World Bank Group (WBG)

HQ: Washington, DC, USA

Focal Point: Monika Kumar

Email: crinfo [at]


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions*


Key Figures: Waste*


* The World Bank Group consists of five member institutions: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The inventory also comprises data from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).


Key Figures: Water


President's Message


"I want us to lead by example as we manage our triple bottom line -- environmental, social, and economic impacts. We will continue to reinforce our efforts to prevent pollution and promote more efficient use of natural resources. The wellbeing of the people and the communities where we operate is critically important to us."

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group




The World Bank Group has set two goals for the world to achieve by 2030:

  • End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3%
  • Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country

Experience so far


The World Bank Group (WBG) is committed to actively integrating sustainability into our work with clients and strives to continually manage our corporate environmental and social impact.

We have an active program to measure, manage, report and offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the WBG’s global business operations, including fuel used in boilers and generators, electricity consumed in buildings, and emissions from key meetings and air travel. Utilizing our inventory management plan as a guide, we have collected and managed data from all of our offices since 2007 and began using a web-based data management system in 2008 to ensure a transparent and auditable process.

The WBG has also set emissions reductions targets. The World Bank recently surpassed a voluntary goal of reducing GHG emissions by 10 percent between 2010 and 2017 from all owned and managed facilities—achieving a 20 percent reduction. We are in the process of setting a new GHG emissions reduction target in line with climate science. Starting in 2006 the WBG became “carbon neutral” for its Headquarters, including day-to-day operations and business travel, and since 2009 has been globally carbon neutral for all of its facility and business travel GHG emissions (including country offices).


EMS and Reduction efforts


The World Bank: 

  • Implemented energy efficiency projects, such as lighting upgrades in headquarters and various country offices, as well as installation of solar compound lighting and solar water heaters in select country offices.
  • The WBG Islamabad office earned LEED Gold certification, joining nine other Bank offices with similar certified sustainable building standards.

At the IFC:

  • Efficiency efforts have reduced total electricity consumption at IFC headquarters by 18 percent since 2007.
  • Nearly 60 percent of IFC’s real estate footprint by square foot is LEED-certified or equivalent. IFC is leading the development and engineering of a new net-zero energy-use WBG office building in Dakar, Senegal.

Reduction achievements:

Between 2016-2017, the WBG realized some emissions reduction from its facilities-based emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by about one percent, but saw an increase in emissions from business travel (Scope 3) and thus overall emissions increased by 3.8 percent. As mentioned above, we are in the process of setting a new GHG emissions reduction target, by which we aim to reduce absolute carbon emissions from global facilities by [28 percent] by 2026, compared to a 2016 baseline.


Inventory Management Plans


Each year, the WBG updates and discloses the Inventory Management Plan (IMP) that sets forth the current scope and vision of its commitment to inventory and manage GHG emissions for its internal global business operations. The IMP sets forth the WBG’s intention to create a GHG inventory that is consistent with the principles and guidance of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative (GHG Protocol) for its internal corporate GHG accounting and reporting. The inventory methodology is designed to meet the most rigorous and complete accounting and reporting standards.




The WBG has been 100 percent climate neutral since 2009 through a combination of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates (RECs). In FY17, the WBG maintained climate neutrality through the purchase of CERs and high quality VERs that provide tangible development benefits in client countries. These included energy efficiency, renewable energy projects in India and Pakistan, and efficient cook stove projects in Chad and Ghana.


Waste Management


The World Bank has worked to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills through a combination of source reduction, reuse, and recycling. Minimizing the amount of material brought into Bank facilities is the first way the Bank manages the amount of waste created. Avoiding unnecessary packaging for purchased items, including encouraging minimum purchase thresholds for office supplies, is one way the Bank accomplishes this. Another way is by mandating that large purchases from vendors, such as the Bank’s latest computer monitor purchase, be delivered in bulk instead of individually packaged. In fiscal year 2018, the Bank continued to pursue efficiencies in the standardization of waste management in its headquarters facilities.

In FY18, IFC launched a reusable food-container program, eliminating nearly 250,000 disposable containers annually. The program helped reduce IFC’s total waste by an estimated 26 percent from 2015, according to our latest waste audit.


Water Management


World Bank facilities conserve the amount of water used through technological upgrades and proactive maintenance practices. This includes purchasing water-efficient fixtures, proactively checking for leaks, and investing in water-efficient equipment in our HVAC systems. In our Washington, DC, kitchens, we recently replaced industrial dishwashers with energy- and water-efficient models, saving 600 gallons in water per year. In all Washington, DC buildings, water coolers and bottle filling stations were standardized. The stations filter out impurities while tracking the number of disposable water bottles replaced.

Addressing water availability in country offices.

World Bank country offices’ conservation efforts depend on the local context. In response to diminishing water availability, the Nairobi office established a rainwater collection system to reuse water for landscaping and cleaning external surfaces in fiscal year 2017. Globally three World Bank campuses have water collection and reuse systems. To improve data availability in country offices, processes are currently being put in place.

In fiscal year 2017, 80 percent of the global portfolio and in fiscal year 2016, 78 percent of the global portfolio reported water data. No estimations are calculated for offices. With an increased response rate each year it is expected that the total global water usage reported will increase.


Other environmental measures


The World Bank actively manages the environmental, social, and economic impacts of its internal business operations by striving for net positive impacts on the ecosystems, communities, and economies where it has offices. By implementing its Corporate Responsibility Strategic Plan, the Bank systematically addresses environmental impacts from day-to-day operations, utilizing a set of Sustainability Principles as its guide. A few highlights from this past fiscal year include:

  • Piloted a bin-less waste removal system and surveyed waste management practices in its Washington, DC, offices. To date, the bin-less pilot has increased the amount of waste that is recycled and composted, with only 20 percent sent to the landfill.
  • Eliminated plastic water bottles from HQ cafeterias, cafes, catering, and vending machines
  • The WBG was awarded a 2018 Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Purchaser Award at the two-star level by the Green Electronics Council, a program recognizing excellence in the procurement of sustainable electronics.
  • In line with institutional commitments to gender equality, the WBG announced a goal of doubling corporate procurement from women-owned businesses to 7 percent of total procurement spend by 2023.

Next steps


The WBG will continue to work to ensure that our GHG inventory for internal day-to-day business operations is as complete and accurate as possible through increasing the response rate to our annual survey and reducing the need for proxies. At the same time, we will continue to ensure that our GHG inventory practices meet international protocols through third party verification and align with our peers by sharing and seeking best practice. A new, WBG GHG emissions reduction target in line with climate science is expected to be announced at COP24 in December 2018.


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