United Nations Environment Programme

Sustainability starts with you, so get involved and join us in our efforts to green UNEP through and through!

Take the Environmental Sustainability Tutorial


“Greening the Blue: The Tutorial” known as the “Stick and Bean Tutorial” is the first tutorial on environmental sustainability that was designed for UN personnel in 2014. It is the result of a close collaboration between UNEP, UNDP, and other members of the Environment Management Group. The tutorial suggests concrete actions which staff can contribute to improving the UN system’s internal performance on environmental sustainability and to aligning with the UN Climate Neutral Strategy. It was recently updated to reflect recent years developments from the climate crisis to the adoption of the 2020-2030 UN environmental sustainability strategy by the Chief Executives Board. 

The tutorial is mandatory for all UNEP staff, so if you have not taken it yet, please do so. We can assure you it will be informative, entertaining, and won’t take long!

The tutorial has received very positive feedback from staff:

  • “Congratulations. This tutorial is very useful and one of the best I have seen.”
  • “Very nice tutorial, well animated and very lively!”

Access the Environmental Sustainability Tutorial

Support Greening Initiatives at Your Office

If you would like to take part in or learn more about the internal greening initiatives in your UNEP office, kindly contact Shoa Ehsani at shoa.ehsani@un.org, he will direct you to the sustainability focal point in your office.

Send us any suggestions you may have to improve our environmental sustainability and share the good practices in your office, this is key to move together towards a more sustainable UNEP (shoa.ehsani@un.org).


How to organize successful remote meetings

We are increasingly collaborating on-line, but few of us have had proper training on how to run good and productive virtual meetings.  As part of a collaboration between UNEP, the Swedish Transport Administration/REMM and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency two webinars were organized for UNEP staff.

You will get useful, hands on advice on how to succeed in hosting professional virtual meetings, the many benefits of virtual meetings and how to avoid common pitfalls.

See the webinar here

How to lead a sustainable lifestyle

In everyday life: Check out the most positively impactful actions anyone of us can take to add to the global movement around sustainable lifestyles to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals here.

At work: Get inspired by the Sustainable Lifestyles: Options and Opportunities in the Workplace manual that presents actions to take together in the workplace to minimize footprints and maximize positive impacts.

For more information on green meetings and sustainable procurement see here.

Green Tips

  1. Put up tanks under your rain gutters and collect rainwater - to prevent mosquitoes breeding there, put mosquito nets over the top. Use the rainwater for your indoor plants- they love it, as well as for the flowerpots in your garden. You can also use it for washing your cars and cleaning outdoor areas.
  2. If you have a garden, make use of your organic waste and start compost. For tips how to get started visit website.
  3. Think before you print. Do you really need a hard copy or is it going to end up in the waste bin?
  4. Bring your own cup and mug to the coffee station of your office. You will pay less!
  5. Try and avoid a plastic bag for every fruit and vegetable item you have weighed at the supermarket. Have 2 or more items packed in the same bag if unavoidable.
  6. Close the shower or water tap when you shampoo and soap or while brushing your teeth. Why waste up to 30 litres of water, an average daily water use of a family in a Nairobi slum which needs to be bought for 20-30 KES and carried to the house first?
  7. When you are in a traffic jam, turn of the engine. This will save you fuel, and it will save the environment and the people around you the fumes, emissions and noise.
  8. When doing the dishes, put water in the sink and don’t let the water run.
  9. Turn off equipment at home that is on stand-by, such as TV, stereo, microwave. Also on stand-by, the equipment consumes electricity.
  10. When buying new light bulbs, choose energy efficient bulbs! This will save energy and lower your electricity bill.
  11. Bring your own water bottle to work! Clean and re-fill it at home, and avoid contributing to the mountain of waste caused by plastic water bottles.
  12. If you use a washing machine for your clothes and linen, try to wait until you can fill the machine well. If you are only cleaning a few items, wash them by hand and save water and electricity.
  13. Nairobi has ample amounts of sunshine everyday – to dry your clothes, hang them on laundry lines instead of using a dryer.
  14. Unplug appliances from the electric socket after use(or turn off switch).
  15. Check lights. Identify frequently used light fixtures that use incandescent bulbs; order fluorescent replacements bulbs
  16. Check the temperature setting on your water-heater. Reduce the setting to 120°F (typically the “warm” setting; or halfway between the low and medium settings), if it is not already set to that temperature.
  17. Check the settings on your appliances. Where the option is available – and is not already selected -- select the energy-saving setting on your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and other major appliances.
  18. Check showerheads and faucets. Determine whether any of your showerheads are models that use more than 2.5 gallons per minute. If so, order low-flow showerheads. Similarly, verify that your bathroom and kitchen water faucets have aerators. Order an aerator for each faucet that does not have one and that can accommodate one. These steps will reduce your use of hot water – and your use of energy to heat that water.
  19. Turn off appliances that you are not using. Switch off TVs, computers, lights, etc. that are not being used and unplug items on “standby” (that use electricity even when not being used) , including TVs, video and audio systems, computers, and chargers (for cell-phones and other electronic equipment).
  20. Check car tires for proper inflation. This can improve gas mileage. The appropriate air pressure typically is listed on the door-pillar on the driver’s side, on the inside of the glove-compartment door or in the vehicle manual.