World Bank pledges 10% emissions reductions by 2017

Oct 31, 2013
World Bank pledges 10% emissions reductions by 2017

The World Bank has set a new emissions reduction goal: to reduce emissions from its owned and managed facilities by 10 percent from a fiscal year 2010 baseline by fiscal year 2017.

This goal, published in the World Bank Sustainability Review 2013, is the second voluntary goal set by the World Bank. Its initial goal, set through the EPA’s Climate Leaders Program was to reduce emissions by 7 percent from its Washington, DC, facilities from 2006 to 2011, and was successfully achieved.

The web-based annual review details the institution’s sustainability accomplishments, including environmental initiatives.

For example, the World Bank is currently working with 130 countries to take action on climate change: helping cities to adopt green growth strategies and develop resilience to climate change, developing climate-smart agricultural practices, finding innovative ways to improve both energy efficiency and the performance of renewable energies, and assisting governments to reduce fossil fuel subsidies and put in place policies that will eventually lead to a stable price on carbon, the report says.

Additionally, with its green bonds, the World Bank also helped start the development of the expanding green bond market that will support future climate finance.

The World Bank’s paper use has decreased by 49 percent since fiscal 2007, the 2013 report says. The institution says this is due in part to smarter printing practices, the increased use of digital communications, and improved efficiency efforts by the Bank Print Shop.

Also, electricity use in Washington, DC buildings decreased by more than 2 percent from fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2013, because of the improved operations in World Bank facilities and the installation of LED lighting in many applications, the report says.

And while overall Washington, DC water use increased in FY 13, from 37,500 gallons in FY 12 to to 49,100 in FY 2013 (see chart), the upgrade of restrooms in its Washington, DC, Main Complex building reduced water use per flush rates by 50 percent. The World Bank says the annual increase is likely a result of metering inconsistencies and it will closely monitored water use in FY 14.

In its other sustainability efforts, the World Bank convened a panel earlier this month that said big and small business must join governments and the science community to help reverse damage to the world’s oceans. The panel of 21 experts, which included CEOs from some of the largest seafood companies in the world including Thai Union Frozen Products, Bumble Bee Foods and High Liner Foods, said only an integrated approach that involves public-private partnerships can effectively turn around the declining health of oceans.

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