Sustainability Intern

World Resources Institute (WRI)

Washington, DC, US

About WRI

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges,and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States


Internships at WRI provide opportunities for motivated young professionals to learn from our experts and participate in engaging work at the intersection of environment and development.  WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all of our programs and offices. We seek interns with diverse backgrounds and who are passionate about the environment to help us make a direct global impact. For more information, see our website: Internships at WRI.

The Sustainability Initiative at WRI seeks to align the Institution’s operations with its mission. Using research and expertise from staff to guide us, we are committed to improving and sustaining WRI’s environmental performance. WRI seeks a part-time summer intern to support the Initiative. During the summer, the intern will be working on projects including the internal carbon tax evaluation, sustainable purchasing policy, compost pilot, and sustainable commute program. In addition, the Initiative is highly collaborative in nature and works with staff from various programs, partners, and offices in the WRI network. The offer is for a summer internship for 6 months, with the potential for an extension pending performance. 

To learn more about the Sustainability Initiative at WRI, visit the

WRI is committed to ensuring gender equity across our program portfolios. As such, the Intern is expected to incorporate attention to gender where appropriate.


The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

Data collection, processing, and analysis (40%)

  • Communicate with various staff and partners to collect data for the GHG inventory and nitrogen footprint for WRI.
  • Input and clean data for duplicates, errors, and formatting.
  • Input data into pre-populated spreadsheets for processing.
  • Conduct analysis of data using Excel Pivot Tables and/or Power BI.
  • Assist in developing data visualizations to communicate progress on sustainability targets.

Staff engagement and shifting behavior (30%)

  • Assist in developing and planning campaigns around shifting behaviors, particularly for sustainable purchasing, composting, and commuting projects.
  • Manage logistics for campaign materials and events, including arranging for print and digital communication materials, scheduling spaces, and evaluating (surveying) post-event.
  • Assist in developing graphics and materials to promote on-going awareness of Sustainability Initiative at WRI.
  • Assist in managing staff communications plan for Sustainability Initiative.

Research support (20%)

  • Research sustainability topics to support various Sustainability Initiative publications, including the annual sustainability report, working paper on sustainable commute programs, and working paper on internal carbon tax evaluation.
  • Create brief literature reviews and write-ups on research.
  • Manage and maintain complete an formatted bibliographies of research sources.

Administration, research and staff development (10%)

  • Support project management efforts for various sustainability initiatives, including managing timelines, meeting notes, and other coordination materials.


  • Degree: Working towards or completed Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, Graphic Design, Communication, Business Administration, Management, Environmental Studies, Public Policy, Sustainability, or Mathematics; Master’s Degree Preferred.
  • Excellent graphics skills
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner
  • Strong visual thinker
  • Strong analytic skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Strong oral communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team
  • Familiarity or experience with sustainability management
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Flexible
  • Highly responsible, self-motivated
  • Extremely well organized and efficient
  • WRI does not sponsor interns for visas of any kind.  Must have authorization to work in the U.S. to be eligible for this position.

Final candidate will be required to take a writing test. 

Finalists will need to submit 2 writing samples that include graphics (e.g. graphics, charts, diagrams). 

Reports To: Shengyin Xu, Sustainability Manager

Salary: This is a paid intern position with an hourly rate based on experience.

Duration: 6 months

Start/End Months: May 2017 – October 2017

Location: Washington, DC

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must apply online at to be considered.

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI’s policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

About WRI

Established in 1982, WRI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization respected globally by policymakers, non-governmental organizations, and corporate leaders.

WRI’s reputation is grounded in its excellent analysis, non-partisan approach, and high-impact results. We measure our success based on how our work helps to create real-world change on the ground—an approach we call “Managing for Results.”

WRI’s work is united by and driven by our values: Innovation, Integrity, Urgency, Independence, and Respect.

WRI fosters a culture of innovative ideas, working collaboratively, and thinking independently. WRI employees are driven by the organization’s mission and have the satisfaction of helping to create a more prosperous and healthy planet.

Learn more about our organization at