PLATINUM2024

Environmental Working Group

aka EWG   |   Washington, DC   |  www.ewg.org

Mission

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), founded in 1993, fills a niche in the environmental community by focusing its unique strategy on toxics, agriculture and western lands issues. Our effective advocacy efforts are bolstered by extensive web databases and a 500,000-person email list, which have become major forces in online information distribution. EWG is a national organization with headquarters in Washington, DC, and offices in San Francisco, CA and Minneapolis, MN.

Ruling year info

1999

President and Co-Foundation

Mr. Kenneth Cook

Main address

1250 I Street NW Ste 1000

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-2148600

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

Single Organization Support (C11)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. We work for you. Do you know what's in your tap water? What about your shampoo? What’s lurking in the cleaners underneath your sink? What pesticides are on your food? How about the farms, fracking wells and factories in your local area? Do you know what safeguards they use to protect your water, soil, air and your kids? Which large agribusinesses get your tax dollars and why? What are GMOs? What do they do to our land and water? More than two decades ago EWG set out to answer these questions, and more, to empower you to get to know your environment and protect your health.

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?

Toxics and Human Health

EWG's research propels change that protects people from health problems attributed to a wide array of toxic contaminants in food, water, air, and consumer products.

Population(s) Served
Adults

EWG's innovative research and data analysis focus on the impacts of agriculture policy on water quality, climate change, economic opportunity and dietary well-being.

Population(s) Served
Adults

EWG's unique data and geo-spatial analyses document they need for strong policies to protect public lands from hard rock mining, oil and gas production, and other extractive industries.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

All significant policy or industry actions that follow release of our study findings, education outreach or public hearings.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric is difficult to quantify as some years there is one major action that is the longterm outcome of 20 years of work, and other years we see 20 small actions moving us toward a bigger goal.

Number of companies, brands and products that sign on to the EWG VERIFIED(tm) and EWG Reviewed for Science programs, manufacturing products to our strict health criteria.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Toxics and Human Health

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

There are EWG VERIFIED products in market as of the end of 2023. We welcomed 38 new members to the EWGV program (265 in total). We also added a new VERIFIED product category: sunscreen.

Number of media citations of advocate research or products

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Educating consumers, manufacturers and policy makers is key to our ability to make change. As such, we track the number of media mentions our research receives each year as one measure of our reach.

The size of the audience that sees our research reports and publications in traditional and online media, or via our websites, social media channels and email campaigns

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers indicate the number of website sessions on EWG.org by year.

Number of people who sign our petitions, send letters, call their legislators and respond to our mobile advocacy campaigns.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Advocacy is an important part of our work to push legislators, EPA and FDA to do their jobs, to protect human health and the environment from the top down.

EWG followers across all social platforms

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Instagram: 315,000 Facebook: 734,000 LinkedIn: 9,500 Twitter: 64,5000 Youtube: 17,400

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Our goal is to transform markets to proactively protect public health, reject chemicals of concern in consumer products and work to reduce the health burden placed on our bodies by everyday chemical exposures.

Most people assume that the federal government protects our health and environment from harm. But the fact is, in many cases it does not or cannot due to weaknesses or limitations in chemical policy, water protections and agricultural practices.

One reason for this is that the mechanisms the government has in place to protect public health and the environment – such as the FDA, the USDA and the EPA – simply move too slowly to keep up with the pace of business. Federal regulators have deemed legal a wide range of toxic chemicals and pollutants in the workplace, in consumer products and the environment, at exposure levels that scientific evidence indicates are not safe.

And many of the public policy tools we have used since the 1970s to effect change and protect consumers have been dulled or broken by decades of corporate influence. Government health and safety standards set under dozens of environmental laws are routinely distorted and weakened by the heavy investment that industries make in lobbyists who influence the federal system.

EWG’s strategy is to take the burden off consumers who are trying to avoid health-harming chemicals, and instead make it the responsibility of manufacturers to select better ingredients and create safer formulations.

