The main driver behind Sustainability Strategy II is that the UN needs to “walk the talk” when it comes to sustainability and mainstream all sustainability principles it promotes into its own internal functions. Established in 2001, the UN Environment Management Group (EMG), a system-wide coordination body on environment and human settlements, is set to coordinate this initiative. The envisaged goal is to establish the UN as a leader in environmental and social sustainability management by 2030.
The Sustainability Strategy II builds on over 30 existing UN strategies and action plans that are in place already and aims at fostering greater coherence. The Sustainability Strategy II includes: (i) a comprehensive set of environmental and social sustainability principles (aligned with the 2030 Agenda and other UN frameworks) that need to be mainstreamed across all functions; (ii) a theory of change to mainstream the principles in different system-level and entity-level processes; (iii) a draft scorecard to measure progress; the scorecard is in draft form and will be linked to existing reporting mechanisms on environmental/social sustainability.
Implementation will start in 2022 with knowledge exchange and discussions on a scorecard and indicators. This is an opportunity for UNU to instigate an entity-wide change and act as a role model to the wider UN.