper, using multi-media, art installations, posters, handouts, roll- ing clips on TV monitors, etc; Using events and thematic days such as the World Environment Day, to highlight the role of staff in re- ducing the organization’s emissions;
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