Environmental News Updates July 14-18

A new guideline for the assessment of water footprints has been launched by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO): ISO 14046.

It incorporates geographical and temporal dimensions by measuring changes in both water quality and water quantity in a comprehensive water footprint. The assessment is based on life cycle assessment
 (LCA) and provides guidelines for:

  • The level and potential environmental impacts to water
  • The evaluation of solutions to minimize those impacts
  • Providing principles to improve water use efficiency and water management optimisation to products, processes and organisations
  • Provision of principles to conducting water footprint assessments
  • Collecting scientifically consistent information as part of wider water footprint reporting over time

 Read more here.


Exposure map (Source: Coasts at risk report, p. 13)

Exposure map (Source: Coasts at risk report, p. 13)

Tropical and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are most at risk from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards, according to ‘Coasts at Risk: An Assessment of Coastal Risks and the Role of Environmental Solutions'.

The indicator-based approach assesses risks from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards and identifies where environmental degradation increases these risks. The report then considers how environmental solutions, such as conservation and restoration, can contribute to risk reduction and conservation goals.

The report calls for:

  1. Focusing on marine conservation efforts in areas with high population density, rather than in remote areas
  2. Increasing risk prevention measures and opportunities for improved post-disaster development choices
  3. Targeting research on environmental risk reduction
  4. Developing integrated risk assessments that account for drivers of risk, such as environmental degradation 

Overall the report suggests rigorous accounting for ecosystem services and sustainable investments in natural infrastructure.

Find out more details here



Do you know how you can work in a greener office environment?

The United Nations is committed to reducing its environmental footprint to the greatest extent possible. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the organisational level focus on changing travel and procurement policies, retrofitting office space and sourcing ‘clean’ energy. 

We know that our facilities account for approximately 1/3 of the total United Nations greenhouse gas emissions of which electricity is the main cause of emission with 23%.

Do you know how the organisation you work for sources and uses its electricity?

Take a look and learn how we, at the United Nations, are greening our work practices!