UN City SDG Hub 2019-05-27T13:22:37+00:00

The United Nations has used Copenhagen as a hub for global and regional operations since 1957, albeit from three different locations. At present, the Danish Capital is home to some 1,800 staff working from UN City Campus 1 on Marmormolen and Campus 2, which is the UNICEF state-of-the-art high bay storage facility located in the container port in the Northern Harbour.

Every year, UN City welcomes approximately 80,000-100,000 people for meetings, conferences and guided tours. Among key functions of the organizations in Copenhagen are procurement, supply chain and human resource management, health and innovation to mention but a few. While the 11 UN organizations working from out of Copenhagen vary in size and mandate, they share a common agenda – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. UN City thus constitutes a hub for UN operations as well as an SDG hub for business, academia and the public to connect with to advance the 2030 agenda.

We invite you to join the UN City SDG Hub Club and receive regular updates on events and activities related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) taking place in and outside UN City Copenhagen.

Join the SDG Hub Club here.

The 11 UN organizations working from out of Copenhagen vary in size and mandate, they do however share a common agenda – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. Find an SDG focal point from each of the 11 agencies and learn how they work with the SDGs.

Common projects in UN City

The 11 resident UN agencies in UN City work both individually and together to deliver on the commitment of the 2030 Agenda. Below are a number of examples on the common work carried out in UN City to make operations even more efficient and sustainable.

Common Procurement

Out of 11 residing UN agencies in UN City, four have established procurement functions in Copenhagen: the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Clustering procurement and supply in Copenhagen allows for knowledge sharing across the UN agencies as well as collaboration on purchasing goods and services. This way, lower prices can be achieved, higher standards are met and demand for more sustainable production are set. UN agencies in UN City have delivered significant improvements for global practices through joint procurement.

  • There are a number of joint tenders between two or more of the resident agencies that have helped bring prices down and allowed the UN agencies to avoid duplication of cost. Examples include global freight, cargo insurance, travel services and several joint UNFPA-UNICEF tenders on health.
  • UN agencies in UN City Copenhagen also work together to develop procurement. All procurement units in Copenhagen have a solid focus on sustainable procurement and how procurement can contribute to realizing the SDGs. Other special development focus areas include cost savings, a common e-Commerce web platform, and better harmonization and sustainable procurement in health.

Common Communication, Partnerships and Outreach

Another strong point of cooperation among UN City agencies is common partnership, communication and outreach activities. There is a substantial amount of common communication: a UN City website, UN City social media platforms, Visitor Centre, exhibition space etc.

  • During the year, UN City arranges a number of joint campaigns, partnerships and events where all or many of the agencies participate. For example the People’s Meeting on Bornholm, Culture Night, Career Seminar, Summer School, and Communications Week. The People’s Meeting 2019 has our special attention due to the cross-cutting SDG theme for all events. The UN agencies also engage in the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, Nordic Procurement Seminars, UN City for Refugees and many more.
  • UN City is also a hub for youth engagement in the SDGs. We have a popular school service (#UNCity4Schools), where schoolchildren are taught about the SDGs reaching approx. 10.000 pupils in 2019. We also participate in Model UN, the UN Youth Association Case Competition, the International Children’s Day, the Youth Democracy Festival, and we have an SDG network for Danish youth politicians.

Common Services

An important aim of UN City Copenhagen is to improve the common workspace and services for the UN staff and to contribute to the green ambitions of the UN. UN City shares a Common Services function and a number of common areas, where agencies work together to improve the quality of work, wellbeing and the important green story of the building.

  • Greening is a major common effort in UN City. The building was awarded the highest rating of the LEED certification in 2013. Through solar panels and rainwater collection, UN City uses approx. 55% less energy than office buildings of similar size and save approx. 60% of water use. In 2019, UN City is going from 30% to 100% green energy sources, and we aim to become plastic free as soon as possible. From the 1st of January 2019, all single-use plastics in the canteen has been removed and plastic bags at office desks will also be removed in 2019 (equals 400.000 plastic bags less per year).
  • UN City works together on a number of other logistical areas: Common audiovisual equipment, security/entry, IT, print shop, travel arrangements, carpooling etc.
  • Finally, being co-located means that all 11 UN agencies can work on improving the wellbeing of staff and becoming an even more attractive workplace. In 2019, UN City opened a clinic with a General Practitioner and a Wellbeing Counsellor and furthermore revamped the fitness centre. All agencies have access to an extensive intranet with all relevant common information, which also facilitates social interaction and collaboration; UN City Common Services, ICT, Security and Public Diplomacy and Communications Office conduct monthly briefings for newcomers to UN City; and WHO/Europe runs the #BeActive campaign for all UN City staff to celebrate the European Week of Sports.