World Bank Focus on Sustainability 2004

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Chapter 5
The World Bank's Corporate Environmental and Social Footprint

Because of our commitment to sustainable development, we at the World Bank are acutely aware of the effect of our physical and institutional presence on the environment, on our staff members and their families, and on the communities in which we work and live. Although our corporate “footprint” is not on the same scale as our operational footprint, it does provide an opportunity for us to “walk the talk” and set an example for our clients worldwide and for other development organizations.

Our Environmental Impact

Energy Conservation

Staff Travel-to-Work Program

Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

Printing, Graphics, and Design


Food Services

Our Staff

Community Outreach

Our Environmental Impact
GRI 3.19/EN5

The General Services Department (GSD) supports and strengthens the World Bank’s primary mission by providing a wide range of integrated services to make the work environment safe, comfortable, and functional. The World Bank has been working to reduce its environmental footprint through energy efficiency, recycling, and other initiatives for a number of years. Although, in 2002 a formal Greening Program was instituted, it is the business managers within GSD who are ultimately responsible for incorporating environmental concerns into the management of the World Bank’s offices.

Over the past several years, the World Bank has made substantial progress in designing, constructing, and maintaining its buildings in an environmentally friendly manner. Initiatives have been implemented in areas such as the design and maintenance of office space, energy usage, procurement of goods and services, printing, and food services. Through these initiatives, the World Bank seeks to strengthen environmental awareness among staff, clients, partners, and vendors and to be an environmentally responsible neighbor and good citizen in Washington, D.C., and globally. The Bank will continue its efforts to mainstream global environmental concerns into the day-to-day operations of its Washington offices and in its 108 offices around the world.

Energy and Carbon Dioxide Emissions Management
In 1995 GSD instituted an Energy Management Program for the Washington offices. As part of this program, two engineering studies were commissioned to identify cost-effective steps toward making our facilities more energyefficient. The recommendations, combined with those of our building engineers, have led to a series of initiatives to reduce overall energy usage and encourage energy conservation among our Washington staff.

Our staff’s cooperation has been essential to our drive to reduce energy consumption. In addition to the everyday efforts of staff to be more environmentally friendly, GSD has worked across its various units to incorporate energy reduction initiatives into office space design, engineering, maintenance of facilities, and procurement of goods and services.

We have made our commitment to reduce energy consumption in our offices a priority. Our efforts have been far-reaching and have won the support of our staff throughout the Bank.

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Table 5, Environmental Impact of World Bank Facilities »

The Greening of the Country Offices »

Energy Conservation

As a result of our energy reduction efforts, two of our buildings have received the ENERGY STAR label for several years in a row. The label is a symbol of energy efficiency awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy for buildings with an energy performance rating in the top 25 percent of office buildings nationwide, as measured by established criteria for commercial buildings. The World Bank is working to achieve the ENERGY STAR label for all its Washington, D.C., buildings.

Among our energy conservation efforts, the one with perhaps the greatest impact has been our procurement of renewable energy, or “green power,” which now accounts for 12 percent of annual electricity usage in our Washington offices (approximately 11 million kilowatt-hours). Wind energy from a local wind farm makes up 8 percent of electricity usage (about 610,000 kilowatt-hours per month), and 4 percent (or 300,000 kilowatt-hours per month) is supplied by regional landfill gas and biomass facilities. We plan to purchase rnewable energy certificates worth 100 percent of our electricity usage in FY05.

The World Bank is one of the largest purchasers of green power in the mid-Atlantic region, especially relative to other organizations of similar size. To track and monitor our performance in comparison with that of other renewable energy purchasers in the United States, the World Bank has joined the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program to support green power purchasing. Due to the size of the World Bank’s purchases, we qualified for the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club, a designation that is given to organizations that significantly exceed minimum recommended purchasing standards established by the Green Power Partnership.

We have sponsored two training workshops in preparation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification (LEED). All our external architectural firms have LEED-certified staff who work with us. We are continually searching for opportunities to collaborate with LEED-certified vendors to supply Bank goods and services.

