The WFP Energy Efficiency Programme (EEP)’s Green Kit allows all WFP premises, even those in the most remote locations, to assess and optimize their energy consumption with technical support from the WFP Engineering team. Remote energy consumption monitoring equipment, together with survey data, allows engineers to quickly identify the most effective energy-saving measures for each site.
In order to run its operations, which include reaching vulnerable and often isolated populations with food assistance and responding to complex emergencies, WFP uses a great deal of energy. Due to the scope and nature of its work and the vast size of the organization, WFP has one of the highest rates of energy consumption in the UN system.
Recognizing that energy-efficient and renewable technologies have significant environmental and financial benefits, the EEP is able to re-invest funds generated from an internal carbon tax in order to cover the full cost of energy surveys and up to 75% of the capital costs for implementing energy efficiency and/or fuel-switching projects (including renewable energy installations), after meeting basic criteria.
In 2015, WFP Engineering and the Environmental Sustainability unit jointly developed the Green Box (now a slimmer “Green Kit”), in collaboration with the WFP Innovation Accelerator in Munich. The kit contains an Energy Survey Form and an Energy Monitoring System to attach to a distribution board, allowing remote monitoring of a facility’s energy consumption.
The Green Kit is designed to allow field locations to easily set up the monitoring systems themselves, which are so simple that engineers from HQ are not required to fly in to install them (thus saving time and money). Engineers are able to monitor each location’s energy consumption remotely, and by analysing the survey data can quickly and cost-effectively make appropriate recommendations. Country Offices can then apply for co-funding from the EEP should they choose to move forward.
The results from interventions undertaken in off-grid locations so far show that diesel fuel consumption can be reduced by 40-80%, through simple behavioural change and relatively small investments in energy efficient or renewable energy equipment (with a return of anywhere from 1-6 years, depending on the level of investment).
As many of the locations in which WFP operates are not only remote, but also often in insecure contexts, this means that energy efficiency in WFP goes hand-in-hand with improved staff wellness, including increased safety, reduced pollution, reduced noise, better toxic waste management, and less maintenance. It also creates greater resilience in remote operations by reducing dependency on fuel shipments.