A timeline depicting some of the positive environmental changes that Greenpeace has directly helped to bring about since initial campaigning began in 1971
Created by greenpeace on Sep 27, 2010
Last updated: 03/22/14 at 07:02 AM
Tags: greenpeace victories success environmental ngo solutions campaign
Facebook 'friends' renewable energy, sending a message to energy producers to move away from coal. Facebook now has a siting policy that states a preference for access to clean, renewable energy supply for its future data centres – the places where its computers live. Coal power is still a feature of Facebook for now, but as they say in the IT sector – it's been deprecated.
Mattel, the largest toy company in the world, recognized that toy packaging shouldn’t come at the costs of rainforests and tiger habitat.
As part of its new commitments, Mattel has instructed its suppliers to avoid wood fiber from controversial sources, including companies “that are known to be involved in deforestation”. Their policy also aims to increase the amount of recycled paper used in their business, as well as to boost the use of wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Mattel's new policy sends a message to other companies that to be a responsible business you must be vigilant about keeping deforestation out of your products.
H&M, Adidas, Nike and Puma have committed to eliminate discharges of all hazardous chemicals from across their entire supply chains, and their entire product life-cycle by 2020. Ten weeks of mobilization, creativity and targeted pressure from activists and consumers across the world saw these big brands switch from denying they have a problem, to taking full responsibility and working with their suppliers to champion a toxic-free future.
The Detox campaign launched in July 2011 with the release of the Dirty Laundry report, which documented the results of a year long investigation that uncovered links between major fashion brands and two textile facilities in China found to be discharging hazardous chemicals into the Yangtze and Pearl River Deltas. Further investigations by Greenpeace revealed that shoppers around the world are buying contaminated clothing and unwittingly spreading water pollution when they wash their new garments.
The landmark commitments from the 4 brands are an important first step in the journey towards a toxic-free future, and Greenpeace will continue to monitor and work with the brands as they prepare their Detox Action Plans. These plans will detail how the companies will put the Detox commitment into practice to bring about transformational change in the clothing industry, including making information about their pollution discharges and suppliers available to the public and working to deliver real change on the ground for the people most directly affected by the pollution. Who will be next to take up the Detox challenge?
Princes, a leading tinned tuna brand, finally got your message that canning ocean destruction is unacceptable. Thanks to your efforts - the companyannounced a plan to change the way it gets its tuna.
After receiving over 80,000 emails from Greenpeace supporters, Princes says it will no longer rely on indiscriminate and destructive fishing methods that kill all kinds of marine creatures like sharks and rays.
After two and a half years of hard work in Japan to expose corruption at the heart of the whaling industry - we have a significant victory!
The Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) has admitted that their officials have received free whale meat from the company contracted to perform the whaling. They conceded that this “kickback” was against their ethics code, apologised to the Japanese public and announced plans to take disciplinary action against five officials.
In a significant win for forest protection, 80,000 hectares of pine forest in northern Finland has been declared off-limits to industrial logging following an eight-year campaign by Greenpeace and Finland’s indigenous Saami reindeer herders.
Greenpeace’s 20-year campaign against climate-killing chemical HFC catalyzes a groundbreaking commitment when the 400 companies of the Consumer Goods Forum of the US agree to climate-friendly refrigeration beginning in 2015.
Despite a strong boycott of mining companies, and with the support of Greenpeace and more than 200 environmental organizations and citizens assemblies across the country, the "Law on Preservation of Glaciers and Periglacial Environment" (known as "Glaciers Law"), was finally approved. This law, an unprecedented environmental achievement in Argentina, regulates mining activities to protect our glaciers, the main water reservoirs of the country.
Over one million signatures calling for a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) crops were delivered by Avaaz and Greenpeace to John Dalli, Commissioner of Health and Consumer Policy, at the EU Commission in Brussels.
The signatures were printed on the world's largest piece of art made by one man - a 3D hand painted scene of an organic farm with agricultural biodiversity that is GM-free. It represents the way most Europeans want their food and fields.
After almost 3 months of campaigning and a strong work on the internet and social networks, Duracell and Energizer, the leading manufacturers of batteries, took charge of treating 10 tons of batteries collected by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, assuming their responsibility for their electronic waste. This is a first step in working to achieve a National Law on Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
Following a ten-year Greenpeace campaign, Europe bans the trade in illegal timber - a great leap forward in the struggle to protect the world's forests and climate.
After a short but vigorous mobilisation against the New Zealand Government's proposal to open up precious conservation land to mining which culminated in a the biggest protest march in generations the NZ Government agreed to drop the proposal and protect the land for ever.
