The Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) has launched a new corporate environmental responsibility strategy.
It is aimed at effectively tackling climate change and eliminate carbon greenhouse emissions by 45 percent by 2030.
The ambitious new emissions reduction strategy focuses on improving the sustainability of daily operations, including the introduction of energy efficiency measures in facilities, updating travel policies to reduce travel-related emissions, and improving water use and recycling schemes.
Concrete actions in the new Strategy include promoting the increased use of renewables and avoiding the use of diesel generators, increasing waste separation and improving recycling schemes, phasing out single-use plastics, and encouraging flexible working practices to reduce commuting.
“As we look at the current state of our planet, at the loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels, ecosystem degradation, and the negative effects of climate change, it is clear that the time for action is now. FAO has decided to play its part and respond by developing an ambitious action plan to reduce emissions and foster the internal sustainability of its operations and programs”.FAO Director-General QU Dongyu
FAO has had a Corporate Environmental Responsibility Strategy in place for its operations and facilities since 2016 and is one of the first UN entities to do so.
Great efforts have already been made at FAO headquarters and main regional and country offices to improve environmental sustainability, and a solid trend of emissions reduction is already visible.
Solar energy systems have been installed at headquarters, at the FAO Regional Office for Africa in Accra, Ghana, and at FAO country offices in Djibouti, Mauritania, Nepal, and Uganda.
All the travel- and building-related carbon dioxide emissions have been offset since 2014. Plastic is currently being phased out at headquarters and the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand.
FAO projects must undergo mandatory environmental and social screening, including introducing certification for environmental and social risks into the FAO project approval process.
Since 2008, FAO projects have resulted in a cumulative reduction of over 27 million kg of carbon dioxide equivalent, and cumulative savings of over USD 4 million.