UNICEF Supply Scope 3 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions Baseline

UNICEF Supply Scope 3 - Greenhouse Gas Emissions Baseline underlines UNICEF’s commitment to transparency and to the climate agenda. It highlights our commitment to our partners in supply chains, as outlined in the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, in both mitigating the emissions from our supply chains and operations, as well as in contributing to adaptation and resilience of national social services, through high-quality products and services.UNICEF undertook this comprehensive assessment of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions embedded in our supply chains (or ‘scope 3’ emissions) to understand where our hot spots and exposures are and prioritize actions to address these hot spots, to set evidence-based targets, and to initiate a monitoring and reporting framework that will allow us to transparently track progress over time.Scope 3 emissions are defined by the GHG Protocol, which identifies three different scopes for GHG measurement, reduction and mitigation. Scope 1 is an organization’s direct emissions, produced, for example, by its fleet of vehicles, or its generators. Scope 2 are indirect emissions linked to the electricity, heating, and cooling used in offices.Scope 3 are indirect emissions, such as those related to the production of purchased goods and services, staff travel, treatment of waste, etc. Calculating scope 3 emissions is the most complicated out of the three scopes and are also often 11.4 times that of a company’s direct emissions.Narrative Report and CompendiumThis Narrative Report is complemented by a compendium with additional details on the methodology, assumptions, and findings for product categories identified as hot spots in the scope 3 baseline assessment. The analysis was conducted in 2023 for the 2019 baseline. Many of the recommendations are already underway, and thus, this Narrative Report and Compendium should be viewed as a snapshot. UNICEF is working to continually improve our analysis and ramp-up climate actions.Supply chainsLimiting global temperature rises to 1.5oC entails GHG reductions of 90 per cent across all scopes 1, 2 and 3 (throughout operations and supply chains) by 2050, and shorter-term reductions of at least 45 per cent vs. pre-industrial levels by 2030.With the largest procurement volumes in the United Nations, UNICEF has an important role to act on climate and sustainability through our supply chains.UNICEF has made significant progress since 2015 to:report our direct operational emissions (scopes 1, 2, and scope 3 business travel);reduce avoidable emissions; andoffset unavoidable emissions through purchasing Carbon Credits from the Adaption Fund via the Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).The next critical step is to start to transition our supply chain to more sustainable supplies that can safeguard children today without compromising the well-being of children tomorrow.   Sustainability agendaClimate action is an essential component of UNICEF’s broader sustainability agenda, and many of the challenges in addressing scope 3 mitigation also apply to our related sustainability challenges. Climate action is pursued along with efforts in circular economy and waste reduction, elimination of hazardous and toxic exposures, access-to and reliability-of clean water, clean air, social priorities for labor and children, as well as localization in program countries, economic, ethical, and equity priorities, among others.Globally, approximately 1 billion children – nearly half of the world’s children – live in countries that are at an ‘extremely high-risk’ from the impacts of climate change, according to the Children’s Climate Risk Index.Operations and supply chainsScope 3 emissions for UNICEF’s international supply, which are calculated through Supply Division (SD), were estimated to be 3.9 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt of CO2e) in 2019 – equivalent to approximately 870,000 cars in one year. This represents more than 98 per cent of UNICEF’s total emissions in 2019 (scopes 1 and 2 totaled 0.03 Mt CO2e). The scope 3 estimate incorporates emissions within the operational control of UNICEF SD and excludes scopes 1 and 2, and scope 3 outside SD control. 2019 was chosen as the baseline year to avoid temporal impacts on procurement resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.UNICEF has more to learn, but this analysis addresses the major drivers of UNICEF’s overall scope 3 emissions (the procurement of international goods and services via SD).Engaging suppliersFour major product categories were found to drive 80–90 per cent of UNICEF’s international supply scope 3 emissions – vaccines, nutrition, cold chain equipment and international freight. Emissions reduction efforts for scope 3 should therefore focus on these product categories where the emissions footprint is most concentrated. Engaging suppliers on what can be done to reduce emissions is critical to moving towards a science-based emission reduction trajectory.The benefit of the insights contained in this report is that emissions are relatively concentrated in specific product markets and therefore initial actions where opportunities for carbon emissions reductions are greatest, can be instituted with a relatively limited number of suppliers. 

