Job Opening

Posting Title: Sustainability Consultant
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 07 August 2019 - 22 August 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-United Nations Environment Programme-121210-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

A complete Strategy for Sustainability Management in the UN System 2020-2030 (Phase I and II) to be presented to the EMG Senior Officials in September 2020.

Work Location

Home based

Expected duration

The Consultant will be expected to deliver agreed-upon outputs and services within a period of 4 months starting September 2019 during which the consultant will work for 62.5 days.

Duties and Responsibilities

In December 2018, the UN Secretary-General asked the UN to raise the level of its internal ambitions and to intensify its efforts to combat climate change from within. This request raises the profile of an existing mandate from Senior Officials of the UN Environment Management Group (EMG), in September 2018, to develop a UN internal sustainability vision and strategy beyond 2020 to confirm the UN’s leadership aspirations in the area of internal environmental and social sustainability and to show that the UN aligns its own performance with the principles it has pioneered internationally.

Both requests echo calls by member states, in General Assembly resolutions and the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review, for the UN to lead by example. They are also consistent with the requirements of international financial institutions and multilateral funding mechanisms for the implementation of environmental and social safeguards in UN projects and programmes.

The EMG and the UN Environment Programme through the Sustainable UN Facility (SUN) have been given the task of responding to these requests. Phase I of the STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY MANAGEMENT IN THE UN SYSTEM 2020-2030 was prepared by SUN and EMG and endorsed by the High-Level Committee on Management and the Chief Executives Board in April and May 2019 respectively. Presenting and overarching vision for sustainability management in the UN system, Phase I covered Environmental Sustainability in the area of Management, focusing on the continued reduction of environmental impacts via the systematic consideration of risks and benefits to the environment from UN activities in relevant corporate management decisions of all UN entities.

Phase II, which is now to be developed and to be presented to the CEB for endorsement in 2020, will address the full picture of internal environmental and social sustainability in UN system policies, programming and facilities and operations, as outlined in the Framework for advancing Environmental and Social Sustainability in the UN System.

The EMG Secretariat is seeking a consultant to support the EMG and SUN Secretariats with the design and development of Phase II of the Strategy as well as with the development of targets and indicators for measuring progress against the agreed goals of Phase I.

The Consultant is to support the EMG and SUN Secretariats in the finalization of the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the UN system 2020-2030, including drafting Phase II and advising on target, milestones and implementation structure for Phase I.

Tasks and responsibilities:

In close collaboration with the EMG and SUN, tasks will include but not be limited to:

1.Organization of meetings and interagency discussion (invitations, agenda, reporting) that will be the base for the strategy finalization (a minimum of 2 remote meetings a month is foreseen and one face to face at project inception);

2.Facilitation of such meetings (chairing, background papers, collection and classification of comments, one to one phone calls to discuss strategy details with agencies);

3.Background research and case study collection;

4.Drafting of guidance documents (output 3-5).

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:

An advanced university degree in the area of sustainable development, sustainability management, corporate social responsibility, environmental science or business administration. In case of more experienced candidates in the relevant area, the academic requirements could be reduced.


Minimum 7 years of relevant work experience in internal sustainability matters, including sustainability aspects of programming and projects. Experience of working with United Nations internal sustainability frameworks is strongly preferred.


The candidate should demonstrate the following skills:

1. Drafting skills.

2. Good knowledge and understanding of international sustainability standards and safeguard policies including those of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank, the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility.

3. Good knowledge of reporting and measurement standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative, Global Compact, Carbon Disclosure project and equivalent.
Knowledge of relevant accountability frameworks such as the UN SWAP for Mainstreaming Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women is an advantage.

4. Ability to conduct independent research and analysis, excellent communications and coordination skills, and competence in driving multi-stakeholder initiatives.

5. The candidate should have the ability to deliver outputs and work under pressure to meet the deadlines mentioned in this Terms of Reference.


For the advertised post, fluency in oral and written English is an absolute requirement. Knowledge other UN languages would be an additional advantage.

No Fee


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