Environmental sustainability is an important part of IOM’s global programming and perspective and plays an important global role in forced migration caused by climate change or environmental unsustainability.

In light of this and the importance of environmental sustainability in the Global Sustainable Development Goals, IOM Egypt, with the support and participation of the Regional Director and Office for the Middle East and North Africa, established an internal working group to mainstream environmental sustainability at the strategic, programmatic, and facility levels. Green Egypt is comprised of representatives from each of the Mission’s units and top leadership.

Green Egypt’s goal is to support the realization of the environment-related SDGs, IOM’s institutional programme on environmental sustainability, and to reduce the carbon footprint of the office and its activities. The group has committed to achieving the following goals in 2019:

  1. Reduce paper use by 50%
  2. Reduce water usage
  3. Reduce electricity usage
  4. Introduce recycling of paper, plastic, glass and metal
  5. Raise awareness and engage IOM staff in environmental sustainability initiatives
  6. Include environmental sensitivity and sustainability in programming and project development

To date, the group has eliminated the use of disposable plastic cups in the office by introducing reusable water bottles, introduced paper and plastic recycling together with new initiatives to decrease paper and plastic waste.

Guest speakers from other UN agencies and local partners regularly join the Green Egypt sessions to provide new ideas and perspectives to catalyse change. These sessions are open to all staff and also encourage environmentally friendly behaviour in the office, in the home and social environments.

In an effort to link greening initiatives to staff well-being and teamwork, IOM Egypt also supports a gardening initiative for staff members and has four office pets cared for by staff and with voluntary contributions from staff members.