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IFC Footprint Commitment

Waste and Recycling


A large organization like IFC produces a significant amount of physical waste from day-to-day business operations and new facility construction.  Diverting this waste from the landfill – through waste reduction efforts and recycling - is an important part of IFC’s commitment to sustainability in our operations. Below are examples of our efforts.


Recycling: In our largest office in Washington, DC, IFC provides desk-side recycling and other collection points for paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal. In addition, printer and toner cartridges, batteries, mobile phones, pagers and PDAs, and other "techno-trash", including CDs, diskettes, DVDs, hard drives, cables, cords are recycled.  In FY12, none of our headquarters’ waste went to landfills. Instead, 306,930 pounds of paper, metals, plastic, cardboard, bulbs and batteries were recycled, and 43,217 pounds of office supplies and furniture were donated to local charitable organizations. In addition, 594,559 pounds of waste was processed at a local waste-to-energy facility, helping provide power to local communities.


There are many regional differences in our recycling programs depending on what local authorities and municipalities support. 74% of IFC's offices that self-reported in a year-end survey said that they recycle one or several materials in the office.


Composting of Food Waste: All disposable containers, cutlery, and food waste are being composted in the Washington, DC office’s cafeteria, which serves approximately 300,000 meals every year.  In FY12, IFC composted approximately 1,300 pounds of food waste on a monthly basis.  Staff are also encouraged to use the many reusable plates and cutlery available in the cafeteria to eliminate unnecessary waste.


Strengthened requirements for construction services: For IFC’s work, the Facilities Management Unit is committed to strengthening contract requirements to be more aligned with practices highlighted by the LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certification Program.   For example, contractors and all subcontractors will be:

  • expected to recycle as much building material as possible
  • strongly encouraged to develop innovative ways of recycling products and materials that are used throughout the entire construction process
  • encouraged to develop, prepare and submit value engineering recommendations voluntarily in support of environmental objectives
  • responsible for recycling of construction materials (i.e., carpet tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles, metals, etc.) as approved by the WBG.


Closed-loop carpet recycling system:  For IFC’s largest office in Washington, DC., IFC is buying carpet made of 30% recycled content that is 100% recyclable, keeping the nearly 602,900 square feet of carpeting out of the landfill. 


Filtered Water:  To reduce the unnecessary waste of bottled water, all drinking fountain areas in the Washington, DC, office provide filtered tap water.  In addition, many other IFC offices have taken steps to reduce bottled water use.  For instance, the MENA region set a policy to replace all individual bottled water containers with faucet filters and/or large, reusable water containers (through a delivery service).


Sustainable Meetings:  IFC staff tasked with event/meeting planning are being trained on how to reduce waste from IFC-sponsored events.  Since the launch of the training program in 2011, over 130 event and meeting planners at IFC and the World Bank have been trained by a Certified Meeting Planner from IFC.

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