Over 80% of people worldwide affiliate with a religion. Their faith, religious communities and spiritual leaders are important guides for forging the values they embrace and protect. While many people of faith view the earth as a divine creation that requires responsible stewardship, religious organizations often lack a clear roadmap for how to engage in work that promote global thriving and wellbeing.

The magnitude of the climate crisis and the urgent need for action require innovative partnerships. WRI’s Faith and Sustainability initiative pursues the untapped potential of faith-based groups to advance sustainability efforts and fight climate change. It fosters partnerships between faith-based groups, governments, the science sector and the private sector to create and scale climate action with the goals of reducing poverty, growing economies and protecting natural resources.

WRI’s Faith and Sustainability Initiative, created in 2021, believes that faith-based organizations have the potential and influence to undertake timely, informed, science-based and coordinated action that can reduce climate change.

The Initiative’s three core goals are to:

  • Conduct research on faith-based organizations' physical assets, financial assets, and people, to help faith-based organizations understand their own impact and 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 individual doctrines.
  • Design sustainable action through helping faith-based organizations create and implement sustainable practices consistent with their values. This includes tracking and measuring assets owned and operated by faith-based organizations to determine best practices and inform science-based targets.
  • Support advocacy and mobilization by convening leaders who can create a movement of people to pursue environmental sustainability and climate action from the perspective of faith.

With these three goals working in tandem, the pursuits of authentic faith and effective action can lead to a healthier earth and human thriving.

Photo Credit: Thomas James Caldwell/Flickr.



Science-Based Targets for Faith: Project Update

 Faith-based organizations (“FBO”) have growing awareness, guidance, and capacity to advance science-based targets (“SBT”) to measure and manage the energy and emissions performance of their tangible and intangible assets. FBOs are uniquely positioned to advance the global mitigation of climate change by inspiring sustainable actions by local communities around the world.

The World Resources Institute and Georgetown University have entered into a partnership to incubate and develop the Science Based Targets for Faith project. The Project is built on WRI’s leadership in establishing global greenhouse gas accounting standards, science-based climate target setting practices, and Georgetown’s mission to advance serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs.

WRI and Georgetown hosted a webinar during Faith Action Climate Week that introduced participants to WRI and the Faith and Sustainability initiative; introduced science based targets and why it's important for FBOs to embrace SBTs; what a WRI-Georgetown partnership and creating a global standard for FBOs could mean.