2050Today Members

WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization

Contribution to climate action

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

 

Alignment with the strategy for sustainability management of the United Nations system, 2020-2030

WIPO’s Carbon Neutrality Project was launched in February 2009, along with the first annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory. WIPO has been 100 percent climate neutral since 2014. 

In December 2022, WIPO issued a High-Level Policy on Environmental Responsibility. The policy defines the organization’s environmental commitments and includes objectives and principles, as well as the framework of implementation to underpin progress and results at all levels. WIPO is implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) to achieve its environmental sustainability goals, aligning with the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations and the requirements of the international standard ISO14001.  

Thematic actions

Biodiversity

WIPO Campus has more than 1,800m2 of green roofs, shared between several buildings. Platings and sowings were carried out one roof in the fall of 2022, both for biodiversity and technical reasons. The aim was to provide greater floristic diversity and promote the presence of small fauna (birds, insects) through the addition of mineral bands and small logs.
WIPO’s park hosts 18 century-old oak trees, which are kept under careful surveillance. If needed, pruning or any other treatments are undertaken as specifically defined by our service providers and the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Nature (DGAN) of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.
WIPO is incorporating more environmentally conscious gardening tools and methods. Since 2020, only 100% electric leaf blowers, brush cutters and hedge trimmers are used. Conventional phytosanitary products are increasingly being replaced by more natural methods, such as introducing ladybugs to prevent the development of parasites on plants in the interior gardens.

Energy

Concerning energy, WIPO is connected to an innovative cooling system using Geneva Lake Water (GeniLac) for renewable energy in all buildings at WIPO Headquarters. Moreover, WIPO Headquarters powered by 100% certified renewable energy since 2015.
Several initiatives have been implemented to reduce building energy consumption (i.e. LED lighting fixtures and lighting sensors implemented progressively across the older buildings, optimization of the lighting system to be activated only when necessary).
Furthermore, there have been major renovation of the facades of one of the large buildings on the WIPO Campus and modernization of its cooling system (2018-2019).
Despite an increase in building occupancy in 2023, as WIPO employees increased the number of days spent working in the office, the electricity and gas consumptions were reduced respectively by 9.1 per cent and 23.3 per cent in 2023, as compared to 2021.

Food

The catering services on the WIPO Campus are provided by an external company. As part of its contract the company undertakes various sustainability measures such as: providing daily vegetarian meals, favoring seasonal products, organic farming as well as local origin of food.
In order to limit food waste, the unsold daily meals are proposed to WIPO employees at a reduced rate.

Mobility

WIPO issued a new Travel Policy in 2023, with several elements that continued to impact positively on sustainability efforts, in particular SDG13 Climate Action. As air travel is responsible for high levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, official travel was still limited to “important only” travel and must be taken by the most direct and economical route and mode of transportation. This means that many connecting flights are avoided and the most direct route is favored. Many categories of third-party travelers are entitled to travel only in economy class, where there are fewer GHG emissions per passenger. In addition, train travel is strongly encouraged as an alternative to air travel from Geneva to European destinations or in other circumstances where travel by train can result in a lower carbon footprint.
WIPO encourages soft mobility for employee commuting through several recurrent incentives: Biannually since 2013, WIPO provides a bike repair stand for employees’ personal bicycles (more than 100 bikes are checked and repaired each year) and over 100 spaces to park bicycles and three bike pumping stations are available on WIPO Campus in Geneva since 2018.

Sustainable IT

In 2024, WIPO is launching an assessment of the environmental impact of WIPO’s digital activities. This will allow for an assessment of the organization’s level of ICT maturity and will create a benchmark against which to measure progress each year.

Waste management

WIPO has worked to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills through a combination of source reduction, reuse and recycling.
For example, WIPO has had a partnership since 2019 with the cafeteria caterer wherein employees can make use of eco-friendly reusable take-away containers to reduce consumption of disposable containers.
Paper and e-waste in the offices, as well as plastic, metal and glass in the cafeteria, are sorted to be reused or recycled.
WIPO is currently in the process of performing a waste management study in order to improve and increase the sorting of waste throughout its HQ in Geneva. This will be implemented in 2025.

Footprint and emissions by scope

2050Today’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measurement methodology follows the GHG Protocol. The Protocol provides standards and guidance for organizations to measure and manage climate-warming emissions. It was created in 1998 through a partnership between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

According to the GHG Protocol, the distribution of emissions is done by scopes:

Scope 1 represents direct emissions linked to the consumption of fossil fuels.

Scope 2 represents indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the reporting company.

Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain (i.e. purchased good or services, business travel, employee commuting).

The 2050Today carbon footprint takes into account the reported emissions generated by the activities of the institution over one year and is divided by categories:

Energy and water

It takes into account the amount of the consumed electricity produced and purchased by the institution. The energy consumed to heat and/or cool the institution’s building area and the consumed water are included as well.

Mobility

It takes into consideration business travels and commuting (on a survey basis).

Food

The CO2 impact of food includes the catering of the institution and individual consumption (on a survey basis) during working hours.

Purchased goods

The perimeter of purchased goods is set to a list of new office equipment, new mobility equipment (vehicles) and construction materials.

Waste

The perimeter of the waste inventory is set to waste production from facilities and internal operations of the institution

It has to be noted that the collected data of the 2050Today members resulting in each carbon footprint are not yet fully standardized and might not be entirely complete. Data collection is being progressively harmonized and improved. Therefore, direct comparisons between tCO2 / employee among institutions – be it in general or per sector – are not yet possible nor relevant.

To ensure the reliability, the accuracy and a recurrent updating of the carbon footprint assessment, 2050Today is advised by an international Carbon Footprint Scientific Committee.

Carbon Footprint