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Greenhouse gas mitigation strategy

  • In view of the challenges posed by climate change, the Secretary General of the UN has asked all UN agencies to “walk the talk” and to “lead by example”.

    In 2007, the UN Chief Executive Board adopted a Climate Neutral Strategy, committing all UN organisations, funds and programmes to move towards climate neutrality.

    This is to be achieved through three courses of action:

    • prepare annual GHG inventories for each organisation,
    • reduce GHG emissions from each organisation,
    • consider purchasing offsets to compensate for emissions which cannot be avoided.

    Emissions reduction strategy ITC
    In 2011, ITC produced the organization's first Emissions Reduction Strategy, outlining the options for emission reductions and steps that staff and management can take to reduce ITC's carbon footprint.

    ITC Staff Green Guide
    ITC has also produced a Staff Guide to Greening ITC. This guide provides simple tips for staff, consultants and interns on how they can green their work life, including missions, the commute to work, office use, and lunch and coffee breaks.

    What the UN system is doing

    “The UN system is collectively developing a climate-neutral approach for its premises and operations...The responsibility for the future lies in our hands. Let’s begin change at home.” (Ban Ki-moon, Moving Towards a Climate Neutral UN, December 2009)

    In 2010, the Greening the Blue website was launched. Here you can find more information on what the UN system as a whole and what the different UN agencies are doing against climate change.

    The Environment Management Group and Sustainable UN

    The Environment Management Group (EMG) is a United Nations system-wide coordination body. The EMG furthers inter-agency cooperation in support of the implementation of the international environmental and human settlement agenda. It identifies issues on the agenda that warrant joint efforts, and finds ways of engaging its collective capacity in coherent management responses to those issues. The current issues under consideration by the group include:

    • green economy
    • sustainability management
    • environmental and social safeguards
    • post-2010 biodiversity target process
    • land

    The Sustainable UN (SUN) Unit at UNEP houses a number of initiatives which have influence both within and beyond the UN system. On their website you can also find more information about the way the UN system is improving its sustainability performance.

    ITC mitigation efforts to date

    ITC has undertaken mitigation actions since 2005 with initiatives to reduce travel and buildings related greenhouse gas emissions. Click on "Open" to see the specific actions ITC has taken, relating to travel, staff communiting to work, and building and facilities management.


    • Installation and usage of video conferencing as an alternative to travelling to meetings,
    • Instruction to travel agents to report on the CO2 emissions for each reservation made, in an effort to raise awarness among staff and consultants.


    • Installation of a mixed gas/fuel heating system more environmental-friendly than traditional fuel heating systems,
    • Installation of a dedicated device for the regulation and optimization of heating during winter,
    • Optimization of the cooling system in offices and the building's ventilation system,
    • Renovation of ITC lifts to optimize energy savings,
    • Selection of of "clean/green electricity / Hydropower source" only,
    • Systematic replacement of current lighting with low energy light bulbs,
    • Reduction of the number of standalone printers and replacement with more efficient models,
    • Introduction of a smart-card system for printing,
    • Configuration of printers for default two-sided gray scale printing,
    • Selection of FSC and 100% recycled paper.

    Staff Commuting

    • Annual survey on staff commuting to work habits, to identify mitigation measures,
    • Development of a greenhouse gas emissions calculator for emissions from staff commuting and ITC vehicles,
    • Replacement of one official vehicle by a hybrid vehicle, overall strategy of replacing by hybrid vehicles or 100% electric whenever possible,
    • Increased capacity for bikes' parking made available in ITC garage.

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