International Monetary Fund (IMF)

HQ: Washington DC, USA

Focal Point: Evelyn Nash 

Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Key figures: Waste




IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund's mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.


Experience so far


Since 2009, IMF has been diligently monitoring and evaluating its environmental and social footprints including comprehensive greenhouse gas accounting. Its goal is to achieve 20% overall GHG reduction since its base year – 2009. The IMF is aligned with international and industry leading practices in environmental sustainability initiatives in four key areas:

  • Sustainable Procurement
  • Transportation
  • Waste Reduction and Diversions
  • Energy and Water Efficiency

For the last 4 years, the Fund has seen a reduction of 27.5% of carbon emissions from employee commuting. Between 2016 and 2015, emissions from employee commuting (through passenger car, bus, and subway) reduced by a significant 17%.

IMF has consciously reduced shipments by truck, and emissions of personal shipments has reduced by 11%, and emissions from contracted shipments have reduced about 34%.

The IMF improved its recovery of refrigerant leakage, thus reduced about 52% emissions compared to the previous year.

Total emissions from business travel for IMF employees has decreased by 3%, or 680 tons of CO2e. Along with the amount of emissions from annual ministries meetings the total air travel emissions decrease by a net of 9% compared to 2015.

The Fund continues to track its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, and has invested in 17 carbon projects to offset a total of 566,502 tons of CO2e since 2009.


Reduction efforts


Several programs and policies have been employed to manage and reduce any negative impacts that result from the Fund’s operations. The following are some of the areas and methods that we have pursued to achieve results:

  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions – IMF is consciously trying to mitigate and minimize our GHG emissions. Although emissions related to business travels continues to increase, the Fund has implemented the following programs to reduce emissions from other sources, and to stay carbon neutral:
    • Offsetting emissions by investing in carbon projects in 19 countries
    • Retro-commissioning of existing equipment
    • Installing more energy efficient equipment like LED lighting, improved AC systems, and high efficiency heat pumps
    • Working towards LEED Platinum certification in two more Fund properties in the US
    • Incentivizing employee use of public transit, carpooling and biking
    • Reducing property shipments and personal shipments
    • Recovering 100% of refrigerant leakage
  • Water Usage – The Fund has installed equipment to optimise our water consumption.
  • Waste – Through donations in the local community, composting, recycling and re-use initiatives, as well as finding creative uses for old materials, the Fund has become effective with waste reduction. Total diverted waste increased from 535 tons in 2015 to 812 tons in 2016.

Inventory Management Plan


We track the following GHG sources:

Scope 1: Mobile Emissions – On-Road Vehicles; Purchased Natural Gas; Fuel Oil; Propane; Refrigerants

Scope 2: Purchased Electricity

Scope 3: Business Travel, Employee Commuting, and Property/Personal Shipments




IMF spend US$19,000 for 2016 emissions, which offset 49,795 tonnes of CO2eq. This is 67.5% of all 2016 emissions (total 2016 emissions = 73,740.51 tonnes of CO2eq)

Carbon offset projects are purchased and certified. The IMF is notified of the CDM project # and the total carbon emissions that were offset through the purchases of the associated credits for each of the projects. Some of these projects include:

  • Bus Rapid Transit Project – This project is in Zhengzhou China, to establish efficient, safe, rapid, convenient and comfortable modern mass transit bus system. The goal of this project is to reduce emissions from passengers who would have chosen less efficient forms of transportation, in absence of the project, that generates baseline emissions.
  • Aurá Landfill Gas Project – This project in Belem, Brazil involves constructing a gas collection system at the Aurá landfill. Landfills produce methane that is a very potent greenhouse gas if it gets released into the atmosphere. This project traps that gas and disposes of it safely.
  • Bachat Lamp Yojana CFL Lighting Scheme – This is a project run by the Indian government that helps reduce the cost of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for consumers to the same as traditional incandescent lights. CFLs are far more energy efficient than traditional lights and by using less electricity, fewer emissions are produced.
  • Wind Power and wind based power generation Projects – These projects were based in Maharashtra, India, and conducted by Rajasthan gum Private limited and Panama Wind Energy Private Limited, respectively.

Waste management


The IMF tracks both, the diverted and landfill wastes for its US property (Headquarters 2). We have achieved YoY waste diversion. See chart attached.

We also have the following waste avoidance programs:

  1. Expanding the Green-Room Program to both office locations(Periodic program to repurpose/reuse excess office supplies, and donate the remainder items to schools on an annual basis);
  2. Sustainable Procurement criteria to ensure one-time cafeteria supplies are compostable;
  3. Food and waste composting;
  4. Shared printing, and reducing desktop printers; last year, the Fund saved 1 million sheets of paper compared to the previous year. The target by 2020 is to reduce paper use by 30%.

Other environmental measures


The IMF has made great strides in its environmental journey. Since 2011, it has reduced HQ1 Energy Consumption by an average of 5% per year. The IMF has retrofitted its office space to make for both, improved working conditions for its employees, and a better environment. A number of initiatives and programs were implemented to reduce paper, water and energy wastes.

The Fund’s annual waste diversion increase by a total of 35% between 2011 and 2017, thus far.

Further, the Fund ensures all surface cleaning products used by Facilities are non-toxic.


Next steps

  1. Apply for LEED EBOM Platinum certification for Concordia; LEED EBOM Platinum Recertification for HQ2 and LEED BD&C Gold Certification for HQ1
  2. Upgrade the Waste Management Program

IMF case studies

IMF - Journey to a Sustainable Environment