Greenpeace intervenes at the point where our action is most likely to provoke positive change - whether this is intervening at the point of an environmental crime, targeting those who have the power to make a difference, engaging people and communities who can leverage change, or working for the adoption of environmentally responsible and socially just solutions. Usually, our campaigns involve elements of all of these tactics.
Our investigations are a fundamental part of our campaigns. We expose those responsible for an environmental crime, and work with affected communities to identify solutions. Investigations often start at the scene of an environmental crime – forest destruction in Indonesia, for example – and then trace the 'chain of destruction' through suppliers and retailers, revealing the links between often remote environmental destruction and powerful players in consumer countries.
We also investigate the impacts environmental destruction has on our planet and its inhabitants. We've been to the Arctic, Antarctica, China, South America and Africa to document the impacts of climate change, for example, with the aim of adding to the growing body of evidence about climate change, and to investigate what else we can do to tackle it.
Decision-makers in government and business have the resources and the responsibility to make positive change happen. In our legislation work, we make sure that our campaign demands are clearly heard by decision-makers, and we pressure them to translate these demands into real action that protects the environment.
At Greenpeace, our policy experts work with Congress to reform policy on the state and national levels. We build political support for our campaigns, produce and disseminate research, and actively engage with Congress with the administration. In short, we intervene to engage power holders in the process of change.
Greenpeace was founded in 1971 by a small group of anti-war protesters taking nonviolent direct action against US nuclear weapons testing. Today, taking action is as important as ever to the way we campaign for a greener, more peaceful and equitable world. Guiding all of our actions, always, is our commitment to nonviolence and personal responsibility.
Direct action is about physically acting to stop an immediate environmental wrong at the scene of the crime. We act to confront those in positions of power with their responsibility for stopping global environmental abuse, and to raise the level and quality of public debate. Above all, we act to provoke action from those with the power and responsibility to make change happen. Learn how to take action.
Often, environmental problems – like climate change or forest destruction - are widely acknowledged, but governments, corporations and international bodies all duck or dismiss the solutions. Our solutions work promotes open, informed debate about society's environmental choices, and involves industries, communities and individuals in making change happen. Whether the solutions are political, social or technological, we believe that they should be both environmentally responsible and globally equitable.
For example, we're championing a zero emissions pathway to help stop climate change, a global network of protected areas to preserve the world's ancient forests and a network of marine reserves to defend the world's oceans.
Through all our work, we always hold true to our core values:
Independence: We have no permanent allies or enemies. We don't solicit or accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties, or donations which could compromise our independence, aims, objectives or integrity. Instead, we rely on the voluntary donations of individual supporters and grant-support from foundations.
Internationalism: The environmental problems we face are usually global in nature, and their solutions must be too. We are committed to internationalism, and our presence in over 40 countries with 2.8 million supporters around the world allows us to bring enormous pressure to bear on power-holders.
Personal responsibility and nonviolence: We take personal responsibility for our actions, and we are committed to nonviolence. These principles are inspired by the Quaker concept of 'bearing witness', which is about taking action based on conscience – personal action based on personal responsibility. We are accountable for our actions, and everyone on a Greenpeace action is trained in nonviolent direct action.