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




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), including its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), 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 adopted a global corporate carbon emissions reduction target in line with climate science - to reduce direct and indirect carbon emissions from our global facilities by 28 percent by 2026 from a 2016 baseline.  This was announced together with the WBG-wide climate-related commitments at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference.  A range of measures are being considered, including using renewable energy wherever feasible and improving energy efficiency.

Previous carbon targets were surpassed. The World Bank 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. IFC previously set and achieved its headquarters-based electricity reduction target of 20 percent kWh/workforce from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2015. As of fiscal year 2019, IFC headquarters achieved a 22 percent reduction in absolute electricity use from a fiscal year 2008 baseline.

Starting in 2006 the WBG became “carbon neutral” for its headquarters in Washington, DC, 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 IFC:

  • IFC’s largest office, headquarters in Washington, DC, shortened the daily use of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems with an aim to save 2 to 3 percent of total energy use. Continued to upgrade the lighting system to LED products and adjust temperature setpoints for water use and for heating and cooling systems.IFC is leading the development and engineering of a new net-zero energy-use WBG office building in Dakar, Senegal. The project is slated for completion in 2020. IFC is also studying the potential for adding on-site solar-energy generation at our other owned properties.

Reduction achievements:

Between 2017-2018, the WBG realized some emissions reduction from its facilities-based emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by more than two percent, but saw an increase in emissions from business travel (Scope 3) and thus overall emissions increased by 2.5 percent.

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 Bank Group has been 100 percent climate neutral since 2009 through a combination of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates (RECs). In fiscal year 2018, 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 Cambodia, Honduras,India, Madagascar, and Nicaragua, and efficient cook stove projects in Chad.

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, in all Bank buildings in Washington, DC, a centralized waste collection system was introduced, including composting and recycling, with bins removed from individual offices.

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 Washington, DC, a water audit has been carried out to determine steps to improve water efficiency.

Addressing water availability in country offices.

World Bank country offices’ conservation efforts depend on the local context. To improve data availability in country offices, processes are currently being put in place.

In fiscal year 2018, 79  percent of the global portfolio and in fiscal year 2017, 80  percent of the global portfolio reported water data. No estimations are calculated for offices.   More specific questions around water usage were added in the fiscal year 2018 data collection to improve data quality and transparency.

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.

Next steps


Work is underway on:

1.    Exploring the introduction of a carbon price for flights. Sixty-seven percent of the WBG's carbon footprint comes from air travel—by far the biggest contributor. This year, work will focus on how to price these carbon emissions into the cost of travel.

2.    Introducing renewable energy at headquarters. Thirteen percent of the WBG's global carbon footprint comes from its electricity usage at its headquarters in Washington, DC. Thus, the institution is exploring ways to move to 100 percent renewable energy at headquarters.

3.    Reducing paper usage.  Each year, the Bank uses 342 metric tons of paper for printing—the equivalent of about 2,200 trees (estimated by the Paper Calculator). However, thanks to initiatives like the centralized printers, that amount is trending down from about 500 metric tons just a few years ago. While paper is sustainably sourced, to reduce its use further, a #Printbusters campaign will be rolled out.

4.    ​ Complete sustainability audits for WBG buildings worldwide. To know how to improve sustainability efforts, you need data that tells you where to focus. While GHG emissions have been measured from offices globally, this year audits on water use and waste are being rolled out. Starting with headquarters and some of the larger country offices, this data will help manage the institution's environmental footprint and set clearer sustainability goals.


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