Embedding Justice – An inward look into our transformational journey

by Tamsyn Chetty

October 14, 2022

Greenpeace USA has been on an internal transformational journey to embed justice and equity.

Greenpeace has always been about people and the planet, and these same values apply to our organization internally. We are dedicated to people power, both internally and externally, and recognize that our strength is our staff. In this blog post, we aim to address all the work we have done to embed racial justice and equity at Greenpeace USA.

See our Embedding Justice Report which tells a better story of our justice journey and the inspiring progress we’ve made thus far. This report documents our work to embed justice and equity at Greenpeace USA over the past 2 years.

Embedding Justice


Our first mission was to remove significant structural barriers leading to more equitable outcomes for BIPOC colleagues within Greenpeace USA. Since then, the number of staff who identify as people of color has tripled and those in management positions have more than quadrupled to 45%. Overall, 54% of staff and 77% of our combined boards are people of color, almost twice the percentage of the wider environmental movement.

We’ve also overhauled the organization’s recruitment and compensation practices, instituted new policies against sexual harassment and restructured our compensation policy to eliminate pay disparities across race and gender, resulting in no gender or racial pay gaps within our salary bands. While these are all significant changes, we understand that there is still more progress to be made.

Here are some questions and answers surrounding our accomplishments and what our main focus areas are for the future:

How does the future Greenpeace USA’s work staff look like?

  • We imagine a new way forward for Greenpeace USA that centers people at the heart of all we do. In order to create a safe and welcoming workplace, we strive to recognize and accept everyone’s personal values in a way that treats everyone equally and equitably. We envision a Greenpeace where all staff are equipped with the consciousness, tools and resources to confront inequities and dismantle white supremacy, racism, and other forms of exclusion and structured oppression that have threatened BIPOC communities and our planet. We understand that it is continuous work and that all staff has a critical role to play in this ongoing process.

In the last two years, what essential shifts have Greenpeace USA undertaken?

  • In 2020, we established our culture shift pillars to support our cultural reorientation towards caring and compassion, humility and generosity, connection and solidarity and accountability and support for all staff. In 2021, we developed our Greenpeace Tenets for a People-Centered Culture, which is our roadmap for shifting how we engage one-on-one to ultimately shift our organizational practices towards justice. We also adopted a multiracial co-leadership model at both our board and executive levels which has led to a stronger, balanced, and more united leadership.

What were some of the main focus areas for 2022?

  • Fueled by the pandemic and shifts within the market, employees are taking a hard look at their needs and must-haves in the workplace. The pandemic gave many of us the realization that there truly is only one life and many of us were left to rethink about our priorities and the things that really matter. We have demonstrated our commitment to create an environment that provides employees with one of the most important and often underutilized tools: the power of active listening within staff. Staff are often communicating concerns around various work styles, addressing inequities, compensation, and more benefits. Our People and Culture team is actively working to evolve our total rewards program which continues with annual improvements in staff investments and benefits.

Looking to the future, what are the main focuses for hiring and retention within the organization?

  • We are expanding access to hiring opportunities for historically excluded groups by centering racial equity throughout our hiring process. We are rebalancing the focus on hiring and retention and linking the two to address root causes of higher attrition among women+, BIPOC+, trans and non-binary+ people. Looking towards a more inclusive future is our greatest vision, and we acknowledge there is still more work to be done.

Greenpeace USA is on an upward trajectory in terms of creating a more just and inclusive workspace for everyone. For the past several years we have hired BIPOC+ and women+ colleagues in record numbers, growing representation to 54% and 69% respectively.

Stay tuned to see how GPUSA will be advancing justice and building people power in our upcoming external campaigns.

Tamsyn Chetty

By Tamsyn Chetty

Tamsyn Chetty is a Senior Internal Communications Specialist who supports the People and Culture team.

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