Don't believe it? Just look at the recent success of the Kit Kat campaign - a social media based campaign that finally convinced Nestlé to commit to removing products coming from rainforest destruction from its supply chains.
With this example on hand our Executive Director Kumi Naidoo appeared on CNN yesterday to talk about a crucial element of Greenpeace campaigning: you. 'The collective power of the Internet and social media' is as much a part of campaigning to protect the environment as taking peaceful direct action.
Watch Kumi's interview:
What lesson did we learn from the Nestlé campaign - was CNN's first question to Kumi. We learned the power social media has in the hands of an empowered and active supporter base to create change. But this is not a new lesson for us.
In 2000 Coca-Cola agreed to remove harmful chemicals from its refrigeration equipment - also convincing Unilever and McDonald's to follow suit - after an online-focused campaign.
Apple removed toxic substances from its products after the online public mobilized around the 'Green My Apple' campaign. Currently people are engaging in an online contest to redesign British Petroleum's logo to more accurately reflect the company's involvement in destructive energy projects - like Deepwater Horizon and the Canadian tar sands. 'Behind the Logo' is using social media to challenge BP's recent portrayel of themselves as a 'green' energy company.
Corporations in particular are learning that people can vote with their pockets, and they do not want to buy environmental destruction. Through online campaigning individuals can move past the media, they can move past politics, and tell companies directly what they want: We want them to clean up their act.
The Kit Kat campaign is an example of Greenpeace enabling individuals to make demands that protect our environment via social media. As Kumi mentions in the interview, digital protest is a powerful new way of speaking truth to power, of taking a stand and making a demand. The amazing results of the Kit Kat campaign are proof enough that digital protest can create change - and the power behind it is you.