A couple of weeks ago, I finished our annual Board of Directors retreat at the Garrison Center north of New York City. The two days I spent with the staff and other board members reminded me why I love Greenpeace:
1) We bring corporations to their knees. As they’ve done to hundreds of companies, Greenpeace actions send fear into the hearts of the CEOs’ running the worlds largest corporations. Within days of an action at Proctor & Gamble, the world’s giant personal household and personal care products giant, P&G pledged to stop supporting palm oil companies that turn forests to plantations.
2) We have the courage to do what no other NGO would dream of. Greenpeace recently took on Lego, a company we seem to have a love affair with, for accepting the financial support of Shell Oil, a company hell-bent on destroying the fragile ecosystem in the Arctic through new plans to drill for oil.
3) We collaborate without ego. I was proud to participate in the People’s Climate March with my children, Meika and Alex. Our Board was there along with hundreds of Greenpeace supporters and staff. But you would never have known it. Greenpeace committed to un-brand the march so that the “people” and the hundreds of small organizations representing environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, labor and alternative energy could bask in the spotlight.
4) We have a kickass new woman as our Executive Director. Ever watch, “The Story of Stuff,” one of the most amazing animated video’s ever created? Our new Executive Director Annie Leonard co-wrote it. In a world of white men leading America’s largest environmental organizations, Greenpeace chose a woman to lead its organization.
5) They ask the questions that usually go unanswered. How do we connect global climate change to equity and justice? How can we stop America’s largest companies from exporting the worst aspects of capitalism around the globe? How do we build diversity and inclusion into our DNA? Where is the system that perpetuates our carbon spewing economy most vulnerable? And lastly, how do we bring the passion of the millennial generation into the heart of a rapidly aging organization?