EV charging stations in the Vienna International Centre; one more step towards a greener UN

EV charging stations in the Vienna International Centre; one more step towards a greener UN

VIENNA, 12 December 2017 - The Vienna-based organizations, in collaboration with the Government of Austria, are improving the environmental performance of the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

Thirteen charging stations for electric vehicles have been installed in the car parks of the VIC, as part of the Greening the Blue initiative. The main objective is to reduce the type 3 emissions, directly related to the carbon footprint of the staff and suppliers arriving daily at the building.

The project is implemented by Wien Energie, under the supervision of the Building Management, Services and is powered by 100% renewable energy.

The VIC is one of the largest UN Headquarters consisting of offices, conference rooms, common services and associated technical facilities. It has a gross floor area of 380,000 m² and accommodates around 4,700 staff and 574,000 visitors over the course of a year, including conference participants, resulting in a daily average occupancy of 7,300 people.

“We can proudly say that the Vienna International Centre displays an energy performance lower than the average energy intensity of non-residential buildings in Austria and is fully supplied by 100% renewable energy,” said Dennis Thatchaichawalit, Chair of the Committee for Common Services, when inaugurating the stations.

During the event, the VIC received its second climate neutrality annual certification. This year, for the first time, both the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) achieved climate neutrality.

What does it mean to become climate neutral?

Climate neutrality is not about zero emissions. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it is about reducing current emissions to the point where we reach the ultimate balance between emissions and the absorptive capacity of the Earth.

The UNFCCC states, “To achieve climate neutrality, we must measure what we emit and then reduce those emissions. Even with our best efforts to reduce, daily activities and business operations will result in unavoidable emissions. This is why offsetting, only after measuring and reducing, is key for climate neutrality.”

According to the latest edition of the Greening the Blue report, in 2016 UNIDO emitted 4.15 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2eq) per capita, 42% lower than the average for a UN organization.