UN and French flags in UNESCO's urban garden at HQ in Paris, France

UNESCO's Environmental Commitment and Policy

"I am strongly committed to making environmental considerations central to all of UNESCO’s operations, facilities and activities, drawing on our expertise from many successful UNESCO programmes in the area of environmental sustainability and climate action. We need to bring about sustainability from within." Audrey Azoulay - UNESCO Director-General

UNESCO's environmental sustainability management

UNESCO is strongly committed to environmental protection and climate action. A broad range of UNESCO programmes specifically support Member States to implement the Paris Agreement and reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through education, the sciences, culture and communication and information.

UNESCO also puts strong emphasis on making its own facilities, operations and programme activities environmentally friendly and on integrating environmental considerations into policies and guidelines, in line with the UN System Strategy for Sustainability Management (2020-2030). This is why UNESCO is setting up an Environmental Management System (EMS) in line with the ISO 14001 standard, addressing the organization’s long-term environmental performance.

The key objectives of UNESCO’s Environmental Sustainability and Management Policy are:

  • Fully account for the externalities imposed by UNESCO’s own operations and facilities.
  • Minimize any possible negative impact on the environment through targeted measures and continuous improvement, and contribute positively to protecting the environment and communities in which the Organization operates.
  • Achieve climate neutrality by systematically measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and offsetting all emissions that cannot be reduced.

Resources

UNESCO’s Environmental Sustainability and Management Policy
May 2021
UNESCO
0000377627
Staff guide for a green UNESCO, 2021
2020
UNESCO
0000375334
Strategy for Sustainability Management in the UN System 2020-2030
United Nations
2 May 2019

Contact information

Any person or entity that is aware of or concerned by possible harm to the environment caused by UNESCO’s facilities, operations, programmes or projects, may contact environment(at)unesco.org