UNAMI to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%

Friday, 22 December 2017

Baghdad | DPKO

In November 2016, the Department of Field Support launched its Environment Strategy to reduce the environmental footprint for UN field missions.

The UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has been taking active steps to integrate sustainable development practices.

Based on his accumulated knowledge and experience, David Saginadze, a civil engineer with UNAMI, has developed the mission’s Energy Management Plan, a first in a UN field mission. The plan became an integral part of the mission’s operations in 2016. It will reduce the mission’s total greenhouse gas emis­sions from electricity by 50%, while generating over 15% of its remaining energy needs from renewable energy sources, by the end of 2018.

To monitor the meeting of its targets, a data acquisition network was established, using “smart meters”.

About 60% of the overall energy programmme’s objectives will be implemented by the end of 2017, which includes the following activities:

  • Upgrade of the lighting systems to energy efficient LED light fixtures.
  • Upgrade of the air conditioning systems to inverter type ACs.
  • Installation of 760 kW capacity photovoltaic systems, to generate solar energy.

The cost of the full implementation of the programme is estimated at USD 4.1 million. However, this total invest­ment will be fully recovered within as few as two years in some mission locations, and a maximum of 5 years in others, leading to substantial savings in the future.

Besides the energy programme, UNAMI also launched several campaigns to improve the mission’s overall environmental performance which include:

  • Say no to plastic bags – to eliminate the use of plastic bags in grocery shops.
  • Promote paperless workflow – to reduce paper waste.
  • Eco friendly fresh water distribution – to replace 0.5L drinking water distribution to 20L Point of use water dispensers. 

Being part of the missions’ network set up to implement the DFS Environment strategy, UNAMI is regularly exchanging with the different missions and is sharing its best practices on environmental performance.