Smaller, everyday steps have also been taken to foster staff awareness. These include posting “Turn off the lights” signs in all conference rooms and instituting daily sweeps to reduce the use of lighting during off-peak hours.

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Table 6, Improvements in Energy Use and Emissions Management »

Greening Our Roofs »

Staff Travel-to-Work Program

In 2002 the World Bank launched a Staff Travel-to-Work Program aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions resulting from staff commutes. The program encourages staff to ride public transport to work by providing a monthly incentive to cover part of their transport costs on the area Metro system. To date, almost 3,000 staff have joined the program.

We encourage other environmentally friendly forms of commuting, such as cycling, and we have expanded our bicycle parking spaces from 195 to 430, made access to them easier, and added 56 lockers in two buildings. Total bicycle parking capacity has increased by approximately 125 percent since 2002.

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Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

The World Bank is concerned about the amount of waste sent to landfills each year and the resulting harm to land, water, and surrounding communities. We have therefore taken significant steps to institute waste-saving measures in our facilities. To encourage staff to recycle, offices and lobbies throughout our buildings have paper and bottle/can recycling bins.

We take waste issues into account in the construction and renovation of buildings and in our work with contractors and vendors. For example, all carpet and ceiling tiles from renovation projects are recycled. In 2001 we arranged a highly successful program with our office supply vendor to reuse shipping boxes and recycle printer toner cartridges. Reducing office waste is, however, an on-going struggle, as Table 8 on waste reduction indicates.

In 2003 the World Bank joined the U.S. EPA’s voluntary WasteWise Program, which helps organizations eliminate their costly municipal solid waste, as well as certain industrial wastes. Participation in the program allows the Bank to compare itself with other member organizations and to strictly track and monitor its progress. This should help us achieve substantial waste reduction and increased recycling.

In 2002 the World Bank’s Food Services Unit conducted a highly successful six-month food-composting pilot program that recycled 1 ton of food per day. The program had to be discontinued when the site became unavailable. We are working with partners in the Washington area to coordinate another such program.

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Table 7, Achievements in Waste Management and Recycling »

Table 8, Waste Reduction, Calendar 1998&ndish;2004, in tons »

Printing, Graphics, and Design
GRI 3.16

As a knowledge-based institution with extensive publication obligations, the World Bank currently uses approximately 1,800 tons of paper annually. GSD has taken a number of steps to reduce the negative impacts associated with printing and photocopying. These include:

Using only soy-based inks

Using digital short-run and on-demand printing to reduce print runs

Upgrading the copier fleet to ENERGY STAR&ndish;certified machines and machines with double-siding capabilities

Recycling metal print plates, silver from film processing, and film containers.

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Table 9, Environmental Progress in Printing Services »

GRI 3.16/HR2

One of the greatest challenges in improving the environmental impacts of our facilities has been to understand and control the environmental and social impacts of the procurement of goods and services. Our first step was to institute an environmentally and socially responsible procurement policy that calls for the expanded use of environmentally preferable products. The policy will soon be available on the Web.

The World Bank’s Corporate Procurement Unit works with business managers to ensure that all procurement is environmentally sound and costeffective. In addition to adhering to the formal policy, procurement contracts are modified to include environmental specifications when possible. Such modifications have resulted in increased use of environmentally produced paper in procurement documentation, carpet and ceiling tile recycling in renovation projects, inclusion of pallet recycling in loading dock contracts, and specification of minimal packaging and take-back programs for electronic equipment.

To promote awareness of the importance of factoring environmental and social concerns into purchasing, we:

Instituted training for procurement staff on environmentally preferable products

Created a Supplier Diversity Program to encourage business participation by minority-, woman-, and disabled-owned business enterprises (MWDBEs).

Require all submitted bids to be printed on recycled paper and on both sides

Ask vendors to complete a vendor questionnaire to obtain better understanding of their environmental practices

Are working with the U.S. EPA to gain access to its database of environmentally preferable products.

