Social and Environmental Sustainability in UNDP

Photo: UNDP.

UNDP is committed to ensuring that our programming and operations are socially and environmentally sustainable.

Sustainable Programme and Project Management


UNDP recognizes that social and environmental sustainability are fundamental to the achievement of sustainable development outcomes, and therefore must be fully integrated into our Programmes and Projects.  To ensure this we have the following key policies, procedures and accountability mechanisms in place to underpin our support to countries:

Sustainable Operations Management


As a leading agency in the fight against climate change and environmental degradation, UNDP is committed to walk the talk by minimizing the environmental impact of its global operations. Demonstrating that we operate in a resource-efficient and responsible manner as part of UNDP’s commitment to adhere to highest standards of accountability and integrity:

We measure:  As of 2008 UNDP monitors Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with our global operations and reports results as part of the annual 'Moving towards a climate neutral United Nations'. Since then we have expanded our monitoring systems to also include other environmental indicators including water consumption and waste disposal.

We reduce:  Around the world UNDP offices are working towards minimizing the environmental impact associated with their operations. From green building renovations and use of photovoltaic power to generate electricity to staff training and bicycling programs, UNDP staff throughout the organization are developing efficient and creative solutions to reduce UNDP’s reliance on fossil fuels and natural resources.

We offset:  On World Environment Day 2009 Helen Clark expressed UNDP’s commitment to organization-wide climate neutrality. In 2012, UNDP Headquarters in New York achieved climate neutrality via a combination of GHG emission reductions and procurement of high-quality Gold Standard Certified Emission Reductions (CERs).  Other UNDP offices are also taking steps towards climate neutrality.

Learn More about UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards

Participate in the discussion on UNDP'S Social and Environmental Standards.

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Related Resources
Framework for Advancing Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System
UN Greening the Blue

A UN-wide campaign to engage staff at all levels of the organization, detailing what’s happening to green the UN.