Sustainable UN team receives 2016 UN Secretary-General Award


A team led by UN Environment staff has clinched the 2016 Secretary-General Award for “Greening the UN”, one of this year’s four categories under which outstanding action above and beyond the call of duty was lauded.

On UN Staff Day, Isabella Marras, Sustainable UN Coordinator, Shoa Ehsani, UN Environment Climate Neutral Officer and Emma Hakansson, EMS Officer— along with their Sustainability Focal Points across the UN—were recognized at an awards ceremony in New York for their efforts to transform the environmental performance of the UN system.

“By working with staff at all levels of the organization, the initiative has succeeded in creating an enthusiastic attitude for Greening the Blue,” said Ligia Noronha, Director, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, UN Environment, in their nomination.

The Greening the UN award honours “an individual staff member or team for ensuring that the United Nations acts in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner”.

The awards were established in 1996 as the UN21 Awards and renamed the United Nations Secretary-General Awards in 2016. They reward initiatives that have the potential to shape UN culture and recognize the extraordinary work of staff who contribute above and beyond the call of duty and advance innovative projects.

The examples set by the award winners are meant to inspire colleagues to take up good practices, improve the way the UN delivers its programmes and services.

The Sustainable United Nations (SUN) is responsible for coordinating the work needed to fulfil the commitment made by all UN organizations to become climate neutral, which includes measuring and reporting the environmental impact of UN facilities and operations, publishing data on its greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental indicators such as waste and water management.