Corporate Environmental Responsibility

Project areas

Since 2008, FAO has been active in implementing several green projects that helped reduce the Organization's environmental impact. A few examples follow.

Energy Efficiency and Shift to Renewables

  • Solar PV installations to reduce reliance on fuel and ensure business continuity;
  • Lighting upgrades to utilize more efficient systems and reduce electricity consumption;
  • 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;
  • Investment in renewable energy sources through Guarantees of Origin (GO);
  • Advanced energy monitoring systems;
  • Optimization of energy usage transitioning to smarter technologies for data storage;
  • Installation of solar heating systems.

Waste Management

  • Reducing the overall amount of waste produced;
  • Recycling materials;
  • Reusing materials when possible;
  • Ban of single-use plastic progressively implemented in a growing number of Decentralized Offices;
  • Ongoing communication and awareness raising to recycle properly and habitually.

Water Management

  • Upgraded technologies and water-saving solutions;
  • Awareness-raising on water scarcity and sustainable use of water in urban contexts.

Travel and Transportation

  • Reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions associated with FAO duty travels;
  • Awareness raising towards avoiding travel when possible and preferring virtual meetings and conferences;
  • Travelling by train rather than airplane when possible, as a more sustainable mode of transport;
  • Reduction of UN owned or leased fleet at Headquarters and in Decentralized Offices.

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;

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;
  • Paper-smart and plastic-free conferences;
  • Sustainable menus during cocktails and coffee-breaks;
  • Awareness raising towards visitors and attendees to encourage participation in this initiative;
  • Offsetting carbon emissions associated with events.

Environmental Management Systems

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) have the potential to help FAO achieve robust, continuous, and long-term improvements in environmental performance. In line with the ISO-14001 and EMAS standards, FAO has developed an EMS for Headquarters, one for the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) and is working on developing the EMS in other Decentralized Offices as well.