A mother with her baby strapped to her back stands in her family's empty corn field.
A mother with her baby strapped to her back stands in her family's empty corn field.

Our commitment to sustainability

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Climate change is changing our world and the lives of children. The climate crisis is a child rights crisis. It harms children’s rights to health, education, and protection.

The climate crisis is happening now. We need to act now.

UNICEF UK knows that our internal processes, procurement practices and travel create an impact, which we are committed to reducing.

Our Environmental Policy

Our Environmental Policy sets out measures to reduce our footprint and use of natural resources, ensuring we take action to help secure a sustainable future.

The strategic pillars are:

  • Direct measures to reduce our environmental impact
  • Working with suppliers and partners whose sustainability commitments align with ours
  • Continued work to influence the UK Government to promote environmental sustainability
  • Fundraising with our partners to develop a suite of green programmes

How we are working towards being sustainable

For the year ending December 2022, our carbon footprint was 351 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The lead sources of our carbon emissions are:

  • Working from home – 43%
  • Staff travel – 34%
  • London office waste – 20%

We are working hard to reduce our footprint by:

  • Moving to an energy-efficient office equipped with a water conserving mechanism
  • Prioritising supplies made from sustainable materials
  • Establishing a Green Team to develop and implement initiatives and raise awareness
  • Measuring our greenhouse gas emissions so we can evaluate our impact and prioritise activities
  • Working towards ISO 14001:2015 accreditation

In 2022, our carbon footprint from waste generated in our offices was 68.6 tonnes.

Thirty-six tonnes (CO2 equivalent.) came from general waste, and mixed recycling generated 32 tonnes .

We will undertake an audit to identify opportunities for waste reduction, recycling improvements, and waste management optimisation.

We will continue to review our supplies procurement process to ensure goods and services are environmentally sustainable. This includes:

a) Strengthening our processes for sustainable procurement within individual supplier contacts using established mechanisms such as the supplier code of conduct.
b) Working with major suppliers to develop sustainable procurement processes leading to Net Zero carbon supply chains

Every year, we organise a variety of events where the carbon footprint has been reduced by:

  • Using digital signage
  • Utilising online platforms to create table plans and bids on items
  • Working towards being paperless
  • Reviewing our flagship events, such as Soccer Aid

We will continue to seek opportunities to improve the sustainability of our events.

We have offset 351 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. through a programme in Mozambique that installs and restores vital water supply systems.

This Gold Standard programme gives children clean, safe water and more time to learn and play by reducing the burden of collecting water and wood for fires to purify water.

While we are working to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we will also offset our emissions on an annual basis using Gold Standard certified schemes. And we only consider programmes that support children, in line with our mandate.

Our campaign for Climate Action

There is mounting evidence of the impact of climate change on children. We use our voice to advocate for change to help achieve our vision of a better world for every child.

Our actions include:

  • Campaigning with governments
  • Advocating for policy change
  • Developing private sector partnerships on climate
  • Building meaningful partnerships with our partners and supporters

Climate change is happening now, and we must make changes now. Children around the world, supported by their communities and UNICEF, are acting to create a climate-safe world. Working together, we are finding solutions that transform our world today and tomorrow. Solutions that create a better world for every child.