Over 25 years of Greenpeace efforts to expose and oppose nuclear waste shipments from France to Russia end in victory when Russia puts an end to the practice. The illegality of the shipments was confirmed when French officials admitted that the stated intention to reprocess and return the fuel was false. Attention to the shipments was sparked in 1984 when Greenpeace revealed that the shipping vessel Mont Louis, which sank in the North Sea, was carrying Uranium Hexaflouride.
Nestlé agrees to stop purchasing palm-oil from sources which destroy Indonesian rainforests. The decision caps eight weeks of massive pressure from consumers via social media and non-violent direct action by Greenpeace activists as the company concedes to the demands of a global campaign against its Kit Kat brand.
Plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport are axed by the UK government. Greenpeace opposed the plan because it ran contrary to efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the UK, and co-purchased, with 91,000 supporters, a plot of land that would have made the runway impossible to build.
The biggest, most ambitious forest conservation deal ever is announced: The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. After more than seven years of hard-fought campaigning to end the on-going destruction of Canada's Boreal Forest, Greenpeace and eight other non-governmental organisations have agreed to a truce with the logging industry
A new policy commits Nestlé to identify and exclude companies from its supply chain that own or manage 'high risk plantations or farms linked to deforestation'. This would apply to Sinar Mas, a palm oil and paper supplier and Cargill, one of Nestlé's palm oil suppliers, which purchases from Sinar Mas. Nestle's announcement sends a strong message to the palm oil and paper industry that rainforest destruction is not an acceptable practice in today's global marketplace.
Indian computer manufacturer Wipro announces the launch of a new PVC and BFR-free computer, after several years of pressure by Greenpeace on tech companies to provide toxics-free electronics.
Household chemical giant Clorox announces a phase out of the use and transport of dangerous chlorine gas in the US, bowing to years of pressure on the industry from Greenpeace.
Apple clears the last hurdle to removing toxic PVC plastic in its new Macbook and iMac, capping the "Green my Apple" campaign with a win and making Apple products safer, easier to recycle and causing less pollution at the end of their life.
Plans to build the Kingsnorth coal power plant are shelved, following a three-year campaign by Greenpeace to stop the first new coal-plant build in 20 years in the UK. A landmark courtcase in 2008 acquitted six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage on the grounds that their actions against the plant were justified to stop greater damage from climate change.
After seven years of Greenpeace pressure, Finnish government-owned logging company Metsähallitus agrees to leave the tall trees of the old-growth forests of northern Lapland standing, and with them, the livelihood of the Sámi people.
In a tremendous victory for ancient forests, Kimberly-Clark, the company known for its popular brands like Kleenex, Scott, and Cottonelle announces a policy that places it among the industry leaders in sustainability. The announcement brings the five-year Greenpeace Kleercut campaign to a successful completion
Germany announces that it will become the sixth EU country to ban the cultivation of Monsanto's genetically engineered (GE) maize MON810 - the only GE crop that can be commercially grown in the region.
The Great Bear Rainforest protection agreement comes into force in Canada, capping one of Greenpeace's longest running campaigns by protecting an area half the size of Switzerland from logging. The campaign was won with direct non-violent action on the ground, consumer pressure, stockholder actions, and thousands of online activists worldwide.
The construction of an open-pit coal mine in Poland, where Greenpeace set up a Climate Rescue Station in December 2008, is suspended, stopping around 50 million tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
Electronics giant Philips bows to pressure from Greenpeace and consumers and becomes a leader in environmentally friendly take-back policies for electronic waste. An ambitious policy of global take-back exceeds legal requirements in many countries.
Following a six-month long Quit Coal campaign by Greenpeace, the Greek Minister of Development states that the government is not considering coal or nuclear power as part of Greece's energy future. Instead the Greek government will be rewriting its Long-Term Energy Plan to exclude coal and promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Six Greenpeace UK volunteers are acquitted of criminal damage by a Crown Court jury in a case that centred on the contribution made to climate change by burning coal. The charges arose after the six attempted to shut down the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent in 2007 by scaling the chimney and painting the Prime Minister's name down the side. The defendants pleaded 'not guilty' and relied in court on the defence of 'lawful excuse' - claiming they shut the power station in order to defend property of a greater value from the global impact of climate change. The landmark case marks the first victory of the 'lawful excuse' defense in a climate-change case in Britain.
After our campaign in the 1990's against toxic PVC the US Congress somewhat belatedly follows Europe's lead of outlawing toxic PVC in children's toys
Ferrero, a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, wasn’t willing to support the Unilever-led moratorium on forest destruction in South East Asia.
So Greenpeace Italy sent in the orang-utans, and more than 10,000 of their supporters emailed Ferrero. Then hundreds of you sent emails too, critically piling international pressure onto the company, which has several international brands.
After just three weeks of actions, a hugely popular spoof advert and 115,000 online signatures Unilever changes its position to support a moratorium on cutting down trees in Indonesia for palm oil plantations.
