Nearly 85% of people worldwide affiliate with a religion. Their faith values, religious communities and spiritual leaders are important guides for forging the practices they embrace and enact. While many people of faith view the earth as a divine creation that requires responsible stewardship, faith-based organizations often lack a clear roadmap for how to engage in efforts that benefit people, nature and the climate simultaneously.

WRI Faith and Sustainability pursues the untapped potential of faith-based organizations to advance sustainability efforts and fight climate change. It fosters partnerships between faith-based organizations and governments, as well as the academic and private sectors, to create and scale climate action with the goals of reducing poverty, developing economies and protecting natural resources.

WRI Faith and Sustainability, created in 2021, understands that faith-based organizations have the potential and influence to undertake timely, informed, science-based and coordinated action that can reduce climate change and situate faith groups as climate champions.

The initiative’s three core goals are to:

  • Conduct research on faith-based values, behaviors and assets to understand the impact of faith-based organizations and their possible climate contributions. This multi-sector, collaborative research enables faith leaders to provide their communities with accurate, timely information about how best to care for the planet in ways that align with their doctrines.
  • Design impactful climate solutions by helping faith-based organizations create and implement sustainable practices consistent with their values. In keeping with WRI's Strategic Plan for 2023-2027, this work focuses on partnering with faith organizations to transform the major human-driven systems propping up unsustainable production and consumption: food, land and water; energy; and cities.
  • Support advocacy and mobilization by convening faith and spiritual leaders who can create a movement of people to pursue global environmental sustainability and climate action.

Science-based Targets for Faith

Busy day on Bern main railway station (Bahnhof Bern) and Church of the Holy Spirit in Switzerland.

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Faith and Food Systems

Soybean distribution.

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Faith and Natural Resources Governance

A buddhist monk stands beside a giant tree which has been ordained to try and save it from forest clearance for plantation expansion.

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 Partner with Us

The Faith and Sustainability team is seeking enthusiastic partners who are driven to make a difference. Consider collaborating with us to measure and understand your organization’s impact, to develop timely, evidence-based climate interventions that align with your values, and to scale your efforts in ways that meet the magnitude of the global challenges ahead. You can begin today. Contact one of the featured experts below to find out more.


Photo Credit: Thomas James Caldwell/Flickr