Construction at UNICEF

UNICEF supports its programmes with tailored construction solutions to meet the needs of children, including education, nutrition, health and health emergencies, immunization, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).   Globally, nearly a third of primary schools lack basic water services, a quarter do not have electricity and approximately one…, Support to UNICEF's programmes, In other cases, countries do not have the warehouse capacity or physical infrastructure to safely store the vaccines and other life-saving supplies that UNICEF delivers for children. Indeed, close to 48 million children under age 5 will die of preventable causes between 2020 and 2030, many of whom will lack access to basic health care…, Collaborative effort, UNICEF construction projects are always a collaborative effort between UNICEF country offices and host country stakeholders, with technical support from UNICEF Supply Division. UNICEF leverages its technical expertise and organizational capacity to provide coordination between: Host country government actors UNICEF implementing partners, such as…, UNICEF Construction Database, A searchable and interactive tool that documents UNICEF-supported construction projects since 2019. For each project, the tool provides general information through a brief description, photos and videos. , Construction project stories, Construction projects supported by UNICEF vary in nature, size, and complexity. These stories capture some of UNICEF’s construction initiatives and the impact that they have on vulnerable children, families, and communities., Construction projects 360 degree videos, Get an immersive view of some of the buildings and facilities UNICEF has been working on in several countries.

Greening UNICEF’s supply chains and reducing plastic waste

Small steps can make a big impact. UNICEF is in a unique position to positively impact supply chains as the largest procurement agency in the United Nations. In 2022, UNICEF procured US$7.383 billion worth of supplies and services driven by record demand for emergency supplies, vaccines, therapeutic food for malnourished children and other…, Environmental and financial return, The reduction of plastic waste in mosquito net packaging has shown a dramatic and immediate return, not only for the environment but also public spending. Every year, UNICEF and many other global partners, including the Global Fund and the U.S.President’s Malaria Initiative send around 220 million mosquito nets, including Fighting malaria with…, Listening to feedback, UNICEF presented bulk packing as the most beneficial option, highlighting sustainability, waste reduction and cost-efficiency. Subsequently, UNICEF went one step further and changed its default purchase to bulk packaging, requesting a justification if a partner wished to have individually packed nets instead. UNICEF is listening to feedback and…, Making the investment case, By uniting different stakeholders with a common goal – to protect the environment and bring greater efficiencies across supply chains – UNICEF has made significant progress in a short space of time. The model shows that governments, partners and industry take environmental issues very seriously and are eager to support initiatives that create a…

UNICEF construction brings sustainability commitments to life

In 2021, Supply Annual Report UNICEF procured construction services totalling $257.1 million , including $106.7 million in the Middle East and North Africa Region and $64.1 million in the West and Central Africa Region. Additionally, UNICEF implements millions of dollars in construction works through its partners.    UNICEF construction covers a…, Building schools with local resources, In 2021, UNICEF used local materials and labour to reconstruct 384 classrooms in 64 schools destroyed during the 2016 - 2019 Kamuina Nsapu insurgency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UNICEF employed a sustainable, transformable school model to get children back into the classroom as quickly as possible and later transformed the foundation…, Testing green building in remote and challenging environments  , Much of Qinghai province in China is remote, mountainous, arid – and endures very cold winters. Under conditions that challenge standard building approaches used elsewhere in the country, UNICEF piloted the construction of innovative water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in conjunction with China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural…, Greening the UNICEF office in Bangladesh, In December 2020, UNICEF opened the doors of its new three-storey office in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The office can host over 200 staff members and its construction deployed several sustainable building strategies. The greening of this office began with its architectural design, developed in consultation with UNICEF’s Greening Team, which works to make…, Sustainable strategies in construction, UNICEF employs key strategies to reduce is environmental footprint and increase the sustainability of the structures it builds, including utilising: Local or regional sourcing of materials to reduce CO2 emissions of transportation. Recycled building materials. Waste disposal channels for toilets and kitchens, which eliminate pollution of…

UNICEF water pumps: a source of life, health and resilience

Drinking a glass of water is a trivial routine for many, but for millions of people worldwide  accessing safe water still requires long journeys or strenuous work. In 2020, 1 in 4 people lacked access to water that was free from contamination and available when needed, and 1 in 10 people still needed to walk more than 30 minutes to collect safe…, From diesel to solar power, Motor-powered pumps can serve big communities and extract large volumes of water, eliminating or reducing the time people spend queuing or walking to collect it. In Nigeria, for example, two health facilities were desperately in need of a safe supply. At Shallow wells no more Dogon Kuka Primary Health Centre in Yobe State , a shallow well marked…, Sustainable sources of water, UNICEF Nigeria’s Water and Sanitation Manager, Michael Forson, explains that the installation of solar-powered systems in the country was the result of a decision taken years ago to move away from water pumps driven by diesel generators. “The cost to operate a supply system for a community is vital. The price of a litre of diesel can increase so…, For small communities, human-powered pumps, For small communities with up to 200 people who live no more than 200 metres from a water source, human-operated pumps, especially handpumps, may be a better solution than electric pumps. UNICEF, in collaboration with partners, drills boreholes, installs handpumps, provides spare parts and trains people in the community on how to operate and…, Early development, For almost 50 years, UNICEF has been working to promote the use of water pumps that meet the needs of local communities. In 1974, UNICEF and the Government of India recognized the need for a better hand pump than those available on the market. They were looking for an inexpensive new pump that had a simple design and was easy to use and maintain.…, Water is everything, Follow UNICEF’s installation of a brand-new hand pump and the happiness it brings to the children of Dialangou in Mali.