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Table 10, Progress in Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Procurement »

Food Services

The GSD has been working closely with its food contractor to focus on environmental issues related to food services, and a number of improvements have resulted. For example:

We donate over 10,000 pounds of food annually to food kitchens and shelters in the Washington, D.C., area.

Food service napkins have 100 percent post-consumer-waste content.

Organic, shade-grown, fair-traded coffee is served.

Reusable mugs are made available free of charge, and cafeterias discourage use of polystyrene cups by charging an extra 5 cents for them.

There is a charge for new cardboard carry-out boxes, while reused boxes are free.

To address environmental issues related to food consumed at the Bank, a Food Advisory Committee was formed in March 2004. The committee’s first project was to encourage the serving of sustainable seafood&mdish;species that are abundant, well managed, and harvested in environmentally friendly ways. The committee has been working closely with the Bank’s food services contractor to end the serving in Bank cafeterias and dining rooms of six unsustainable species: shark, marlin, orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, monkfish, and sailfish. A capacity-building event with local oceans experts was held to increase staff awareness, and similar events will follow. A pamphlet is made available to all staff to help them in making sustainable seafood choices.

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Supporting Sustainable Coffee »

Our Staff
GRI 3.10/LA1/LA4/LA8/LA10/LA11/HR5

The World Bank’s staff is a diverse group that represents a wide range of ethnic, cultural, racial, educational, and professional backgrounds. Approximately 8,800 staff members work in Washington, D.C., and in more than 100 country offices worldwide. The proportion of field personnel has grown rapidly in recent years. This increased presence in client countries is helping the Bank better understand its clients, work more closely with them, and provide faster service.

The Human Resources Department (HR) provides human resource management and development services that enable staff and managers to meet the evolving business needs of the institution. HR delivers a full range of training, organizational effectiveness, and health services to staff. It also oversees diversity, internal communications, administrative and client support, and staff learning.

Salaries and Benefits
Staff salaries and benefits are meant to be competitive and are based on data from comparable organizations in the private industrial and financial sectors. Under a treaty concluded with the U.S. government when our headquarters was established, foreign nationals are exempt from federal and state taxes on World Bank Group income. U.S. citizens working for the World Bank Group are required to pay federal and state taxes on their salaries. To keep after-tax income in line for all staff members, we handle salaries on a net-of-tax basis and give a tax allowance to staff members who are liable for income taxes. All staff members also pay local property, sales, and other nonincome taxes. These tax arrangements are comparable to those of other international organizations.

Staff Association
Founded in 1971, the World Bank Group Staff Association (SA) seeks to foster a sense of common purpose among staff in promoting the objectives of the World Bank Group and to promote and safeguard the rights, interests, and welfare of staff. Although the staff do not participate in collective bargaining, one of the SA’s aims is to reach an understanding between staff and Bank Group management. The SA addresses issues concerning staff rights, pay, wages, and working conditions and represents staff views and concerns. Approximately 60 percent of staff based in Washington, D.C., are members of the Staff Association.

The SA is not a union, but it does represent the rights of staff as provided in the World Bank Group Staff Rules. As an international organization, the World Bank is not subject to U.S. labor law or any other national legal code. The SA serves as a watchdog, ensuring that the Staff Rules are properly applied.

Diversity, Gender Equality, Inclusion, and Respect
The World Bank Group recognizes that racial equality is a key component of an effective diversity program. As part of the Bank’s commitment to valuing and managing diversity, a policy of zero tolerance for racial discrimination was issued in May 1998.

More than 140 nationalities are represented on the World Bank’s staff. Fifty-eight percent of all staff are from developing countries, as are 36 percent in management and senior technical positions. The World Bank’s 31 senior officers include 3 women and 18 representatives from developing countries, of whom 7 come from sub-Saharan Africa. Fifteen percent of all staff and 11 percent of those in management and senior technical positions are from sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

The Diversity Program helps achieve gender equality by providing expert assistance and advice aimed at improving representation of women, particularly in management and operations, and especially of women from developing countries. The program’s aim is to change practices and attitudes so as to create an institutional culture that values women’s and men’s contributions equally. Today, women account for 52 percent of all staff and hold 24 percent of management and senior technical positions.

