Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth strives for a more healthy and just world.

Washington, DC   |  http://www.foe.org

Mission

Friends of the Earth works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. Through our history, we have provided crucial leadership in campaigns resulting in landmark environmental laws, precedent-setting legal victories and groundbreaking reforms of domestic and international regulatory, corporate and financial institution policies. To accomplish our mission, we work at the nexus of environmental protection, economic policy and social justice to fundamentally transform the way our country and the world value people and the environment. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are sustainable and safe, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

Ruling year info

1974

President

Mr. Erich Pica

Main address

1101 15th Street NW 11th Floor

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7420660

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (Q01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Friends of the Earth works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are sustainable and safe for our health and the environment, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them. Friends of the Earth envisions a world where we live within the ability of the planet to sustain life, and in which all people live with dignity, health, and equity.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Climate & Energy

Our Climate & Energy program works to keep fossil fuels in the ground on federal lands and waters; to phase out our use of dangerous nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon and Indian Point, and to completely replace them with renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage and to end federal incentives for the production of fossil fuels.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our Economic Policy program works to create a more environmentally sustainable and socially just world by transforming financial and economic systems, redirecting tax policies and public spending to make polluters pay for the costs of their pollution, and driving the transition to a cleaner, low-carbon economy. We advocate for policies that minimize environmental and social harm and fund a brighter future.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our Food & Technology program works to ensure our food system sustainable and just, and convince corporations and governments to embrace the safe and precautionary management of chemicals and emerging technologies—including nanotechnology and synthetic biology, which are appearing in more consumer products such as food, cosmetics and sunscreens each year. We are saving the bees through market intervention and working to change the way we practice animal agriculture.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our Oceans & Vessels program works to protect coastal communities and marine life from harmful vessel air pollution, greenhouse gases, and the sewage, oil, and other water pollutants discharged from cruise ships, cargo ships, oil tankers, and ferries. In the Arctic, we are working to create a protective zone in the Arctic to help preserve the Arctic Ocean from vessel pollution and other vessel impacts.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We believe that environmental crisis, as well as widespread social injustice, are both intertwined symptoms of flawed ideological, economic and political systems that are violating peoples' rights, perpetuating oppression, failing to meet the needs of people and destroying the planet. So it is not enough to only campaign to end environmental harms without addressing what is causing those harms, nor is it enough to win small victories while we lose our planet, or large swaths of humanity, in the process.

To achieve deeper and lasting change, we must work on a systemic level to transform the rules, incentives, and practices of the economic and financial system so that resources are directed and wealth is created in ways that promote well-being and are ecologically restorative, equitable and socially just. At the same time, we must advance forms of political and economic decision-making that are fair, democratic and uphold peoples' rights.

Our Climate & Energy program works to stop the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and waters, to phase out our use of dangerous nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon and Indian Point and replace them with renewable energy, and to end federal incentives for the production of fossil fuels. We promote conservation and clean energy — including wind, solar and geothermal power — and fight to end our unhealthy dependence on dirty sources including coal, oil, nuclear and biofuels.

Our Economic Policy program works to create a more environmentally sustainable and socially just world by transforming financial systems, redirecting tax policies and public spending to make polluters pay for the costs of their pollution, and driving the transition to a cleaner, low-carbon economy. When they put their money to good use, investors (both private and public) have tremendous power to push toward a renewable and equitable future. But when they invest in coal, palm oil, or other destructive industries, they drive environmental and social harm.

Our Food & Technology program works to ensure that our food system is sustainable and just, and to convince corporations and governments to embrace the safe and precautionary management of chemicals and emerging technologies—including nanotechnology and synthetic biology. We are saving bees and other pollinators through market intervention to stop the use of bee-killing neonic pesticides and we are working to make the animal agriculture industry more sustainable.

Our Oceans & Vessels program works to protect coastal communities and marine life from harmful vessel air pollution, greenhouse gases, and the sewage, oil, and other water pollutants discharged from cruise ships, cargo ships, oil tankers and ferries. In the Arctic, we are working to create a protective zone to help preserve the Arctic Ocean from vessel pollution and other vessel impacts.

Friends of the Earth's organizational strategies are as follows:

1. Organize to build long term political power

• In order to achieve deeper system change, Friends of the Earth will broaden and deepen our base, and collaborate with broader movements to build long-term political power. This will require a massive increase in people power – and far more than just the environmental movement – to overcome the dominant interests which established, entrench and benefit from the economic and political status quo.

• We will seek to cultivate, engage and grow our activist base from the bottom up; be more strategic in where we build power, and how we transfer power from one fight to another.

• We will run campaigns that work in partnership with organizations engaged in diverse struggles for justice, with an eye towards building progressive power.

• We will design campaigns that, even if we lose in short-term, build the political strength needed to win in the long term.

2. Be a bold and fearless voice

• The severity of our environmental and social crises demands that we be bold in what we stand and fight against and what we stand and fight for. Building political power isn't enough. Without broadly shared political analysis of what's not working, what needs to be fixed, and how, we won't get the progressive systemic change we need.

• We will be a moral voice, standing up for what is right, not just what is easy or politically possible. We will continue to say what needs to be said and advocate for what needs to be done, to challenge our peers and decision makers.

3. Design and win campaigns that build towards larger systemic transformation

• In order to fundamentally transform our economic and political systems, we need to win smaller, strategic reforms that feed into systemic, radical changes. Our intertwined social and environmental crises may eventually force our political and economic systems to a breaking point. As a campaigning organization, our role is to find the sweet spot between winning short- and medium-term victories and laying the foundation for the broader systemic reforms we need.

