Greening the Blue Report 2022 reveals UN accelerating efforts on environmental governance and environmental training

Highlighting the environmental impact of over 307,000 personnel in 53 reporting UN entities, the Greening the Blue Report 2022 was published on 14 December 2022.

United Nations (UN) System entities have received the message: we need to implement an environmental management system (EMS) by 2025. Greening the Blue 2022 examines the UN System’s environmental footprint using 2021 data, and indicates how UN entities are ramping up their efforts to meet the 2025 EMS deadline.

In comparison to 2020, double the number of UN entities have met EMS requirements in 2021. Moreover, a 2% increase was observed in entities approaching requirements from 2020 to 2021. In total, 33% of UN entitles have already met or approached the 2025 target.

The annual Greening the Blue report provides UN system-wide and entity-level data on environmental impact areas (greenhouse gas emissions, climate neutrality, waste, air pollution, water and wastewater, biodiversity) and management functions (environmental governance, procurement, human resources) identified in the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations System 2020-2030, Phase I: Environmental Sustainability in the Area of Management (Sustainability Strategy I). The Sustainability Strategy I acknowledges the importance of EMS as a vital mechanism for achieving all other indicators of environmental sustainability, and has therefore established a separate targeted deadline for implementing it. The rest of the indicators have a targeted deadline of implementation for 2030.

Environmental management is integrated with existing UN capacity-building and accountability frameworks. This objective is supported by the commitment to increase understanding and skills among UN personnel, so they can “walk the talk”. Capacity-building, therefore, plays a critical role in transitioning operations and management for a more sustainable UN, which is why the Sustainability Strategy indicates that each entity should deliver environmental training to personnel.

Between 2020 and 2021, there was a 6% increase in entities providing voluntary training and a 9% increase in entities making training mandatory for all personnel. In 2021, a total 46% of entities had made environmental training available for staff.

BRS Secretariat performance

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS Secretariat) is currently developing an EMS, taking into account the experience of other Multilateral Environmental Agreements and the UN Environment Programme as a whole.  That being the case, completing the Greening the Blue tutorial has become mandatory for all BRS personnel.

In 2021, the operations of the BRS Secretariat and facilities emitted 53 tonnes of CO2eq in total or 0.8 tonnes CO2eq per capita, which is below the UN average of 4.1 tCO2eq per capita. Breaking down these emissions by source, 74% derived from air travel, 2% came from other travel, and the remaining 27% came from operating the BRS Secretariat facilities. The Secretariat is also pleased to announce its climate neutrality for the 9th year in a row, meaning that it offsets 100% of its greenhouse gas emissions. All of the above data and much more is available here.


For more information on the methodologies and data collection used, please visit

For more information on the methodology related to travel emissions provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, please visit the ICAO website.

For information on climate neutrality, please visit the UNFCCC website

For more information on the BRS Secretariat performance, please contact:
BRS Secretariat Programme Officer Marylene Beau,
BRS Secretariat Programme Officer Giovana Chiodi Moire,

For media enquiries, please contact :
BRS Secretariat Associate Public Information Officer, Marisofi Giannouli,