International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

International Institute for Sustainable Development, Global Education Magazine


The International Institute for Sustainable Development is a Canadian-based, international public policy research institute for sustainable development.

Since it was first articulated in the Brundtland Commission’s Our Common Future in 1987, sustainable development has never been superseded by a more compelling or universally-acceptable expression of humanity’s shared goals. At its simplest level, any form of development that is not sustainable contains the seeds of its own destruction. For development to be sustainable, it must not only generate wealth: it must also advance social justice, reduce and eventually eliminate poverty, and remain within the limits imposed by ecosystem and resource resilience.

IISD has chosen to focus on topics that are ripe for transformation—where a shift in policy has the potential to snowball and, before too long, to change the nature of the game. It is only through a focus on game-changers that we will make up the sustainability deficit that has accumulated and move towards a better future.

Because we aim to make a difference in how policy is crafted and implemented, we translate the research insight into practical, realistic and cost-effective policy options that can be taken up by policy-makers at all levels.

  • Our vision: Better living for all—sustainably.
  • Our mission: To champion innovation, enabling societies to live sustainably.
  • Our role: IISD promotes the transition toward a sustainable future; we seek to demonstrate how human ingenuity can be applied to improve the well-being of the environment, economy and society.
  • Our tools are policy research, information exchange, analysis and advocacy.
  • Our products are action recommendations based on careful analysis, knowledge networks to build the capacity of civil society and other organizations in both South and North, and timely reporting of international negotiations critical to the sustainability of the planet.
  • Our audiences are government, business and civil society.
  • Our style is to increase our influence by working collaboratively with other institutions—building long-term strategic alliances, while retaining the institutional agility necessary to confront the challenges of sustainable development.

Established in 1990, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a non-partisan charitable organization specializing in policy research and analysis, and information exchange. Through our head office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and our branches in Ottawa, New York and Geneva, we apply human ingenuity to improve the well-being of the world’s environment, economy and society. The Institute champions sustainable development around the world through innovation, partnerships, research and communications. It is dedicated to ongoing communication of its findings as it engages decision-makers in business, government, non-government organizations and academia.

The Institute contributes to sustainable development by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change and energy, and management of natural and social capital, as well as the enabling role of communication technologies in these areas. We report on international negotiations and disseminate knowledge gained through collaborative projects, resulting in more rigorous research, capacity building in developing countries, better networks spanning the North and the South, and better global connections among researchers, practitioners, citizens and policy-makers.


  • IISD’s Head Office
    161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    R3B 0Y4
    Phone: +1 204 958-7700
    Fax: +1 204 958-7710
  • Geneva Office
    International Environment House 2
    9 chemin de Balexert
    1219 Châtelaine
    Geneva Switzerland
    Phone +41 22 917-8683
    Fax +41 22 917-8054
  • Ottawa Office
    75 Albert Street, Suite 903
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
    K1P 5E7
    Phone: +1 (613) 238 2296
    Fax: +1 (613) 238 8515
  • IISD Reporting Services
    300 East 56th Street #11D
    New York, NY 10022 USA
    Phone: +1 646 536-7556
    Fax: +1 646 219-0955
  • Beijing Office
    Apartment 2-16-1, 16th Floor, Unit 2
    Tayuan Diplomatic Office Building
    Chaoyang District
    Beijing, China 100600
    Phone: +86 (10) 8532-5495
  • Media Relations
    Joel Trenaman
    Director of Communications and Publishing
    Phone +1 (204) 958-7731
  • Information about sustainable development
    Marlene Roy
    Research and Learning Resources
    Phone +1 (204) 958-7724

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