World Refugee Day

On World Refugee Day Supply Division reflects on how UNICEF reaches the many displaced children and young people in the world. Enabling dignity, independence, product innovation and delivery of much-needed supplies are just some of the ways that UNICEF supports people on the move., School-in-a-box, School-in-a-box Children who are refugees or on the move lose the familiarity of home and daily life as they are uprooted. Education is one of the best ways to return to some sense of normalcy and to social interaction. The UNICEF school-in-box gives children the chance to get back in the classroom wherever they are. Each school-in-a-box contains…, Distribution of soap in Afghanistan, Children washing their hands with soap supplied by UNICEF. Surging poverty levels, conflict and natural disasters have internally displaced around 1 million people in Afghanistan and pushed many families from their homes to an uncertain future and fragile situation. A situation that is worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic which has made them even…, The dignity kit, Refugee girls and women participating in a monitoring and evaluation exercise. The WASH and dignity kit is part of the UNICEF first response in emergency situations. Besides soap, detergent, water purification tablets and other key water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) products, it contains menstrual cloths, reusable pads and disposable pads…, Disability-friendly latrine, A girl washing her hands after using the disability latrine Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized groups in society. Their situation is exacerbated if they become displaced and live in a refugee camp, especially regarding access to sanitation services. Unfortunately, the standard latrines used in camps are often not suitable…, Muna's Diary, An estimated 19 million children were living in displacement within their own countries due to conflict and violence in 2019. Muna is one of around 1.7 million internally displaced children in Yemen. She lives with her family in Al Sha’ab camp in Aden after ongoing fighting forced them to flee their home in Taiz. The COVID-19 pandemic is an extra…

5 ways UNICEF Supply Division goes green

Our impact on the environment has consequences for children, their future and the planet they will inherit. UNICEF Supply Division is working to improve the efficiency of global supply products and operations, lowering carbon emissions and reducing harmful waste from supplies. Here are five highlights of our work to go green.     , 1 - Schools bricks made of recycled plastic, Children at the playground of their school made out of recycled plastic bricks, in Toumodi-Sakassou, in the center of Côte d'Ivoire. UNICEF identified an innovative use of non-recycled plastic to create building materials and pursued the opportunity to use them in school construction. A Colombian company developed a method of making easy- to -…, 2 - Solar power to pump water and to store vaccines , Solar panels used to power water pump in the Ambae evacuees settlement, Vanuatu, April 2020. For more than 30 years UNICEF has been procuring solar-powered water pumping systems to ensure clean water to vulnerable populations in countries like Malawi, Mauritania, South Sudan and Uganda. The sun is also the main source of power for the freezers and…, 3 - Reducing waste from safe injection equipment , A nurse from the Hoti ethnic group vaccinates a child at the ambulatory of the community of San José de Kayamá, Bolivar, Venezuela, on 24 February 2020. UNICEF procures safe injection equipment for vaccines on behalf of 80 to 100 countries annually, amounting to approximately 30,000 cubic metres of equipment to be transported. This would fill…, 4 - Local RUTF procurement, A woman feeds a child ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) after a night of rain and displacement in a rice paddy, at Palong Khali in Cox’s Bazar district, in October 2017. Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is a safe and effective way to manage acute malnutrition in children and has saved hundreds of thousands of children’s lives. UNICEF…, 5 - Bio-compostable bags in education kits, A Burundian boy displays his new school supplies in a bio-compostable bag. To reduce harmful waste UNICEF is reducing plastic in its school supplies and packaging. In 2017, approximately 20 million bio-degradable bags were included in health or education kits sent to Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria and Sierra Leone.…

A fundamental and sustainable response to COVID-19: improving local oxygen systems

Amid the constraints to global supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments are facing considerable challenges to support their populations. With a high demand and low availability of essential medical supplies, export restrictions and limited transportation capacity due to the decrease in air travel, how can countries effectively…, Improving local oxygen systems during COVID-19  , With the increase in demand for oxygen therapy equipment due to COVID-19, countries are facing challenges in understanding what type of, how much and where to find the needed equipment. Under the Oxygen Therapy Project, first launched in 2017 with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a number of tools have been developed for health…, Ensuring a sustainable approach  , The Oxygen Therapy Project was originally developed to build a sustainable response to treat children suffering from pneumonia, hypoxemia or other respiratory illness. Since COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, this emergency has demonstrated the importance of investing in health system strengthening projects.    By capitalizing now on improving…, Key resources  , Oxygen Therapy Innovation Project WHO-UNICEF Technical specifications and guidance for oxygen therapy devices An interagency technical specifications and guidance manual – November 2019 UNICEF oxygen system planning tool - April 2020     Notes: 1 Original quote is from this Opinion: We're not fighting hard enough against the top killer of children…