World Bank Group (WBG)

HQ: Washington, DC, USA

Focal Point: Adam Rubinfield


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).


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 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 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.

WBG has also set emissions reductions targets. The World Bank recently met a voluntary goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 7% between 2006 and 2011 for its Washington, D.C., buildings and just set a new goal of reducing emissions from all owned and managed facilities by 10% by FY 17.

Electricity use in IFC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., accounts for about 20% of the carbon emissions generated by IFC’s internal operations worldwide. By setting targets, we have steadily reduced our electricity consumption per workstation over the years, lowering it to 5,646 kilowatt hours per workstation. That reflects a 20% decline since 2008—and it means we achieved our target three years ahead of schedule. We are expanding our electricity reduction target to include all IFC-owned offices and exploring the possibility of including other large offices with long-term leases where we are the main tenant. We are working towards announcing a new electricity reduction target in 2014.

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 greenhouse gas emissions (including country offices).


Reduction efforts


In fiscal 2012, the World Bank set an emissions reduction goal, aspiring to reduce emissions from its owned and managed facilities by 10 percent from a fiscal 2010 baseline by fiscal 2017. Emissions reduction efforts are aimed primarily at the Bank’s largest sources of facility emissions—in Washington, DC, and around a dozen owned offices globally. Efforts in fiscal 2015 included upgrading lighting to LEDs in many offices, installing solar panels on the Islamabad office, and using more variable frequency drives in the Chennai office to help efficiently manage HVAC demands.

At the IFC, using natural resources efficiently is an important part of the commitment to make sustainability an integral part of our internal business operations. Electricity use accounts for about 25 percent of carbon emissions generated by IFC’s internal operations worldwide. Between 2007 and 2015, we sought to reduce electricity consumption by 15 percent per workstation in our headquarters offices. We achieved a 25 percent reduction during that time. In 2016, we will set a more ambitious target — one that includes some of our country offices.

Reduction achievements

The World Bank reduced GHG emissions by over 10,000 metric tons between 2013 and 2014 through a combination of reduced travel and facilities upgrades, including the replacement of the chillers in our largest HQ building.

At the IFC, a combination of lighting upgrade projects and HVAC set point adjustments yielded emissions reductions in FY 14.




The World Bank Group has been 100% climate neutral since 2009 through a combination of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates (RECs). In FY 14, the World Bank Group 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 and efficient cook stove projects in India and Uganda.


Other environmental measures


In FY14, IFC’s “thINK before you INK” campaign encouraged staff to change their printing paper. As a result of the campaign, IFC HQ reduced paper purchases by 37% and toner purchases by 26% from FY13 to FY14, with a cost savings of $250,000. In FY15, IFC HQ adopted a managed print system, which achieved a 98% reduction in personal printers (from 700 to 13) and an 87% reduction in all print devices (1,484 scanners, copiers, fax, and printers were replaced by 178 multi-function devices and 13 personal printers). A “Plant for Printer” campaign encouraged Senior Management to support a new zero personal printer policy. 

In the coming year, IFC is working to measure its global baseline for paper purchases, water bottle purchases, and waste, as part of its “Big Picture Campaign” to inspire individual staff actions across a variety of environmental metrics. 


Next steps


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 3rd-party verification, and align with our peers by sharing and seeking best practice.

New, science-based emissions reductions targets are being investigated which align with required global action to avoid a 4 degree warmer world.

World Bank and sustainability

IFC and sustainability

World Bank case studies