World Resources Institute

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World Resources Institute (WRI)
World Resources Institute logo.jpg
Formation1982; 40 years ago (1982)
FounderJames Gustave Speth
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
United States
Ani Dasgupta
Chairman of the Board
James Harmon
Revenue (2019)
US$ 132 million[1]: 50 
Expenses (2019)US$ 114 million[1]: 50

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research non-profit organization established in 1982 with funding from the MacArthur Foundation[2] under the leadership of James Gustave Speth.[3] WRI's activities are focused on seven areas: food, forests, water, energy, cities, climate and ocean.


The World Resources Institute (WRI) maintains international offices in the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil.[4][5] The organization's mission is to promote environmental sustainability, economic opportunity, and human health and well-being.[6] WRI partners with local and national governments, private companies, publicly held corporations, and other non-profits, and offers services including global climate change issues, sustainable markets, ecosystem protection, and environmental responsible governance services.[7][8] WRI has maintained a 4 out of 4 stars rating from Charity Navigator since 1 October 2008.[9]

In 2014, Stephen M. Ross, an American real estate developer, gave the organization US$30 million to establish the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.[10] A report by the Center for International Policy's Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative of the top 50 think tanks on the University of Pennsylvania's Global Go-To Think Tanks rating index found that during the period 2014-2018 World Resources Institute received more funding from outside the United States than any other think tank, with a total of more than US$63 million, though this was described as "unsurprising" given the institute's presence in so many countries.[11]


WRI's activities are focused on seven areas: food, forests, water, energy,[12] cities, climate and ocean.

WRI initiatives include:

  • The Access Initiative, a civil society network dedicated to ensuring that citizens have the right and ability to influence decisions about the natural resources .[13]
  • Aqueduct, an initiative to measure, map and understand water risks around the globe.[14]
  • CAIT Climate Data Explorer, offering chart tools for historic GHG data, Paris contributions and more. As of May 2020 this is being integrated into the similar platform Climate Watch.[15]
  • Champions 12.3, a coalition of executives to accelerate progress toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 to tackle food loss and waste.[16]
  • Global Forest Watch, an online forest monitoring and alert system.[citation needed]
  • The Greenhouse Gas Protocol provides standards, guidance, tools, and trainings for business and government to quantify and manage GHG emissions.[17]
  • LandMark, a platform providing maps and information on lands that are collectively held and used by Indigenous peoples and local communities.[18]
  • Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), a public-private collaboration platform and project accelerating focusing on building the circular economy. PACE was launched during the 2018 World Economic Forum Annual meeting; from 2019, WRI is supporting the scale-up of PACE and establish an Action Hub in The Hague.[19]
  • Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance,[20] is an alliance of large clean energy buyers, energy providers, and service providers that is unlocking the marketplace for all non-residential energy buyers to lead a rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous, zero-carbon renewable energy future.[21] It has over 200 members including Google, GM, Facebook, Walmart, Disney and other large companies, and reached 6 GW capacity in 2018.[22]
  • The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) helps companies transition to a low-carbon economic profile by setting greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in line with climate science.[23] Through Science Based Targets (SBTs), companies express their intention to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to well-below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C.[24]
  • WRI Ross Center helps cities grow more sustainably and seeks to improve quality of life in developing countries around the world.[25]
  • World Resources Report, WRI's flagship report series. Each report deals with a different topic.[26]


  1. ^ a b Rising to the Challenge; WRI Annual Report 2019–2012 (PDF). Washington DC: World Resources Institute (WRI). 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  2. ^ Broder, John M. (March 14, 2012). "Climate Change Envoy to Lead Influential Institute". New York Times. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  3. ^ "James Gustave Speth". World Resources Institute. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  4. ^ "WRI Engagement Across the World". World Resources Institute. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  5. ^ "Charity Navigator: World Resources Institute". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  6. ^ "World Resources Institute Offices – Washington DC". Office Snapshots. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  7. ^ Bloomberg (2017). "World Resources Institute". [1]. Retrieved 11 October 2017. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "Charitywatch: World Resources Institute". American Institute of Philanthropy. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Charity Navigator - Historical Ratings for World Resources Institute". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  10. ^ Pogrebin, Robin. "Developer Gives $30 Million to Establish City Planning Center". New York Times. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  11. ^ Freeman, Ben (January 2020). Foreign Funding of Think Tanks in America (PDF) (Report). Center for International Policy. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 1, 2020. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  12. ^ M.A. Siraj (September 15, 2017). "Powering cities with clean energy". Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Home | The Access Initiative".
  14. ^ "Aqueduct". World Resources Institute. June 12, 2013.
  15. ^ WRI, CAIT Climate Data Explorer, accessed 6 May 2020
  16. ^ "Champions 12.3". Champions 12.3.
  17. ^ Greenhouse Gas Protocol
  18. ^ "LandMark Map". LandMark.
  19. ^ "Resources". Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "REBA – Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance".
  22. ^ Dzikiy, Phil (28 March 2019). "Google, GM, and more than 300 other companies launch Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance". Electrek. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Science Based Targets".
  24. ^ Science Based Targets initiative [2], accessed 13 May 2021
  25. ^ "WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities I Helping cities make big ideas happen™". WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.
  26. ^ "World Resources Report". World Resources Institute. December 4, 2018.

See also[edit]