The World Bank's Commitment to "Better Reporting"

Communicating openly with stakeholders is fundamental to our development mission of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

The World Bank has a longstanding commitment to transparency and accountability and a strong track record of openness about it development activities and performance. We have learned that accountability in our corporate reporting can lead to improvements in our operations and, ultimately, better development outcomes for the people and clients we support.

The corporate reporting landscape has seen significant changes in recent years driven by a global agenda calling for businesses to provide a broader set of information about the value they create, their performance and prospects, and their impact on society and the environment.

Investors and stakeholders seek a better understanding of an organization’s strategy, the overall impact of its strategic objectives, and how long-term challenges are being managed.

As organizations are challenged to provide more insight about the sustainability of their own activities and their impact on society, Integrated Reporting <IR> has emerged as a dynamic and forward-looking reporting framework to support greater transparency.

<IR> is a principles-based framework that is helping organizations

  • Communicate their business narrative more effectively to investors and other stakeholders;
  • Strengthen the alignment of strategic objectives within the organization, reinforcing its financial robustness; and
  • Understand their performance more holistically.

<IR> reflects the broad and longer-term impacts of the decisions organizations make to create sustainable value for their clients and stakeholders. <IR> is not about more reporting, but rather about achieving better outcomes through improved reporting.

The World Bank is stepping up to this challenge. The Bank has been in the forefront of increasing the awareness of investors to sustainability and developing new financial products. To enhance business resilience and impact, the World Bank continually improves the way it reports to stakeholders. As part of these ongoing efforts, we have embarked on a journey to adopt <IR>.

Continuing to Improve Corporate Reporting
to Meet 21st Century Demands

The focus by investors is shifting away from looking solely at historical information, to a more holistic view of the drivers of sustainable value and their impact. There is a greater expectation that traditional financial reporting will be merged with sustainability reporting to present a more complete picture of an organization’s sustainable valuable creation.

Central to this notion is the growing realization that a wide range of factors determines the value of an organization – some of these are financial or tangible in nature while many are not (e.g. human capital, natural resources, intellectual capital, social capital, market and regulatory context). Meeting such expectations requires new frameworks and approaches.

These expectations are not new to the World Bank. We have been reporting on more than our financial statement for years. But we continue to evolve and build on our capabilities to meet the reporting demands of the 21st Century.

The World Bank’s Corporate Responsibility Program ensures transparency around the environmental and social impacts of its internal operations to stakeholders, including shareholders, impact investors, civil society organizations and others.

Progress is tracked in the World Bank Annual Report, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards for sustainability reporting, along with a biennial Sustainability Review.

The World Bank was one of the first multi-lateral development institutions to adopt GRI reporting in 2005, and to disclose through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in 2009– the world’s largest database of institutional self-reported climate change information.

During fiscal year 2017, the World Bank approved a Corporate Responsibility Strategic Plan to systematically address its environmental impacts, under the leadership of its Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer. The plan includes a set of Sustainability Principles as a guide, and a commitment to prioritize  corporate sustainability activities, including around energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste.

Importantly, the World Bank produces the Corporate Scorecard of the World Bank Group (WBG) which provide an overarching view of the results and performance indicators of the Group’s three institutions.

The Corporate Scorecard has provided snapshots of results and performance indicators to the WBG’s Board of Executive Directors, management, and the public as part of the institution’s accountability framework. It is a valuable tool for understanding the development challenges of clients, and for measuring performance of the institution in our priority areas.

Building on the corporate reporting efforts and successes of the institution to-date, applying the <IR> framework will help us to be responsive to our key reporting audiences and present information about the World Bank in a format that works best for them, reinforcing the sterling financial standing of the institution and allowing to continue to access markets in the strongest way, passing along the most favorable financing conditions to our clients, which is a key part of our business model.

<IR> at the World Bank

The Integrated Reporting <IR> framework offers a cohesive and efficient approach to corporate reporting, founded on integrated thinking, which results in the communication of a consistent and connected narrative around sustainable value creation and impact.

Our Approach

  • As a Financial Institution - Apply the IR Framework to key corporate reports and lead by example
  • As a Development Institution – Assist clients with leveraging the framework to promote good governance and sustainable development
  • As a Convener – Engage with and facilitate coordination between standard setting bodies to encourage harmonization of non-financial reporting standards.


We are committed to being transparent about how the World Bank uses its various resources to create long-term, sustainable value. As part of this commitment, we are developing a road map toward producing an Integrated Report for the World Bank by 2020.

The World Bank’s Progress toward Better Sustainability Reporting

For more than a decade, the World Bank has produced corporate reports on our efforts to be a more sustainable institution that produces lasting value for its clients and stakeholders. By joining these efforts together under the <IR> framework, the institution can improve how this information is communicated to and used by our bondholders and other stakeholders.

In recent years, efforts by the World Bank to improve corporate sustainability reporting have included:

  • The first World Bank sustainability report, based on the GRI framework, is produced in 2005.
  • The World Bank is the first multilateral development bank to produce CDP disclosures in 2009.
  • Integration of corporate sustainability efforts into the World Bank Annual Report 2010.
  • The first World Bank Corporate Scorecard is published in 2011.
  • The World Bank joins the <IR> Working Group to Develop the Integrated Reporting Framework in 2011; becomes a member of the <IR> Council in 2013.
  • Leveraging the institution’s convening power, the World Bank helps promote the use of <IR> at the 2014 Governance Form, the 2015 Annual Meetings, and the 2018 Spring Meetings.
  • The World Bank becomes a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investments in 2014.
  • The World Bank, which issued the first green bond back in 2008, issues its first Green Bond Impact Report in 2015
  • The World Bank moves toward developing the World Bank’s Integrated Report in 2018.