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Evidence Based Corporate Sustainability Collaborations

Working with companies is essential to WRI’s mission. Companies' operations can be resource-intensive and negatively impact people and planet. At the same time, the private sector can innovate and scale solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. Companies committed to doing less bad and enough good rely on partners like WRI to inform integrated sustainability strategies and achieve ambitious outcomes.

Working together to solve global challenges and drive our shared agenda.

At WRI, we are committed to providing high quality knowledge products. Our research publications and analysis, including those produced for companies, are held to academic standards of excellence such as rigor and objectivity. We also produce research that is timely, fit for specific audiences and rooted in a strategic plan for achieving positive change in the world. Our open-source knowledge products are shared with full transparency and urgency so that others can replicate solutions to scale global change. 

The following collaborations show how WRI and corporate partners work together on mutually beneficial goals and sustainability priorities while maintaining the independence and rigor synonymous with WRI research.

Cargill and WRI Collaborate on Accounting and Target Setting

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The world is projected to hold nearly 10 billion people by 2050. Sustainably feeding this exploding population requires reducing emissions, curbing deforestation and alleviating poverty. WRI and Cargill’s partnership includes the application of standardized accounting, science-based methodologies and the development of open-source tools to accelerate progress across industries and help deliver on global sustainability goals.

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HSBC, WRI and WWF seek to remove barriers to commercial finance for innovative climate solutions

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Reaching a low-carbon economy at the ambition defined by science will require partnerships to overcome policy barriers and investment in innovative solutions that close the gap between demand and supply. The Climate Solutions Partnership combines the expertise and experience of HSBC, WRI, WWF and a network of global partners to accelerate the transition to net zero between 2020 and 2025. The Partnership’s three work streams focus on start-up firms developing carbon-cutting technologies, projects that protect and restore biodiversity, and initiatives to help transition energy growth to renewables in Asia.

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Mars, Inc. and WRI Advance Comprehensive Science-Based Sustainability Targets

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Companies working within planetary boundaries are better prepared to lead within the current reality of a rapidly growing global middle class and acute resource constraints. WRI worked with Mars, Inc. to analyze the company’s footprint and develop targets that consider the latest science on the global carbon budget, water stress and other ecological limits. This work is quickly becoming common practice.

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WRI and Ørsted Examine How Government Action Can Drive Private Investment in a Renewable Energy Future

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The private sector is poised to invest billions of dollars to massively speed up, scale, and support the energy transition. To unlock it, governments must work with the private sector to incentivize investment in renewable energy. A 2021 working paper by Ørsted and WRI, examines key challenges that can hinder private investment in renewable energy and provides governments, policymakers, and regulators with three actions they can take today.

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Palm Oil Industry Jointly Develops Radar Monitoring Technology to Detect Deforestation

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Ten major palm oil producers and buyers collaborated to support and fund a publicly available radar-based forest monitoring system known as Radar Alerts for Detecting Deforestation (RADD) has since been integrated into Global Forest Watch and Global Forest Watch Pro. This partnership made it much easier to see deforestation happening in near-real-time and with greater accuracy. With this information, stakeholders can more quickly address challenges on the ground and work to improve the sustainability of commodity supply chains.

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Photo by Nanang Sujana/CIFOR

IKEA Trims Food Waste with the Food Loss & Waste Standard

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IKEA Food kicked off an initiative to halve food waste in its restaurants and bistros by the end of 2022. The Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Accounting and Reporting Standard, produced by WRI, helps companies like IKEA create an inventory and scope to develop baselines and measure results in achieving these goals. 

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Image credit: IKEA

Note: Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group (the holding company that controls most IKEA stores), became a member of WRI’s Global Board in 2021. This case study preceded him joining the Board, applies methodology that was developed independent of the WRI/Ikea relationship and is grounded in WRI’s rigorous approach to data and research.  

UPS Partners with WRI to Advance Waste-Derived Renewable Natural Gas as a U.S. Climate Strategy

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UPS delivers over 20 million packages each day, requiring a massive fleet powered by millions of gallons of fuel. The company aims to reduce the absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its global ground operations 12% by 2025. UPS partnered with WRI to develop research that explores renewable natural gas’ production and use in the United States, which can unlock solutions in the transport sector.

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General Electric Partners with WRI to Advance Thought Leadership on the Energy-water Nexus

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Global industrial water demand is expected to increase by 250% by 2030. Companies in water- and energy-intensive industries, as well as their customers, are increasingly interested in evaluating and managing emerging risks. General Electric partnered with WRI to produce a landmark report on how companies can develop new innovations and explore business opportunities that address these challenges. 

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Primary Contacts

  • Director of International Corporate Relations

  • Emily Neagle

    Director, Corporate Consultative Group and Donor Engagement

  • Kathryn Klem

    Manager, Corporate Relations