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Governance structure

Background - 5 August, 2013
Greenpeace's global governance structure reflects our fundamental respect for global democratic principles and our need to maintain a high level of internationalism and coordination.

The governance structure is laid out in the Articles of Association – which define Greenpeace International's statutory goal as the conservation of nature - and the Rules of Procedure, which are jointly agreed by representatives of the National / Regional Greenpeace organisations, and provides the mechanism by which organisational policy is decided and adopted.

Greenpeace International (formal registered entity name: Stichting Greenpeace Council), the body that coordinates global Greenpeace policy and strategy and the entity which operates the Greenpeace ships, is an organisation of about 250 staff who are – ship's crew excepted - largely based in Amsterdam. Its role within the global Greenpeace network includes the following:

  • Facilitating the overall decision making processes including the long term global campaign programme at strategic level, as laid out in the governance rules;
  • Coordinating the consistency and relevance for the global programme of Greenpeace campaigns carried out by NROs;
  • Operating the Greenpeace fleet;
  • Monitoring Greenpeace organisations strategic and financial performance;
  • Developing Greenpeace presences in new priority regions for the organisation;
  • Providing fundraising support and protecting the Greenpeace trademark;
  • Providing cost-effective IT/web support to Greenpeace organisations.

Greenpeace International Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Greenpeace International (Stichting Greenpeace Council's International Board) normally consists of seven members. Its role is to approve Greenpeace International's budget and audited accounts, and to appoint and supervise Greenpeace International's Executive Director.

The International Board is also responsible for decisions on wide ranging strategic and campaign issues of the wider organisation: deciding organisational policy; approving the global programme planning process, approving the opening of new national organisations; ratifying the Greenpeace International Annual General Meeting (AGM) decisions; granting the right to use the Greenpeace trademark to new Greenpeace organisations.

International Board members are elected for a three-year period by Council: the representatives from the National / Regional organisations at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). All board members can be reappointed- in practice the number of terms of office has been limited to two consecutive terms. The International Board reports annually to the Greenpeace International AGM.

Greenpeace International Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Each National / Regional Organisation is also governed by a board of directors. These boards are usually elected by a voting membership of volunteers and activists, who are firmly rooted within the local environmental communities and are well positioned to represent the wider public in influencing Greenpeace decisions and policy.

Each National / Regional Organisation Board appoints a representative to the Greenpeace International Annual General Meeting, called a Trustee. In this way, the AGM is effectively the supervisory body for the organisation as a whole. The Trustees together form the Council, which elects the Board of Greenpeace International.

Key responsibilities of the AGM include:

  • To establish and uphold the core principles of the organisation;
  • To elect or remove the International Board;
  • To approve the opening of new Greenpeace organisations;
  • To approve the annual Greenpeace International budget ceiling;
  • To identify issues of strategic significance to be addressed by the organisation.

These issues are annually debated and voted on by the International Board and the National/Regional Organisation Trustees at the AGM. The Greenpeace International Board is the guarantor of the integrity of the organisation and ensures adherence to internationally accepted good governance and financial management standards.

International Meetings

In addition to the Greenpeace International AGM the following annual international meetings are convened to decide on international organisational and campaign management issues:

Global Leadership Team (GLT) Meetings

The Global Leadership Team consists of normally seven National/Regional Organisation Executive Directors, which have been selected by the International Executive Director to advise on a wide range of high level strategic issues, such as strategic development of the global organisation, major programme resources, global standards and evaluations and global programme coordination.

Executive Directors Meeting

This is the forum that makes recommendations on global Greenpeace operational directions. The Executive Directors of each National/Regional Organisation meet yearly with the Greenpeace International Executive Director. At these meetings, they aim for broad agreement on issues to do with: Greenpeace's role in society; the long term global programme/framework and planning process; the model organisational development plan and three year strategic plan for national/regional organisations; and organisational policies and procedures for the global organisation.

Click here to download The Framework: A Summary 

Other Meetings

At the direction of the Board or the Executive Directors Meeting, international working groups made up of representatives from national organisations, Greenpeace International and external experts may convene throughout the year to work on specific issues such as developing new campaigning and fundraising strategies and policies, or opening new organisations. There are also permanent advisory groups on Programme, Finance and Fundraising that advise the International Executive Director (IED) on an ongoing basis. Programme units convene meetings during the year to discuss campaign strategy.

Open Information Policy

This policy is designed to ensure best practice in the handling of Greenpeace's information, following the principles of availability, integrity and confidentiality (in priority order), and ensuring Greenpeace International meets legal requirements, in order to allow information to be shared in a transparent and efficient way, while at the same time safeguarding, from abuse or compromise, our supporters', people's, allies' and partners' and our own sensitive information.

Click here to download the Open Information Policy document