What we are actually doing
WRF’s main activities include:
- Organizing global and regional conferences. Our flagship international conference, the World Resources Forum (WRF), takes place once a year and attracts 500-1000 business leaders, policy-makers, NGOs, researchers and the broader public. The regional conferences focus on issues pertaining to specific geographical areas.
- Running capacity-building workshops. WRF runs capacity-building workshops for SMEs, policy-makers and the informal sector, sharing expertise on eco-efficiency, recycling of electronic waste and health and safety standards for recycling workers. Further workshops on circular economy and decoupling economic growth from resource strain are run by WRF during major sustainability conferences worldwide, including UNECA African Developmental Forum, COP11 Meeting on Biodiversity, EU Green Week and ICT for Sustainability Conferences.
- Creating resource efficiency indices and setting standards for businesses and countries. Together with partners, the WRF develops indices to rank businesses and countries according to their efficiency of resources use. These indices will serve as benchmarks for companies and countries to compare their standing in resource use and would also raise awareness on the issue of resource scarcity and incentivize stakeholders to adopt effective measures and instruments.
- Facilitating financing of resource efficiency enterprises. WRF acts as a platform for promotion and acceleration of scalable startups and projects in the field of resource management by matching innovative resource-efficient enterprises with venture funds, financial institutions and investment arms of resource-intensive corporations.
- Implementing Sustainable Recycling Industries programme. The SRI initiative, run jointly by WRF, EMPA (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), Ecoinvent and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) aims to improve the basic data for assessing the quality of secondary raw materials and to analyse relevant case studies of recycling chains in developing countries, including Colombia, Egypt, India, Peru and South Africa. WRF works on designing policies and guidance principles necessary to create universal standards for sustainable management and recycling of secondary materials (metals, plastics, minerals).
- Performing research on interaction between resource use and carbon emissions. WRF, along with SATW, EMPA and the City of St Gallen, is running a research project on the impact of resources management and building materials in urban environment on carbon emissions, using St Gallen as a case-study.
- Connecting the two worlds of engineering and social sciences to optimise their joint impact in the area of sustainable lifestyles and resources management, building on a series of dedicated workshops and special events, implemented in partnership with the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW), the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW) and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (a+).
- Disseminating research publications and promulgating best practices on resource management. WRF is giving visibility to research findings and reports of its members and partner institutions through online and offline promotion. We have partnered up with UNEP International Resource Panel and opened a reading corner featuring UNEP IRP publications on our website. Furthermore, case-studies of best practices of resource management will be shared by the leading experts worldwide through our upcoming WRF Blog.