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Greening UNHCR

Climate change and displacement

Greening UNHCR

At UNHCR, we are working to decrease our own carbon footprint and environmental impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, solarizing offices and improving the sustainability of our supply chain.
A UNHCR staff member plants a tree.

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UNHCR is fast-tracking efforts to minimize our environmental footprint

At UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, we are working to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, solarizing offices and greening our fleet. UNHCR has set an ambitious environmental goal to decrease our environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 30 per cent from 2018 levels by 2030.

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Transitioning to renewable energy  

UNHCR’s transition from fossil fuel-based energy resources to renewable energy sources is part of the UN’s wider commitment to “Greening the Blue”. We are working to transform our infrastructure, fleet and travel to minimize our environmental footprint. We are also solarizing our offices, installing energy metering systems, greening our fleet, and automating how we collect and visualize our environmental data.

Initiatives such as the Green Finance Facility, UNHCR’s innovative funding mechanism, will further support the organization’s transition from fossil fuel-based energy resources to renewable energy sources.


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Procuring sustainable supplies

We are also incorporating climate considerations into all areas of our supply chain for relief items, including planning, sourcing, manufacturing processes, procurement, delivery and lifecycle management. This includes improving the sustainability of our end-to-end supply chain for core relief items, such as tents, blankets, and sleeping mats. While these supplies are key components of our humanitarian assistance, an initial evaluation indicated that core relief items collectively represent some 60 per cent of UNHCR’s total greenhouse gas emissions. In response, we are working with our suppliers to reduce the use of virgin plastic materials and increase the proportion of recycled materials used.

UNHCR is on track to achieve a 20 per cent reduction of carbon emissions that stem from the procurement, delivery and utilization of relief items by 2025.