We are committed to creating a supportive environment for people with disabilities. Since 1999, work has been under way on actions to recruit and retain world-class staff with disabilities. The following are some of our initiatives:

Disabilities Accommodation Fund, designed as an easily accessible source of funding to provide individuals with disabilities&mdish;whether staff, consultants, or guests doing business with the World Bank Group&mdish;with access to reasonable accommodations that enable them to perform their jobs

Provision of personal assistants for significantly disabled staff

Disability planning for conferences.

A respectful work environment is not only pleasant but also has positive effects on individual and organizational performance. When staff feel valued and respected, they tend to be more productive, feel more empowered, have more trust in senior managers, supervisors, and co-workers, and be more committed to the organization, its mission, and its goals.

Health and Safety
The World Bank’s Health Services Department provides certain medical services to staff and consultants in the workplace at no cost. Services include consultation and treatment for minor ailments or injuries during the work day; clinical services related to work assignments, such as pre-employment evaluations, medical evacuations, and travel medicine; and various preventive care services.

A 2003 World Bank Group Staff Health Report showed that, overall, our staff are healthy. The main concerns highlighted include HIV/AIDS, particularly in Africa; excessive traveling, which increases the strain of maintaining a healthy worklife balance; stress management; ergonomic issues such as quality of chairs and workstations; disability awareness and support, especially in country offices; and the need for continual improvement of environmental conditions, such as indoor air quality, temperature, and humidity.

While the safety of our staff has always been a priority, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the almost simultaneous anthrax scare led to heightened concern about safety and to increased stress among staff. Improvements were made in the Bank’s emergency procedures, which now include evacuation plans, shelter-in-place arrangements, and procedures for dealing with contaminated letters.

HIV/AIDS in the Workplace
Several initiatives are in place for responding to the needs of World Bank staff and dependents with HIV/AIDS. They include:

The pamphlet “AIDS in the Workplace,” which has been translated into several languages and widely disseminated and which covers Bank policies, basic medical facts, and in-house and external resources

Designation of a representative in each country office to inform staff about HIV/AIDS programs n Free HIV/AIDS testing through the global Voluntary Counseling and Testing program, fully paid by the Medical Benefits Plan

Availability to all offices, through cooperation with UNAIDS, of postexposure prophylaxis, a short course of drug treatment used within 72 hours of sexual or blood contact to prevent HIV infection

A policy of evacuating, at Bank expense, staff in country offices lacking access to appropriate treatment to centers that are able to provide the needed care

A nondiscrimination policy that forbids the World Bank Group to deny employment or confirmation of employment on the basis of HIV status

A policy of confidentiality, ensuring that staff cannot be forced to take an HIV test or to disclose their HIV status to the Bank. Staff have the right to keep their medical treatment confidential. A system has been developed that allows staff to send their bills and related documents directly to the Human Services Department in Washington for processing.

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World Bank Group Staff Surveys »

Diversity in the World Bank »

The World Bank Group’s Code of Professional Ethics »

Leadership Awards and Green Awards »

Community Outreach

As the third-largest employer in the Washington, D.C., area, the World Bank Group recognizes the need for individual and corporate responsibility in the neighborhoods where we live and work. In keeping with the Bank’s poverty reduction mission, the Community Outreach Program seeks to improve the lives of our neighbors in the greater Washington metropolitan area. We encourage staff volunteerism, conduct an annual grants program, and form partnerships with area groups to strengthen local communities.

The World Bank’s extended family in the Washington metropolitan area, including family members of staff and retirees, numbers more than 25,000 people. Independent analysis shows that the World Bank generates almost $2 billion a year for the local economy. The Washington Business Journal recently recognized the Bank as one of the area’s top 25 corporate philanthropists. We will continue to apply our global mission locally by sharing knowledge, information, and expertise as we help solve many of the challenges that our staff deal with throughout the world, such as education, HIV/AIDS, and affordable health care.

