The World Resources Institute’s Sustainability Initiative seeks to align the Institute’s business practices with its mission. Using research and expertise from staff to guide us, WRI is committed to reducing the environmental and social impact of its operations. This report discloses WRI’s 2013-2014 GHG inventory results and discusses sustainability projects completed in the same time period.

Key Findings

GHG emission inventory results

WRI’s progress towards its GHG emission reduction goals have been mixed, with some areas of high GHG emissions growth.   

As WRI moves into the second half of its initial target period (2015–2020), it will review lessons learned and reengage with stakeholders to improve its sustainability strategy and remain relevant to its mission. WRI remains committed to integrating sustainability into its operations and reporting on progress in a transparent manner—“walking the talk.” 

Some highlights from the inventory

  • We are making progress in meeting WRI’s electricity target and are 26% closer to achieving the targeted carbon reduction. Much of the reduction can be attributed to sustainable facilities efforts, including LEED certified renovations at WRI's U.S. and China offices.  

  • Business travel carbon has increased by 15.7% from the baseline year; however, emissions per capita have actually reduced since 2010.   

  • GHG emissions from purchased goods & services continue to increase at the same pace as organizational growth.  Much of this growth comes from increased partnerships and subgrants, which are part of the WRI mission.

Next Steps

The past five years have taught WRI staff about the challenges to integrating sustainability into operations. While the challenges are many, so are the opportunities for impact. Continually pushing for progress is integral to creating a more efficient and effective organization.

To reassess the expansion of WRI’s sustainability work and fully engage WRI’s key stakeholders—staff, partners, and funders— the Sustainability Team will conduct a strategy refresh that draws on lessons learned over the past five years as well as lessons learned from others engaged in operational sustainability. The following sustainability refresh strategy is proposed for WRI:

  • Stakeholder reviews—staff, partners, and funders—to update WRI’s vision of a sustainable nonprofit

  • Update existing targets and set new targets as needed based on stakeholder review and strategy refresh

  • Develop short-term and long-term strategies to achieve WRI’s sustainability goals

  • Develop metrics to track success and integrate it