This millennium often evokes predictions of failed technology and environmental disaster. We at World Resources Institute know that these risks are real: our fragile ecosystems are being degraded all around us, and even the most sophisticated computer programs are subject to human error.
But we also know that the shape of the future – good or bad – is determined by decisions and choices that we make today. Our mission commits us to try to “move human society to live in ways that protect earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.”
WRI’s relocation to 10 G Street, NE, in March 1999 presented an opportunity to create an office environment that expresses our mission in tangible terms, through environmentally-friendly design, facilities, and technology. The workspace, designed by the architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum, PC is a real-life example of strategic environmental and business management.
The design is built within a conventional leased office space and within a standard budget, but it makes some intelligent choices that use resources efficiently and deal with waste constructively. In April 2000, WRI’s office space was recognized as one of the top ten best examples of environmentally responsible design solutions by the American Institute of Architects.
In August 2003, American Psychological Association (APA) and its property manager, Trammell Crow Company, purchased more than 20 million kilowatt hours of green power. APA will buy green power from wind and other renewable resources for its two Capitol Hill office buildings equal to 75 percent of their annual electricity consumption. APA and Trammell Crow received assistance from World Resources Institute and Think Energy, Inc. and the Green Power Market Development Group (Find out more…)
We are proud to have created an office environment that strives to make responsible, intelligent choices, from the smallest architectural detail to the largest communications network. This new kind of “Mission Design” satisfies and inspires us. It reminds us everyday that things can be improved, that we can take tangible steps to advance our goals of protecting biodiversity and climate or encouraging sustainable development and business practices. WRI’s office environment is proof that ideas can be put into action.
We hope that others will be interested in our design and will be moved to follow our lead. We want to support the suppliers who made our space possible, and we’d like to encourage more people to follow their lead, too. Most of all, we wish to use this beautiful space as a forum for discussion about other, better ways to protect earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.