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Corporate Environmental Responsibility


Since 2008, FAO has been active in lowering its environmental impact by monitoring its emissions through annual Greenhouse Gas Inventories and implementing several green projects (see list of projects below). The Organization’s carbon footprint has already been reduced by 29% and many other projects (not strictly related to carbon neutrality) have been implemented in other areas of work that have an environmental impact (e.g. water and waste management, sustainable procurement, sustainable events). This work allowed FAO to overall decrease its ecological footprint, but there is long way ahead of us to keep improving our environmental performance.

Energy Efficiency and Savings

  • Lighting upgrades to utilize more efficient systems and technologies;
  • Building facade improvements to improve insulation and staff comfort;
  • Meeting room and common area improvements include smart control systems and sensors;
  • Major equipment upgrades such as elevators, heating and air conditioning units;
  • Solar PV installations and Guarantees of Origin (GO);
  • Advanced energy monitoring systems.

Waste Management

  • Reducing the overall amount of waste produced;
  • Reusing materials when possible;
  • Recycling properly and habitually;
  • Ongoing communication and awareness raising.

Travel and Transportation

  • Reduce unnecessary travel and enhancing tele/web-conferencing facilities;
  • Encourage bundling trips together;
  • Use more sustainable travel methods such as trains over air travel;
  • Choosing economy over business and first class when suitable.

Sustainable Procurement

  • Life-cycle analysis and environmental standards incorporated into procurement process where possible without compromising best value for the money principle;
  • Awareness raising through Sustainable Procurement Training;
  • UN-wide collaboration and framework agreements for sustainable vendors and partners;
  • To find out more, click here.

Sustainable Events

  • Reduction of waste associated with meetings and conferences resulting from printing and also plastic water bottles;
  • Incorporating energy and efficiency measures such as lighting in the meeting room as well as smart control systems;
  • Use of sustainable materials for furniture such as bamboo and other eco-friendly products in conference rooms;
  • Awareness raising towards visitors and attendees to encourage participation in this initiative;
  • Offsetting carbon emissions associated with events.

FAO Headquarters Environmental Management System

FAO developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) for the operational activities related to the products and services provided by FAO Headquarters (HQ). The FAO HQ EMS follows the UN Environmental Management System Milestones Framework, primarily based on the ISO-14001 and EMAS standards. This EMS contains:

  • The FAO Corporate Environmental Responsibility Policy;
  • Statements of responsibility and authority;
  • An overview of the company’s environmental procedures and controls;
  • The identification of the resources and training allocated to management, performance of work and verification activities including internal audit;
  • The appointment of the Environmental Management Representative (EMR);
  • The arrangement for periodic management reviews.