Intern (Environment Affairs)

United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

Geneva, , CH

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The Sustainable United Nations facility (Sustainable UN, SUN) was established by UN Environment in 2008 with the aim of enabling the UN agencies to achieve climate neutrality and environmental sustainability. UN Environment also hosts the UN Environment Management Group (EMG). The EMG is a network of 47 UN system entities that have been officially designated to implement the UN climate neutrality and internal sustainability commitments. Sustainable UN assists the EMG by providing tools, training and – most importantly- a forum for experience exchange. 

Sustainable UN coordinates the Greening the Blue campaign that includes the annual environmental inventories of the UN system on greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water management practices and quantities, as well as environmental sustainability initiatives. Over 60 UN entities take part of the annual reporting cycle of the ‘Greening the Blue’ report. Sustainable UN also works with individual agencies to develop emissions reduction plans, and provides information to UN staff on how they can reduce their impacts. SUN guidance has so far focused on facilities, procurement, sustainable meetings, travel, ICT and distance working. More recently SUN has started work on water management and has intensified its guidance on Environmental Management Systems (EMS) as a tool for a systematic way to reduce emissions and improve environmental performance.

The Internship is for a duration of six months

The Internship is UNPAID and full time.

Interns work five days per week (35 to 40 hours) under the supervision of the staff member assigned to them.


Under the direct supervision of the Sustainable UN coordinator, and in close collaboration with SUN staff members, the intern will:

  • Provide support to the compilation of the UN greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste and water management data from UN entities;
  • Assist in estimating proxies for greenhouse gas emissions and waste in terms of consumption/generation per area or per capita;
  • Provide assistance in the day to day work regarding the implementation of UN’s Climate Neutral Strategy;
  • Organize and participate of team meetings and take notes as requested; 
  • Help the Sustainable UN team maintain data and best practices from UN organizations with regards to internal environmental sustainability and ensure the information is well classified and easy to trace.



  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively
  • Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately
  • Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience
  • Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed


  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals
  • Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others

Client Orientation:

  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view
  • Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect
  • Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions


Applicants must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:
a. Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
b. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
c. Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.
Be computer literate in standard software applications.
Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter; 
Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.
Studies in environmental science, communications, media relations, and/or social science are preferred.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the internship, fluency in oral and written English is required.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration