World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

HQ: Geneva, Switzerland

Focal Point: Isabelle Boutillon

Email: carbon.neutrality [at]


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions

Key Figures: Waste

Key Figures: Water


Director General's Message


“Climate change is one of the greatest threats ever faced by society. Human activity, including decades of industrial development, has damaged our planet. Widespread pollution and spiralling consumption of the world’s mineral and biological reserves have put unprecedented stress on the environment. As human activity caused the problem, so too can human activity find the solutions. Green innovation - the development and diffusion of technological means to tackle climate change - is key to halting the depletion of the earth’s resources. The race has started to develop accessible alternative sources of energy. A balanced IP system has an extremely important role to play in fostering the creation, diffusion and application of clean technologies. The power of human ingenuity is our best hope for restoring the delicate balance between ourselves and our environment. It is our greatest asset in finding solutions to this global challenge, enabling us to move forward from the carbon-based, grey technologies of the past to the carbon-neutral, green innovation of the future.”

Francis Gurry, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)




The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation.

A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 192 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information. 

Experience so far


WIPO’s Carbon Neutrality Project was launched in February 2009 as well as the first annual Green House Gas inventory.

The amount of Green House Gas emissions are decreasing each year since 2009. Several actions contribute to this trend of decreasing of the emissions:

  • New travel policy since 2012 that encourages travellers to fly in economic class
  • Gradual implementation in WIPO Headquarters of a new cooling system using Geneva lake water (2013 to 2015)
  • WIPO Headquarters powered by hydraulic energy (since 2015)
  • Several initiatives to reduce building energy consumption (i.e. led lighting system, lighting sensor)
  • Environmental staff awareness initiatives

EMS and Reduction efforts


Environmental responsibility is one of the four WIPO’s core values and was part of its Strategic Realignment Program in 2010, before being streamlined in the regular Program and Budget since 2012.

Major efforts have been produced in:

  • Reducing emissions and impacts from WIPO’s buildings and travels
  • Using local wood as building material and implementing green roofs on two buildings (1800 m2 of green roof with a mix of local plants that increases biodiversity. No need of irrigation, pesticides or insecticides)
  • Staff awareness on soft mobility

Inventory Management Plans


WIPO reports greenhouse gas emissions for all its personnel within the defined boundaries. It includes the emissions generated by its Headquarter and non-Geneva offices facilities operations (purchased electricity, stationary combustion for heating, refrigerants), as well as emissions generated by WIPO vehicles and by travel financed by WIPO for staff and third parties (air travel, train travel and public transport).



After reduction efforts WIPO offsets its unavoidable remaining emissions. WIPO has purchased Adaptation Fund Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) through UNFCCC framework to offset its unavoidable expected emissions for the period 2014 to 2020.

Thus for the year 2018 WIPO has offset all of its reported greenhouse gas emissions, calculated as per the full UN Inventory scope. 

Waste management


Since 2015, WIPO has implemented a waste management reporting. Paper and e-waste in the offices as well as plastic, metal and glass from the cafeterias are sorted out to be recycled.

Due to the local waste management policy of the City of Geneva, waste from the WIPO headquarter is mainly recycled or recovered to produce electricity and heat as part of the heating network for the city of Geneva.

Water Management


Water consumption is reported and monitored similar to any other energy consumption. Any difference in the consumption compared to the same period of the previous years is analysed and specific actions are taken in case of increase.

WIPO has reduced its headquarters’ annual tap water consumption by 42% (2018 consumption compared to 2014) as a result of several actions including renovation of some water pipes of the main Building, optimization of the outside irrigation system and monthly monitoring of the water consumption for leakage detection and for undertaking repairs.

Other environmental measures


WIPO encourages soft mobility for employees commuting through several recurrent incentives, i.e. :

  • Since 2013, WIPO implements twice a year a bike repair stand for employees’ personal bikes : more than 100 bikes are controlled and repaired each year
  • 5 E-bikes purchased by WIPO are available for all employees for their local business trips or during lunch time.
  • Since 2013, prepaid Public transport cards are offered to employees twice a year to encourage the use of public transport.

Since 2017, zero plastic take away containers and cutlery in the two WIPO cafeterias.

Next steps


Following the energy assessment of WIPO Headquarters performed in 2015 an action plan is in progress to continuing reducing the energy consumption and environmental impact of the Headquarters. The action plan covers the period 2016 to 2020.