UNHCR Environmental Management Systems & Policy Specialist Job


P3 EMS and Policy Specialist

Greening & Sustainability – DFAM/GMIS

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a full-time position within the Greening & Sustainability Project in our Global Mobility and Infrastructure (GMIS) Section.

UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

Title: EMS and Policy Specialist
Duty Station: Nairobi, Kenya or Home based
Duration: 6 months
Contract Type: Temporary Appointment at P3 level
Closing date: 19 June 2021
Start date: 1 August 2021

Organizational context

In 2007, the UN Climate Neutral Strategy was developed, and organizations committed to move their respective organizations to climate neutrality. Since then, UNHCR has continuously improved its efforts in promoting the careful use of energy resources by refugees, host communities, partner organizations and as a priority by UNHCR itself. In 2019, UNHCR developed its Global Strategy for Sustainable Energy 2019-2024 which aims to enable persons of concern to UNHCR to meet their energy needs in a safe and sustainable manner. It also launched the Clean Energy Challenge and has recently published its first comprehensive Strategic Framework on Climate Action. The Greening and Sustainability Team is responsible for Pillar III of this Framework concerning UNHCR¿s Environmental Footprint.

In 2020, UNHCR developed a new internal Greening & Sustainability strategy in order to improve its environmental performance, climate compatibility and resource efficiency.
The UNHCR Greening & Sustainability strategy focuses on three main areas:
Green Box: measure global energy consumption of UNHCR offices in order to migrate from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Procure and install electricity meters in all UNHCR offices; create centrally managed dashboard with real-time data; carry out energy audits of all UNHCR offices; and prepare business cases for each UNHCR office to identify alternative energy options.
Green Fund: Develop innovative financing model to migrate UNHCR offices from fossil fuels to renewable energy
Establish internal UNHCR Green Revolving Fund to convert UNHCR Operations from diesel to renewable energy; use the Fund to procure from private sector independent power producers through Power Purchase Agreements; aim to achieve positive carbon impact and positive financial impact to budget (cost effective).
Green Data: Implement dynamic technology platform for real-time monitoring and data visualization
Establish systems and policies for real-time, high quality data collection of GHG emissions, energy, waste and water across UNHCR; create data warehouse and dashboards for easy monitoring, reporting and decision-making.

The position

The EMS and Policy Specialist will support the Greening & Sustainability Team of the Global Mobility and Infrastructure Service (GMIS) within the Division of Financial and Administrative Management (DFAM). DFAM contributes to safeguarding the financial resources entrusted to UNHCR by maintaining and improving the financial and administrative systems, policies and procedures and promoting cost-effective and transparent use of these resources. GMIS is a new service within DFAM which merges four functions: global fleet management, global travel, global facilities management and global asset management. Greening & Sustainability is one of GMIS main cross-functional areas.
The EMS and Policy Specialist will focus mainly on supporting the Greening & Sustainability Team in implementing Environmental Management systems in UNHCR and its operations as well as on environmental policy and guidelines development.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Create a UNHCR-wide approach to introduce Environmental Management Systems (EMS) as part of UNHCR¿s management system;
  • Develop an EMS for HQ Geneva and initiate an organization-wide process alongside with creating guidelines for operations to develop EMS themselves;
  • Develop, coordinate and launch a UNHCR-wide environmental policy to guide UNHCR offices on internal UNHCR carbon emission sources such as travel, facilities and fleet management, waste and water management, and building management;
  • Develop, coordinate and launch policy and guidelines for a UNHCR levy/green tax on e.g. commercial air travel, and vehicles;
  • Conduct research and analysis on existing policies e.g. from other UN-agencies in this area and conclude on most suitable approach for UNHCR;
  • Support the Greening and Sustainability Team with the development of technical guidelines and best practices in the implementation of clean energy interventions;
  • Coordinate consultations with all relevant experts including UNHCR colleagues at HQ (travel, facilities, global fleet), in Regional Bureaux and Country Offices as well as colleagues from other UN agencies and external experts;
  • Prepare supporting material, communication content and analytical reports and liaise with GMIS Communications Associate and the Special Coordinator for Internal Communications in publishing and promoting developed policies and guidelines internally on the UNHCR Intranet and other platforms;
  • Ensure compliance of UNHCR policy guidelines and Greening and Sustainability strategy as well as with UN-wide methodologies and Greening the Blue targets;
  • Perform other duties as required.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

  • Academic qualifications: Advance university degree in engineering, sustainable development studies, economics, business administration, environmental management, or relevant fields.
  • Experience: A minimum of six years relevant professional experience involving technical and analytical responsibilities; knowledge of policy writing, experience in environmental context desirable; proven data collection, analysis and communication skills; proven record in producing simple, clear, and high-quality strategic documents; familiarity with and professional experience directly related to Environment Management System (EMS) documentation and implementation, ISO 14001 certification an asset; experience working in humanitarian or global development settings, and/or for the UN or other humanitarian/development agencies preferred.
  • Language: Fluency in English required. Knowledge of another UN language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be based in Nairobi, Kenya or home based.


The Temporary Appointment is for six months and the expected start date is 01 August 2021. It is a full-time role with working hours starting from 9.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday (40 hours per week).
Supervisor of the EMS and Policy Specialist,: Snr Project Officer Greening & Sustainability Team, GMIS, DFAM

How to Apply

Interested candidates are requested to apply on the UNHCR career page at www.unhcr.org/careers – by clicking on the Vacancies tab and entering job ID 27016.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Closing Date

Please note that the closing date for this TA advertisement is Saturday 19 June 2021 (midnight Geneva time).


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