• We will campaign directly to change the “rules of the game" (e.g. trade, campaign finance, tax policy) that institutionalize oppression, and/or privilege corporations at the expense of ordinary people and harm the environment.

• We will design issue campaigns to win concrete environmental and social gains, while weakening and displacing – not just talking about -- some of the most egregious, corporate-privileging elements of our political and economic system.

• We will mount inspiring campaigns designed to point the way towards alternatives, and that model some of the new political-economic structures and systems needed in order to bring about deeper transformation.

Friends of the Earth, founded by David Brower in 1969, is the U.S. voice of the world's largest federation of grassroots environmental groups, with a presence in 75 countries. Friends of the Earth works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. To accomplish our mission, Friends of the Earth works at the nexus of environmental protection, economic policy and social justice to fundamentally transform the way our country and the world value people and the environment. This work is carried out by our staff in our Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C. offices. We are supported in this work by more than one million members, online supporters and activists.

Throughout our nearly 50-year history, Friends of the Earth has often been a pioneer among environmental groups, tackling issues before they become mainstream. Whether it is the presence of nanoparticles in our food, poorly regulated pollution from cruise ships, or bringing about and winning the nation's first climate lawsuit at the Supreme Court, Friends of the Earth stands out in our willingness to be the first to act, and then to recruit others to act alongside us.

Friends of the Earth has worked to address both the symptoms and the root causes of social and environmental problems. Our founder, David Brower, sought to create an environmental organization that stood its ground against all odds. We have provided crucial leadership in campaigns resulting in landmark environmental laws, precedent-setting legal victories and groundbreaking reforms of domestic and international regulatory, corporate and financial institution policies.

At Friends of the Earth, we have reoriented our strategy to meet each new decade of environmental challenges. For example, in recent years we've incorporated a greater focus on social justice, as the fight to safeguard the planet is intrinsically connected to the global struggle for social and economic justice. We are building our political power through grassroots organizing in diverse communities and intersectional alliances with leaders in other movements to diversify our membership and engage other environmental organizations.

• In 1971, we led and won the fight to stop federal funding for the highly polluting Super Sonic Transport commercial airliner.
• In 1981, we played a crucial role in the successful campaign to impose a moratorium on leases for offshore oil drilling in pristine areas.
• We challenged World Bank lending that caused environmental devastation in 1983, leading to the first-ever congressional hearing on the subject.
• In 1990, we took the lead in passing the Oil Spill Pollution Act, requiring double hulls on oil tankers in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill.
• In 1992, our work with the Lower Elwha tribe in Washington State led to a federal law authorizing the removal of two dams that blocked historic salmon runs.
• We persuaded President Clinton to issue an executive order in 1999 that requires the government to conduct environmental assessments of all future trade deals.
• In 2002, we launched a campaign that has now led more than 1,000 companies to pledge to remove chemicals that harm human health from personal care products.
• In 2003, we helped draft and pass California's Clean Cars Law – the first law regulating the emission of greenhouse gas pollutants from passenger vehicles.
• In a 2009 lawsuit, we successfully pressured the federal Export-Import Bank to consider — for the first time — climate impacts before making its decisions.
• Friends of the Earth led the effort to expose corruption and pro-oil bias in the State Department's review of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Our work (and that of allies) generated pressure on the Obama administration, forcing it to hit the reset button in 2012 and order a new review of the pipeline's potential environmental impacts.
• In 2012, we achieved a ban on cruise ships dumping wastewater while docked at the Port of Seattle. The ban will protect the people and marine habitats of Puget Sound.
• In 2012, we sued the FDA, challenging the regulations for testing and labeling sunscreens. In response to our lawsuit, the agency agreed to reopen its study on sunscreens to account for the novel potential toxicity of nanomaterials now found in these and other cosmetic products.
• In 2013, thanks to our campaign against the GMO apple, McDonald's and Gerber have confirmed that they have no plans to sell or use it. The Arctic Apple® would be the first GMO apple on the market, and was engineered solely for cosmetic reasons.
• In 2013, Friends of the Earth succeeded in our fight to stop Iowa from charging ratepayers in advance for the costs of building new reactors. MidAmerican, the company previously planning on building a reactor, instead announced a $1.9 billion investment in wind power.
• Thanks to work from Friends of the Earth and allies, more than 60 major grocery store chains, including Safeway, Kroger and Whole Foods, have made commitments not to sell genetically engineered salmon if the FDA approves it. Together the companies comprise 9,000 individual stores across the country.

Financials

Friends of the Earth
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Friends of the Earth

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Arlie Schardt

Environmental Media Services

Term: 1995 - 2019


Board co-chair

Mr. Soroush Shehabi

Washington Life Magazine

Term: 2010 - 2017

Whitey Bluestein

Bluestein & Associates, LLC

David Zwick

Clean Water Action

Jayni Chase

Center for Environmental Education

Harriett Crosby

Institute for Soviet-American Relations

Arlie Schardt

Environmental Media Services

Doria Steedman

YELLOWBRICKROAD Communications

Michael Herz

San Francisco Baykeeper

Jeff Glueck

SkyFire

Dan Gabel

Hagedorn & Co.

Soroush Shehabi

Washington Life

Stephen Nemeth

Rhino Films

Cecil Corbin-Mark

WE ACT

Chris Pabon

Project On Government Oversight

Marc Zionts

No Affiliation

Chris Paine

Papercut Films

Judith Browne Dianis

Advancement Project

Chloe Maxmin

Divest Harvard

Arturo Garcia-Costas

New York Community Trust

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/20/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/03/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.