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Blog Posts: business

  • Introducing WRI’s New Strategic Plan: Scaling Our Impact in Urgent Times

    In the Strategic Plan we present WRI’s strategy for the coming four years. We will focus our activities on six global problems that must be addressed urgently this decade. We will do fewer projects at greater depth and scale, seeking tipping points and, together with partners, moving beyond them. And we will invest in creating open-source data, research, and visual information that are suited to today’s fast-paced and networked world. We look forward to working with our partners to tackle today’s urgent challenges and contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous world for all people.

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  • Signs of Progress at World Economic Forum’s Climate Day

    For the first time, the meeting of many of the world’s pre-eminent political and business leaders held an official “Climate Day” to discuss the challenges posed by a warmer world. The day and the Forum’s several events and panels yielded encouraging talk—and the potential for some transformative initiatives.

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  • WRI’s Top Outcomes of 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, it’s a good time to look back on the impact we’ve made in the world this year.

    We made progress on tackling key sustainability challenges, including addressing climate change, promoting clean energy, ensuring food security and stable water supplies, reducing forest degradation, and creating sustainable cities. Take a look at our nine top outcomes:

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  • 3 Ways Multinational Corporations Can Help Vulnerable Communities Adapt to Climate Change

    Multinational companies (MNCs) typically have operations and supply chains in many parts of the world. The way they respond to climate change, therefore, can affect many populations, including poor communities in developing countries, where many people are especially vulnerable to heat waves, sea level rise, and other climate change impacts. MNCs sometimes find themselves in tension with local groups and the environment, but they can also play an important role in making these communities more climate-resilient.

    Here are three ways that MNCs can contribute to climate change adaptation in developing countries:

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  • Business and Government Must Come Together for Strong Climate Action

    It’s time for businesses and governments to step up to the climate challenge and match words to actions.

    This week at the annual international climate talks in Warsaw, companies, policymakers, and civil society participated in an event to deepen business engagement on climate policy. Such interaction could not have come at a more critical time.

    Global emissions are on the rise. And last year, climate and extreme weather events alone cost $200 billion.

    The world clearly needs to accelerate its response to the climate challenge. Businesses and governments need to work together constructively to raise the level of action and ambition. That means policymakers step up to provide a strong market signal and support, while companies come to the table with clear, public, constructive input.

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  • Greater Expectations: 3 Actions for Companies to Take on Climate Policy

    As the risks that climate change poses to business becoming ever clearer, corporate executives are increasingly recognizing that policy action is essential. The Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy—from the U.N. Global Compact, U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, U.N. Environment Programme, World Resources Institute, CDP, WWF, Ceres, and The Climate Group—for the first time establishes a shared, practical definition of responsible corporate engagement. The new guide details three essential steps businesses can take to effectively engage in climate policy.

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  • Do We Need a Standard to Calculate “Avoided Emissions”?

    Today, the GHG Protocol is releasing a survey to scope out the need for a new standard to help companies quantify and report the “avoided emissions” of goods and services that contribute to a low-carbon economy—such as low-temperature detergents, fuel-saving tires, or teleconferencing equipment and services.

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  • IPCC Report Delivers A Strong Message On Climate For Business Leaders

    An old Wall Street adage says “the market hates uncertainty.” Well, businesses received an unambiguous message last week with the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

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  • 3 Beginning Steps to Designing a National Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program

    A number of programs that require businesses to report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have emerged in the past decade at the regional, national, and sub-national levels. Most of these programs operate in developed countries, but some developing countries are also showing an interest in adopting mandatory emissions disclosure programs.

    Establishing these programs is a resource- and time-intensive exercise. It can be a daunting task for developing countries with competing priorities and limited resources. So where can these countries begin as they consider setting up their greenhouse gas reporting schemes?

    WRI’s new working paper, Designing Greenhouse Gas Reporting Systems: Learning from Existing Programs, reviews corporate and facility-level greenhouse gas reporting programs in Australia, California, Canada, the European Union, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The paper identifies steps to implement a mandatory reporting program and discusses factors to be considered at each step in designing the program.

    It also discusses some strategies for developing countries keen to set up reporting programs. Developing countries may find it easier to adopt a gradual, phased approach to develop a reporting program. Engaging in the following three key steps allows developing nations to make the most of their more limited resources:

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  • Ensuring Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability in Brazil

    Brazil’s economy has been booming. During the past decade, it grew from the ninth to the sixth-largest in the world. While this growth has brought many socioeconomic benefits, it’s come with a downside: significant environmental impacts. Brazil has the highest rate of deforestation worldwide, while pollution threatens the country’s drinking water supply. Despite a decrease in national greenhouse gas emissions of late, agriculture emissions and energy demand are still rising.

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