Through our reports, online databases, mobile apps and communications campaigns, EWG educates and informs consumers to make safer and more informed decisions about the products they buy and the companies they support. We do this by translating the science of chemical exposures into actionable information for a lay audience of parents and citizens.

We also interface with manufacturers directly, pushing them to replace dangerous chemicals in existing products and providing the science and research they need to develop safer products. The effectiveness of this strategy is that we can make a difference immediately, as major manufacturers seeking to please their customers remove the worst chemicals from their products, instead of waiting (sometimes decades) for Washington to solve the problem. Our goal is for marquee household brands to formulate to our standards, making it that much easier for consumers find safe alternatives for themselves and their families.

For more than 25 years, EWG's research has changed the debate over environmental health by documenting health-threatening toxic exposures in our everyday lives. Our team of scientists, policy experts, lawyers, communication experts and programmers work tirelessly to make sure someone is standing up for public health when government and industry won’t.

Our research makes visible, beyond dispute, the myriad of sources of toxic chemicals and pollutants people are exposed to. In 2005, along with partner organizations, we documented “pollution in people” of all ages, from toddlers to teens to seniors – in blood, fatty tissue, urine and breast milk, in groundbreaking 'Body Burden' research. We even found hundreds of toxic industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies. The exposure begins before they enter the world. To a shocking degree, exposure to most of these toxins is entirely legal.

Fortunately, most are also largely, and affordably, avoidable through sound design, common sense safeguards and standards and informed consumer choice. So in 2017, after amassing decades of research and staff expertise, EWG began publishing its own health-based standards, EWG's Standards, to guide government decisions when setting legal limits for chemicals and contaminants, and to guide manufacturers in their product formulations.

We also created a strict list of safe ingredient and manufacturing standards for cosmetics, personal care, baby care and household cleaning products as part of our EWG VERIFIED licensing program. We are using these standards to push manufactures to take the worst chemical offenders off the market and build safer products as they are developed.

Audience and Reach
EWG has built a large, vibrant – and growing – audience focused exclusively on environmental health:

* EWG's media expertise and social media platforms are a powerful bullhorn to rally grassroots efforts and mobilize consumers every time we release a report or action campaign. Our digital campaigns reach millions of people directly, via email, social media channels, and our website, blogs and mobile apps. We motivate hundreds of thousands of people to act: signing petitions, calling or writing their legislators, and sharing our work online.

*Our website audience regularly exceeds 25 million people per year

*Our work is featured and cited by major media outlets, more than 14,000 times per year and growing

*We reach more than 1.5 million people each year via EWG's social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - an audience ready to read our reports and take action on the issues that are important to them

*Our email and petition campaigns regularly elicit close to one million actions from our audience; that's one million letters sent and petitions signed to legislators and manufacturers calling for improvements in chemical safety and public health

Market Change
With your support, EWG will continue to define strict standards for chemicals used in a wide range of consumer products. The EWG VERIFIED program sets the industry standard for chemicals that should never be used in these everyday products, so parents and consumers can simply shop by the EWG VERIFIED mark to avoid dangerous chemical exposures.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Environmental Working Group
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Operations

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

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Environmental Working Group

Board of directors
as of 01/18/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ken Cook

President

Term: 2020 - 2024

David Baker

Community Against Pollution

Ken Cook

Drummond Pike

Tides Network

Laura Seydel

Turner Foundation

Rob Fetherstonehough

Dr Harvey Karp

Nina Karp

C.J. Kettler

Kim Rozenfeld

Christine Gardner

Dr Mark Hyman

Michelle Pffeifer

Meg Hirshberg

Randy Paynter

Karen Malkin

Bill Ross

Elise Museles

Natasha Beck

Brandon Beck

Suzan Bymel

Arianne Callender

Dr. Bojana Jankovic Weatherly

Barbara Paldus

Erica Reid

Shazi Visram

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? Yes
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data