The World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, non-governmental global research organization which seeks to create equity and prosperity through sustainable natural resource management. It was established in 1982 with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation under the leadership of James Gustave Speth. It spans more than 50 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States. Our more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being.
WRI was launched with a vital founding grant of $15 million from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago, which enabled the organization to devote its first five years to set priorities and become operational. It was organized as a non-profit Delaware corporation that could receive tax-deductible gifts and contributions under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
WRI's activities are focused on six areas: climate, clean energy, food, forests, water, and sustainable cities. The World Resources Institute’s Sustainability Initiative seeks to align the Institute’s operations with its mission. Using research and expertise from staff to guide, they are committed to improving and sustaining WRI's environmental performance.
Some of the major initiatives of WRI include:
• ACT 2015 is a new project, designed as an international climate change agreement towards a low-carbon, climate resilient world.
• EMBARQ, the sustainable urban mobility initiative of WRI, founded in 2002, collaborates locally and nationally to implement environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable urban mobility solutions to improve the quality of city life.
• Aqueduct, an initiative to measure, map and understand water risks around the globe.
• The Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) tracks national progress in promoting environmental democracy in law and practice.