The Sustainable Development Goals don’t apply to Member States alone; the United Nations System is also called on to do its part, especially regarding SDG#7 on Affordable and Clean Energy.
The United Nations Global Service Centre (UNGSC) has heeded this call; the Organization already runs on 100% renewable energy. Presently sourced both from the grid and from its own production, important steps are being taken to increase energy self-sufficiency.
At the UNGSC Base in Valencia, Spain, solar panels currently produce approximately 20% of total energy consumed. At the Base in Brindisi, Italy, photovoltaic systems are expected to reach 11% of consumption by December 2023.
These figures position UNGSC on target to reach maximum obtainable energy independence and cover daylight electricity consumption by 2028.
Potential sources to produce green energy outside of daylight hours, such as delocalized wind-turbines, and photovoltaic systems equipped with batteries, are also being studied.
Other key related initiatives include the systematic replacement of legacy equipment and lights with more efficient alternatives, such as inverter air conditioning systems and LED lights, and the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
Smart technologies are also being leveraged. Recently completed smart building prototypes, with motion sensors, switches, and monitoring devices, will utilize UNGSC’s Field Remote Monitoring System (FRIM) to enable data-driven decision making for future energy projects and reduce the use of electricity and water.
These significant achievements reflect the overarching priorities of the Department of Operational Support (DOS) Office of Supply Chain Management (OSCM). Under the guidance of DOS/OSCM, beyond the measures described above, UNGSC works together with missions in the field to realize the DOS vision of “responsible missions that achieve maximum efficiency in their use of natural resources and operate at minimum risk to people, societies, and ecosystems.”