Consultant: Environmental Management System

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)


Duties and Responsibilities

The purpose of this consultancy is to support OHCHR in developing an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on the international standard ISO 14001:2015 (on the requirements for an EMS), following the guidelines provided by UNEP/Greening the Blue, and tailored-made to the characteristics, context and priorities of OHCHR including through application of rights-based approaches. This should include a carbon levy model proposal to be considered by the Office.

It is expected that the consultant will analyze existing EMS of UN entities and relevant resources provided by the Greening the Blue EMS Toolkit, as well as reach out to UN Secretariat counterparts – in particular UNHQ – to develop a comprehensive, systematic, cyclic, planned and documented accountability framework and set of processes that provides OHCHR with information on and ability to manage its environmental performance both at headquarters and in the field.

The consultant shall:
1. Follow EMS good practices from UN entities, including the Greening the Blue EMS Toolkit, to develop an EMS tailor-made to the priorities and structural characteristics of OHCHR.
2. Reach out to UN Secretariat counterparts – in particular UNHQ, UNOG and regional offices that support OHCHR administratively, to ensure a coordinated approach and build on existing EMS, or plans to develop such systems.
3. Reach out to entities outside of the UN for lessons learned related to human rights enhancing sustainability management.
4. Analyze resources, UN EMS criteria, templates, questionnaires and other step-by-step guidelines provided by UNEP/Greening the Blue and ISO 14001:2015, determining the optimal approach to adapt those templates, guidelines and processes to OHCHR’s context;
5. Coordinate the development of OHCHR’s EMS Initial Environmental Review, including the context of the organization, the identified compliance obligations, a list of risks and opportunities, a list of environmental aspects, an assessment to identify the significant environmental aspects and the environmental impacts caused by them, and a suggested scope of the EMS.
6. Prepare the required set of documents for the Plan, Do, Act and Check phases of the EMS, including gap analyses, diagnostics, questionnaires, structural definitions, implementation scope, assigned responsibilities and resources within the EMS Governance structure, actions plans, recommendations and set up a plan for an internal audit, among other documentations required by the ISO 14001:2015.
7. Coordinate the development of the EMS specification to build an accountability structure internally, define objectives and targets, formalize actions, and build key performance indicators for monitoring progress; assist in policy development, including the review and analysis of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies.
8. Conduct surveys and consultations to gather the required information for the EMS; update and optimize data collection tools on OHCHR’s carbon footprint; review, analyze and interpret responses, identify problems/issues and prepare recommendations and corrective actions.
9. Based on existing examples from the UN system, prepare an internal carbon levy model proposal that could be adopted by OHCHR to support fundraising to continue and expand the work on sustainability management contributing to generating a cultural shift at the organizational level.
10. Prepare and present communication materials and information sessions to build awareness and report on the progress and status of OHCHR’s EMS and the proposed carbon levy model.
11. Provide additional support to OHCHR’s work on sustainability management as needed.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced degree in the area of environmental management, environmental engineering, sustainable development and/or management administration or related field. A first degree with 2 years of additional experience can be accepted en lieu of the advanced degree.
Experience: A minimum of five years of experience in sustainable environmental management or related field is required. Experience in designing, operationalizing and/or implementing an EMS is desirable. Training in ISO 14001, ISO 14031, EMAS or other Environmental Management standard is desirable. Experience related to human rights and the environment is an asset.
Language: Fluency in English is required. Working knowledge of French language is desirable.

Result of Service

Tangible and measurable outputs of the work assignment:

1. Detailed work plan and calendar setting a timeline for the development and implementation of the planned activities and deliverables, including designing an outline for the EMS structure.
2. Carbon levy model proposal – first version.
3. Report on consultations with stakeholders regarding EMS– first version.
4. EMS’s Initial Environmental Review – first version.
5. Carbon levy model proposal – final version
6. Report on consultations with stakeholders regarding EMS– final version.
7. EMS’s Initial Environmental Review – final report.
8. End of consultancy report outlining status of the EMS and a set of recommendations and/or corrective actions to guide the way forward.
9. Communication materials and information sessions.

Work Location

Home Based

Expected duration

The consultant will work for a period of 6 months between 01 June 2022 (or as soon as possible thereafter) and no later than 31 December 2022. There is a possibility of extension to support various elements of the Sustainable Environmental Management Group work if additional funds are identified.