World Trade Organization (WTO) 

Geneva, Switzerland

Focal Point: Devin McDaniels

Number of locations: 2


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Key Figure: Waste


Key Figures: Water


** Please note that the following information was last updated November 2017 **




The World Trade Organization (WTO) provides a forum for negotiating rules aimed at reducing obstacles to international trade and ensuring a level playing field for all, thus contributing to economic growth and development. It also provides a legal and institutional framework for implementing multilateral trade agreements and settling disputes. Sustainable development and protection and preservation of the environment are fundamental goals of the WTO. They are enshrined in the Marrakesh Agreement, which established the WTO, and complement the WTO’s objective to reduce trade barriers and eliminate discriminatory treatment in international trade relations.


Reduction efforts

  • Invested in environmentally friendly materials and energy efficient technologies as part of the refurbishment and construction project at WTO headquarters
  • Encouraged sustainable travel practices through the implementation of a new WTO travel policy, as well as through promoting alternative, non-travel options such as e-training and video conferencing in the delivery of technical assistance and training activities
  • Implemented a public transport policy to promote staff use of public transport for local work travel
  • Launched awareness raising and communication initiatives to encourage behavioral change amongst staff

Experience so far


The recent WTO headquarters construction and renewal project was seized as an opportunity to reduce energy consumption and emissions. The new WTO building incorporates various energy efficient technologies, including low energy lighting and insulation solutions, as well as geothermal technology for cooling and heating using water drawn from Lac Léman, as part of the Genève Lac Nations (GLN) project. These efforts were recognized when the new building was awarded the Swiss MINERGIE-P building sustainability standard for low energy consumption. In addition, the WTO has successfully made the transition to a paperless Secretariat. The distribution of paper copies of documents at meetings has been discontinued, as has the paper distribution of certain regular documents to Members.


Next steps


WTO's inventory of emissions will be updated on a yearly basis. Reduction efforts will continue in key areas such as travel and energy/electricity use.