IIED's environmental policy

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) works to build a fairer, more sustainable world. We recognise that all our activities will have an impact on the environment – and we aim to continually improve our environmental performance.

IIED's travel by air is closely monitored as part of the institute's environmental policy (Photo: Wikipedia licence)

Our mission is to build a fairer, more sustainable world, using evidence, action and influence in partnership with others.  

IIED's impacts

Our most significant positive impact is through our research, advice and advocacy work. We carry out action research — generating robust evidence and know-how that is informed by a practical perspective acquired through hands-on research with grassroots partners — and we publish in journals and maintain high research standards.

We advise government, business and development agencies, and we argue for changes in public policy. We focus on bottom-up approaches, stay open to flexible, adaptable solutions and are marked by a tradition of challenging conventional wisdom through original thinking. All of this requires innovative approaches to in-country and international work.

We recognise that in pursuing these objectives we can impact the environment. Our in-country and international work must therefore also be equally innovative in minimising our adverse environmental impacts. Focus areas include:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels for air travel and other transport necessary to deliver our mission
  • Greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuel-based energy and the consumption of electricity in our offices in London and Edinburgh
  • Production of waste and the use of water in our offices in London and Edinburgh, and
  • Indirectly, the environmental impact of our partners, contractors, suppliers and consultants.

IIED's commitments

We are committed to continually improve our environmental performance and prevent pollution by:

  • Ensuring our compliance with all relevant legislation, regulations and other relevant requirements
  • Using a management system that meets the requirements of ISO14001
  • Ensuring independent certification and regular review of our environmental management system
  • Setting appropriate and realistic targets and objectives for all of our most significant environmental impacts
  • Assessing and regularly re-assessing the environmental impacts of our activities
  • Ensuring awareness of all our employees of our environmental policy and impacts
  • Sharing low-carbon innovations to our in-country and international work, and scaling up effective approaches where effective
  • Minimising our carbon emissions from energy consumption and travel, both within the UK and internationally
  • Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions per head by an average of 2.5 per cent per year, consistent with the requirements of globally-recognised reduction commitments such as the Carbon Trust Standard
  • Minimising the amount of waste through reduction, recovery and recycling
  • Using our environmental and procurement policies to secure environmentally sensitive approaches by our suppliers and contractors, and
  • Reporting our environmental performance in our annual report.

 ISO14001 environmental management system logoThis policy is communicated to all employees, suppliers and sub-contractors and is made available to the public. IIED's operations team oversees and reviews the policy, and our environmental manager coordinates its implementation.

We continue to maintain an ISO14001-certified environmental management system.

This policy forms part of our responsible operations policy, which includes policies on a broad of range of social and environmental issues.

IIED director Andrew Norton