Sustainability and Green Practices in the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

Since 2012, the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions has put in place practical measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve its overall environmental performance. Overall, since 2010, the Secretariat has reduced its carbon footprint by half, most notably due to promoting the use of online conferencing and more systematic scheduling of back to back meetings. The Secretariat has been offsetting its GHG emissions since 2013, through a long-term agreement with the UNFCCC.

The secretariat also undertakes specific activities targeted at waste prevention and minimization. Recent actions have been taken to reduce wastes, in particular plastic waste, generated during the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties. The 2019 COPs have been plastic free.

Reducing carbon footprint

Greenhouse gas emissions: some key figures

 

2018

2017

2016

2015

Total emissions (tCO2 eq)

366

516

338

464

Per capita emissions (t CO2 eq / personnel)

5.23

7.37

4.83

7

% of air travel related emissions

95

96

98

99

Per capita air travel emissions (t CO2 eq / personnel)

4.95

7.04

4.71

7

Facility related emission intensity (kg CO2 eq / m2)

8.66

9.84

5.34

5

Becoming climate neutral

Certificate

The Secretariat has been implementing the United Nations Climate Neutral Strategy and has been climate neutral since 2013. Under this framework, the Secretariat prepares annual inventories of its greenhouse gas emissions, takes steps to reduce its emissions and offsets unavoidable emissions.

The Secretariat has offset a total of 1,513 tonnes CO2 equivalent generated in 2012, 2013, and 2014 through the UNEP Climate Neutral Strategy. In October 2016, the Secretariat has entered an agreement with the UNFCCC Secretariat for offsetting its 2015 emissions and those projected till 2020. A total of 1,684 tonnes CO2 equivalent have been offset for the years 2015-2018 through this agreement.

The Secretariat’s commitment towards improving environmental performance, including through measuring, reducing and offsetting its climate footprint, is an initiative taken for the long-term, and efforts will continue in the future towards further reducing and offsetting its environmental footprint.

More information on the BRS environmental performance can be found on the Greening the Blue website  here.

Managing waste

The Secretariat undertakes specific activities aiming at preventing and minimizing waste generation. The meetings organized by Secretariat are paperless and, whenever possible, plastic free. At the 2019 COPs meetings, specific arrangements were made to minimize the use of plastic. In the Secretariat’s offices, wastes are separated during collection and shipped to different contractors for final disposal or recycling. 84% of the waste generated is either reused/recycled/composted or recovered.  

Baseline sustainability reports

Reports of the Secretariat’s sustainability team established in 2011 to work on sustainability performance aspects:

Date Title Theme
December 2013 Report on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the Secretariat of the Basel and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions and the UNEP-part of the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention

Greenhouse gas emissions and offsetting considerations

April 2012
Report on sustainability performance of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions Environmental and financial sustainability performance