Sustainability Manager at World Resources Institute (WRI)

WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, 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 recently voted the #1 Environmental Think Tank in the world and is consistently recommended by staff as one of the "most desired organizations to work for." In 2014, WRI was ranked one of the Top Workplaces by the Washington Post.


At WRI, we work hard to put ideas into action, meet our mission and goals, and ultimately protect the earth and promote sustainable and resilient development. This hard work leads to many positive results and outcomes, but it also contributes to our own environmental footprint. WRI has set institutional sustainability goals since 1999 and in 2010 revamped the process by creating the Sustainability Initiative – a project devoted to helping WRI reflect the change we want to see in the world by “walking the talk” on WRI’s research. While initially focused on GHG emissions, the project has been expanding to include the many aspects of environmental and social sustainability including, but not limited to, sustainable procurement and staff behavior, resource consumption, and transparency. More information on the Sustainability Initiative is available on This project is now five years (or half) way to the initial target date and we are looking to formalize the broader approach to WRI’s sustainability efforts.

To this end, we are seeking an experienced, creative, and motivated candidate as WRI’s Sustainability Manager. This position will continue to facilitate the integration of sustainability into WRI’s operations – ensuring that the Institute is “walking the talk” on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues whenever feasible. In this role, you will lead WRI’s internal collaboration on key sustainability issues, starting with an update of WRI’s sustainability strategy – to develop broader ESG goals, update existing targets, and support a new model of staff engagement. Your leadership and project management will enable the efforts of WRI administrative and research staff to successfully meet sustainability targets.

WRI’s internal sustainability project currently sits within the Administration group and the Sustainability Manager reports to WRI’s Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. The manager works closely with facilities, communications, conference services, and program staff across all WRI offices.


Project Management (45%)

Lead WRI’s internal sustainability project, facilitating the integration of sustainability into all aspects of WRI, including:

  • Lead update process and implementation of WRI’s sustainability strategy:
  • Set broader ESG goals and update existing GHG targets based on lessons learned over the past five years
  • Develop metrics to track success.
  • Revamp staff engagement to enable greater participation and support of environmental research staff in WRI’s sustainability efforts and change behaviors to meet our goals.
  • Manage cross-organization projects and efforts that identify and support sustainability opportunities, leading to success with WRI’s goals.
  • Manage projects and engagement efforts across WRI to better integrate sustainability into WRI’s decision-making and operations.

Staff Engagement & Collaboration (25%)

  • Act as committee chair of WRI’s volunteer sustainability team – Sustainability Champions.
  • Manage collaboration with international office staff to institute key sustainability efforts globally.
  • Lead collaboration with WRI’s facilities, conference services/events, IT, and communication staff to support a sustainable workplace for staff and events.
  • Lead staff engagement approach to further internalize sustainability efforts.

Communication and Metrics Collection (30%)

  • Develop internal communications to engage staff in sustainability efforts.
  • Lead communication strategy for our work including annual Sustainability Report and support internal investigation of integrated reporting - following the Global Reporting Index approach.
  • Manage WRI’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory and other metric collection.


Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in environmental policy, engineering, public administration, public policy, economics, business, corporate sustainability/responsibility, or related field.
  • Minimum 5-7 years of work experience in fields related to sustainability/ESG.
  • Minimum 4-5 years of work experience in project management with demonstrated ability in project strategy.
  • Strong understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and/or corporate sustainability issues.
  • Outstanding ability to communicate clearly, passionately, and confidently both internally and externally to influence, form networks, and drive change.
  • Excellent research, analytical, writing, presentation and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team.
  • Ability to be flexible with approaches and to think outside the box to solve problems.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities, take initiative, and deliver under tight deadlines.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with MS-Excel and strong quantitative skills.
  • Experience with completing GHG inventories and other sustainability metric calculations.
  • Experience leading committees and/or staff engagement projects.
  • Experience designing sustainability strategies for NGOs, governments, or corporations.

Qualified applicants should apply online at All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered. Final candidates will be required to take a writing test.

Job title: Sustainability Manager

Location: Washington, DC

Salary: Commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package.

Contract: Full-time, permanent

Closing date: ASAP, rolling applications