Operational Excellence

Wise investments in operational excellence have enabled WRI to increase efficiency, effectiveness and the ability to deliver results at scale, even as we have globalized and grown rapidly—about 15 percent annually over the past decade.

Recent investments in operational excellence include:

  • WRI is actively reinvesting its endowment in line with best environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, because companies that proactively manage their ESG performance are in the best position to survive—and thrive—in a world with limited resources. Since WRI relies on its assets to support its long-term mission, we believe this approach will maintain and build on our financial resources. Our hands-on experience with WRI’s endowment informs and strengthens WRI’s Sustainable Investing Initiative, which helps institutional investors integrate key sustainability risks and opportunities into their portfolios.
  • We evaluate each of our offices using an operational Building Blocks Tool developed by WRI, which includes nine components, 25 standards and 124 underlying criteria to assess capacity and risk, along with associated action plans to give our Board Members and Donors confidence that international expansion is managed well. Based on this assessment, we have filled capacity gaps in each of our international offices, including Operations Managers and key staff in Human Resources, Communications, and Science and Research. This will equip international offices to achieve outcomes at scale.
  • We have invested in a Major Gifts Program to increase general support donations and expand our sources of unrestricted revenue. We aim to add $500,000 to our unrestricted reserves each year to improve liquidity and add flexibility for innovation. We hit this target in fiscal year 2016.