Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant on the circular and pollution-free electronics value chain
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: PARIS
Posting Period: 30 September 2021 - 29 October 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-165229-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

- Consolidated list with categorization of existing UNEP work on electrical and electronics equipment (EEE)
- Literature review of existing knowledge on circularity, toxicity and sustainability of EEE.
- Annotated outline of the report
- Facilitation of one online consultation meeting on the report
- Written proposal on how to address comments received during peer-review
- Full report taking into account comments received by UNEP, through consultation and the peer-review

Work Location


Expected duration

Start date: As soon as possible
End date: 31 May 2022
Actual work time: 5 months over 7 months

Duties and Responsibilities

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UNEP’s Economy Division works with international governments and non-governmental organizations, national and local governments, business and industry to develop and implement policies, strategies and practices that are cleaner and safer, incorporate environmental costs, use natural resources efficiently, reduce pollution and risks for humans and the environment, and enable the implementation of conventions and international agreements.

The Consumption and Production Unit and the Knowledge and Risk Unit of UNEP’s Economy Division are working jointly to develop a global report “Towards a circular and pollution-free electronics value chain: From Regional to Global action” (working title). The report will build on existing work done by UNEP. This will include electronics related work which is ongoing under two GEF-funded projects “Global Best Practices on Emerging Chemical Policy Issues of Concern under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)”, and “Circular Economy approaches for the electronics sector in Nigeria”. In particular, the report will build upon three regional electronics studies being developed by UNEP for the African, Central and Eastern European and Latin America and the Caribbean regions. The report will be a concise action-oriented document, to support upstream action in the electronics value chain.

While a large share of the environmental and human-health impacts occurs at the end-of-life stage of electronic products, the potential for such impacts is often determined by product design choices or consumption patterns further upstream of the value chain. This includes, for example, the choice of individual flame retardants during material engineering or designing a product in a way that prevents easy repair and thus accelerates the rate of products becoming obsolete. The report will therefore take a value chain approach, with a view to reducing environmental and human health impacts of electronics along their life cycle and to increase the electronic sector’s contribution to more sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The report will further aim to inform discussions of the beyond 2020 framework for chemicals and waste, and the fifth session of United Nations Environment Assembly, and other relevant dialogues and international conferences.

UNEP is seeking to hire a consultant to support the development of the report.

The position is home based. The consultant will work under the supervision of the programme officers of the Consumption and Production and the Knowledge and Risk units.

Qualifications/special skills

• Professionalism: Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of life cycle approaches, sustainable consumption and production and circular economy approaches (including the role of chemicals management and material ingredients in this conversation) applied to electronics; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges, and; remains calm in stressful situations.
• Teamwork: Takes the initiative to work collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; is flexible to support unexpected or urgent team’s needs that might not be expressed in the workplan; motivates others to provide ideas and feedback and genuinely values this input; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
• Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; demonstrates openness and pro-activity in keeping the network of professional and other stakeholders and clients well informed and in receiving feedback concerning areas for improvement; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits genuine interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; respect the communication channels within the organizations including the UN.

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in environmental management, industrial/ environmental engineering, ecological economics or a related technical field.

• At least 5 years work experience on circular economy and/or electronics value chains, with a good understanding of life cycle approaches, including experience in working with industry and public-sector officials and providing them with technical advice on environment, circular economy and sustainable value chains.
• Excellent research skills to analyse and compile relevant information from desktop research, stakeholder interviews, and project implementation, in order to summarize, and draw sensible conclusions.
• Excellent writing skills in drafting technical documents and reports, by summarising critical information from research and interviews, and tailor the language and styles as part of the proposed recommendations and conclusions towards policy makers and businesses (concise and non-technical language).
• Knowledge on chemicals management and challenges related to chemicals of concern, especially in the electronics sector, is desired.
• Experience in coordinating multi-stakeholder processes and establishing and maintaining productive partnerships with clients is an advantage.
• Experience in research related to value chain/ systemic thinking and upstream thinking, especially in the electronics sector, is an advantage.
• Working experience at regional and international levels is desirable.
• Knowledge of the UN System is an advantage.

Language: Fluency in English (oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.

No Fee


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