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Corporate Responsibility Program

Available in: русский, العربية, Español

With sustainability actively integrated into our work with clients, continuing to improve our own corporate sustainability impact is essential to our reputation and credibility. The Corporate Responsibility (CR) Program is a catalytic unit, charged with identifying and spurring key corporate sustainability initiatives. It focuses on three main areas of work:

  • Reducing our environmental footprint and raising awareness on social issues across the Bank by identifying and carrying out key initiatives for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction; promoting efficiencies in water, waste, and energy; and educating staff on social and environmental issues. The CR program works in close partnership with the General Services Department, which is responsible for most Bank facilities and services.
  • Promoting greater transparency for the organization’s environmental performance at the corporate and operational levels. This is done through forums such as the Carbon Disclosure Project; the Sustainable United Nations (UN) Initiative; and the Bank’s sustainability website that includes the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Index.
  • Supporting the World Bank Treasury in its strategic effort to broaden its investor base by reaching out to Socially Responsible Investors and developing innovative financial products and services.


The World Bank began the process of creating a Sustainability Management System (SMS), to manage its sustainability impact in a planned, systematic, and organized manner, minimize associated resource use, improve efficiency, and to reduce associated risks. Based on the ISO 140001 and 26000 standards, the system identifies key aspect areas and sustainability impacts for the way the World Bank operates on a day-to-day basis.


Verifying and offsetting

The World Bank has made a commitment to reduce the GHG emissions from its daily operations through a comprehensive program to measure and manage the sources of emissions.  The World Bank recently completed a third party verification of the GHG emissions from its daily operations. The review ensured the Bank was using approved methodologies to measure its emissions, the most up-to-date emissions factors, and that there was a high level of quality assurance in the data collection process. To maintain carbon neutrality which was established globally in 2009, the Bank is purchasing offsets for the corporate emissions it cannot reduce. We purchase Verified Emissions Reduction credits for facilities and travel, and Renewable Energy Certificates for electricity consumption. In fiscal year 2012, the Bank maintained carbon neutrality with the purchase of verified carbon credits from a run-of-the-river hydropower project in Chile.


Innovative financial products

The World Bank Treasury, working with the Corporate Responsibility Program, has developed innovative products that act as a catalyst for private-sector climate financing through the capital markets. World Bank Green Bonds raise funds from fixed-income investors to support World Bank lending for eligible climate change mitigation or adaptation projects. Since the inaugural issue in 2008, the World Bank has issued over USD 3 billion in Green Bonds through over 49 transactions in 17 currencies. More information is available at:


Sustainable office initiative

An initiative was launched in FY 12 to encourage departments to exemplify the Bank’s environmental, social, and economic commitments in their resource use, current practices, and staff behavior. Heads of departments, with other key team members, assess the department's energy use, paper and printing practices, procurement efforts, meeting planning, waste management, staff participation, as well as the role sustainability principles play within the department's key business area.


Promoting greater transparency and accountability

Reporting to stakeholders on triple-bottom-line performance (environmental, social, economic) is essential for recognition as an organization with sustainable business practices. The Corporate Responsibility website provides a web-based Sustainability Report and includes the stand-alone Global Reporting Initiative index, the international standard for sustainability indicators. The Bank’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions are also reported through the Climate Neutral UN Initiative as well as the Carbon Disclosure Project, a UK-based NGO, which maintains the largest global database of corporate GHG inventory information. 


Sustainable Facilities

Many country offices have strengthened efforts to reduce their sustainability impacts. The Abuja, Nigeria, office has photo sensors for perimeter lighting, reminders to switch off lights, low flow sensor faucets in restrooms and has a green committee in place to continually improve their efforts. The Juba, South Sudan, office installed solar hot water panels. Both the Moldova and Bosnia-Herzegovina offices hold annual Earth Day celebrations when they plant trees in areas close to their offices. The Dominican Republic office was able to begin paper recycling in FY 11, while the New Delhi country office conducted an energy audit that led to the recommendation of improvements such as the installation of solar hot water panels.


Greenhouse Gas inventory: The World Bank’s annual GHG inventory for FY 11 was 160,484 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, 55% of which (87,998 tons) originated from air travel. 


Reporting: WB’s corporate FY 10 GHG inventory was reported to the Carbon Disclosure Project as well as the Climate Neutral United Nations program. Additionally, the World Bank reported on the 150 core indicators of the Global Reporting Initiative, responded to investor rating agency inquiries, and produced a web-based FY 11Sustainability Report.


The Sustainable Office Initiative was launched, and a number of units were assessed. Bank staff are attending the Sustainable Office Ambassador certification course.

For more information, please see:


Elisabeth Mealey: (202) 458-4475, 

Patricia Overend: (202) 473-1710,

Faisal Al-Hothali: (202) 458-4795,


Updated September 2012 


Last updated: 2012-04-12

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