After a campaign in Argentina, the Government announces a ban on energy wasting incandescent lightbulbs.
The World Bank's private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) decides to sell its equity stake in Olam International Limited. Olam's involvement in illegal timber trade was first detailed in our Carving up the Congo report published earlier this year. The report illustrated how Olam was holding forest land in the Congo granted in breach of a moratorium on the granting of new logging titles, which the World Bank itself had helped to establish. It also described how Olam was sourcing timber from destructive and illegal operations through de-facto subcontracting agreements with third-party suppliers involved in illegal logging.
The Irish Government announces what will be the EU's first ban on energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs, by as early as January 2009. This simple but historic step came as governments met in Bali to discuss next steps on tackling the global climate emergency. Over the past year, a number of EU countries have talked about similar bans, but Ireland is the first to act.
Together with other environmental groups, Greenpeace gets 1.5 million signatures of support and pushes through Argentina's first federal forest protection law. The new law includes a nationwide one-year moratorium on clearing of native forests while forest management regulations are put in place. After a year, any jurisdiction still lacking regulations will continue to be prohibited from issuing new logging and land clearing permits. The Forest Law also establishes environmental impact studies and public hearings - measures that will help protect forests where indigenous people live and small scale farmers.
After four years of Greenpeace campaigning to bring an end to deep-sea bottom trawling, representatives from countries around the world gathered in Chile to carve out a fisheries agreement for the South Pacific region, protecting it from this incredibly destructive fishing method. From September 2007, bottom trawling vessels in the region will not be able to fish in areas that have, or are even likely to have, vulnerable marine ecosystems unless they complete an assessment showing that no damage will be caused.
Apple announces a phase-out of the most dangerous chemicals in its product line in response to a Webby-award winning online campaign by Greenpeace and Apple fans worldwide. The campaign challenged Apple to become a green leader in addressing the electronic waste problem.
The New Zealand government announces cancellation of proposed coal-burning power plant Marsden B. Greenpeace and local activists had mounted a four-year struggle which involved a nine-day occupation, high court challenges, protest marches, a record numbers of public submissions, Surfers Against Sulphur, public meetings, and a pirate radio station.
In a major blow to the UK government's plans to reinvigorate nuclear power, the High Court rules their decision to back a programme of new nuclear power stations was unlawful on the basis that they had failed to adequately consult citizens and groups who oppose nuclear power as a dangerous distraction from real solutions to climate change.
McDonald's agrees to stop selling chicken fed on soya grown in newly deforested areas of the Amazon rainforest, then becomes instrumental in getting other food companies and supermarkets, such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's, ASDA and Waitrose, to sign up to a zero deforestation policy as well. But it goes even further than that, and pressure from all these companiesÊ forces their suppliers, the big multinational soya companies such as Cargill, to agree a two-yearÊ moratorium on buying soya from newly deforested areas.
The European Union has approved a new chemical law to replace regulation that is over 40 years old.
Dell becomes the latest company to promise to remove the worst toxic chemicals from it products, closely following the move of its rival HP. Both companies have been pressured by us to make their products greener and help tackle the growing mountain of toxic e-waste.
The nation's president has confirmed that the country's 8 operating plants will be phased out in favour of clean, renewable energy.
After months of pressure, consumer actions, online activism and more than 100,000 emails from Ocean Defenders everywhere, seafood suppliers Gorton's, Sealord and parent company Nissui withdraw their active support for Japanese whaling. Whalers announce that the 32 percent share in whaling operations owned by these commercial corporations will be transferred to a "public interest entity." The retreat isolates whaling economically and probably scuppers plans to find new markets for whale products.
Electronics giant Hewlett Packard commits to a phase out plan for a range of hazardous chemicals in its products.
French President Chirac announced the dramatic recall of the asbestos-laden warship Clemenceau -- it will be turning around and going back to France. Our actions, emails to Chirac and an embarrassing international scandal left France with little choice but to abandon the misguided attempt to dump its own toxic mess on India.
An area twice the size of Belgium has been given greater protection in the Amazon after a Presidential decree. The decree by President Lula of Brazil to create the 6.4 million hectare (around 16 million acres) conservation area is a great victory for the people of the Amazon battling landgrabbers, cattle ranchers and loggers. The decree calls for around 1.6 million hectares to be permanently protected and totally off limits to logging and deforestation.
Our Argentine Ocean Defenders hit Nissui in their pockets. Nissui own about one third of Kyodo Senpaku -- the people who run the Japanese whaling fleet. Our cyberactivists convinced a major Nissui client in Argentina not to buy from a corporation involved in the killing of whales.
Swiss voters vote no in a referendum to determine whether genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals can be grown in the alpine nation during the next five years. Their verdict in each and every one of the three main languages was the same, nein, non, no, to GE.