Our staff volunteer with over 100 area community groups, logging tens of thousands of volunteer hours every year as mentors, technical advisers, construction workers, landscapers, advocates, meal servers, and board members. We inform staff about volunteer opportunities through our Website, sponsor Bankwide volunteer events, and work to create a corporate culture of volunteerism through, for example, the Volunteer Day policy, which gives each staff member a day off every year to participate in volunteer activities.

Workplace Giving and Humanitarian Aid
In 2003 the Community Outreach Program created a staff-driven charitable campaign, Community Connections. World Bank staff are able to designate, from a list of approximately 200 local nonprofits, the organizations they want their donation to benefit. Community Connections produced results that exceeded all expectations, raising over $425,000 in staff contributions, as well as a $225,000 corporate contribution. The success of Community Connections and the commitment to workplace giving sparked new initiatives by providing an excellent mechanism for future ad hoc workplace fundraising. For example, in 2004 over $100,000 was raised through staff donations and matching corporate funds for overseas humanitarian aid for victims of natural disasters.

Internships for Washington, D.C., Students
Community Outreach has had a partnership with Cardozo High School for six years and with Bell Multicultural High School for two years. A total of 22 students from both schools benefited from paid summer internships, mentoring, curriculum development assistance, and a “job shadowing” day at the World Bank.

For several years the World Bank has made a commitment to the Urban Alliance Foundation, which helps students develop concrete plans toward achieving their career goals. In 2003 five Urban Alliance&ndish;sponsored students from Anacostia High School were awarded paid internships that included training, longterm real-life job experience, and a supportive worksite mentor in the Africa Vice Presidency. The students received 70 hours of instruction during the year on improving their oral and written communications skills, with a focus on college essay writing, business writing, oral presentation skills, and professional conduct.

Facilities and In-Kind Donations
Financial resources are far from the only kind of support for local nonprofits. Community Outreach makes event space available gratis and offers supplies and the use of equipment at no cost. More than 40 nonprofits have used World Bank meeting space for retreats, seminars, receptions, and other events.

Community Outreach Program Partnerships
The Bank supports a wide-range of philanthropic activities, including the following:

Public Education Partnership Fund. Through their financial, personnel, and in-kind support, and working with various corporations and com-munity-based organizations, Bank staff led the effort to establish this nonprofit organization aimed at promoting strategic change in the D.C. public schools. The Partnership Fund’s initiatives include collaboration on developing a new approach to curriculum development, as well as overall teacher and principal training to support the new curriculum. This collaborative effort will provide optimum support for students and teachers and will set clearly articulated standards for outcomes and accountability.

Dollars for Doers Program. Through this program, the Bank recognizes volunteerism by awarding $500 grants to nonprofits for which our staff and retirees are regular volunteers. Grant recipients have included Rebuilding Together with Christmas in April, an organization that rehabilitates homes of the elderly and disabled. Another recipient was the Capitol Hill Computer Corner, a nonprofit organization started by a Bank staff member that gives community members access to computers and technology training.

Community Outreach Grant Program. We award grants to nonprofit organizations that work to improve the quality of life of people and communities in the Washington area. Our grants support activities in education and mentoring, health, employment and training, and civic and socioeconomic development. Grants typically range from $10,000 to $25,000 and cover a oneyear period. Examples of activities eligible for support include teen pregnancy programs, adult literacy training, transitional housing, welfare-towork projects for the homeless, after-school and summer classes for homeless and low-income children, health services for disadvantaged people, and capacity-building activities for neighborhood groups.

Global Distance-Learning Program. Local high school students have participated in a distance-learning program that focuses on getting youths involved in the fight against corruption. Students attended live videoconferences with their fellow international students. They learned, debated, and wrote about the corruption problem and how to engage and challenge the system in the future.

Excess Office Supplies Program. The Bank has a long history of donating excess supplies, furniture, and equipment to the local community. In collaboration with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the D.C. public schools, we introduced an innovative program in which students developed a business plan for selling excess office supplies donated by the Bank to local nonprofits at discount prices. The benefits of the program are twofold: the supplies are reused, and schools use the profits for extracurricular activities.

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The World Bank’s Community Outreach Program »