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People of Color in Top Environmental Posts Not Growing

December 14, 2023


For Immediate Release: December 14, 2023
Media Contact: Summer Johnson,

People of Color in Top Environmental Posts Not Growing

New Report Says Diversity Has Hit a Green Ceiling

WASHINGTON, DC — Green 2.0 said today that its new Transparency Report Card shows that the growth of communities of color in environmental jobs slowed this year, hitting a green ceiling.

Green 2.0, a national independent campaign working to increase racial and ethnic diversity among environmental organizations, released its latest report today at a gathering of environmental champions in Washington, D.C.

The Transparency Report Card is an annual report released by Green 2.0 to track major gaps in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) within nongovernmental organizations and foundations in the environmental sector. The report card was analyzed by Dr. Chandler Puritty, and new to this year’s report is the addition of disability status and gender identity indicators. A video summarizing this year’s data is here.

Highlights of the 2023 Transparency Report Card:

  • Representation of people of color on the full-time staff at NGOs has shown a steady annual increase but in the past year growth was almost non-existent for people of color at the heads of NGOs. Board and senior staff at NGOs have had a zero percent increase in representation of people of color since 2022.
  • Women make up the majority of the environmental sector workforce, but not leadership roles. Women are the majority of staff across all levels, but their representation dwindles at the management level. Women represent 70.4% of full-time staff, 64.6% of senior staff, and 40% of heads of foundations.
  • Disability status in the workforce is largely not tracked. Disability status was the largest category of missing data in both the foundation and NGO reports, with 84.3% and 62.3% respectively not reporting

Green 2.0 attributes some of the stagnation of gains to the current national attack on advancements to DEIJ policies, including Supreme Court decisions banning Affirmative Action for students of color in college admissions, state attempts to ban DEIJ initiatives in schools and workplaces, and elimination of DEIJ positions.

“There is an attack on DEIJ efforts spreading through local and state governments and the courts across the nation. It would be a disservice to millions of people – and shameful to those who have worked so hard to move the needle – if we allow the pockets of hate to slow the momentum we have gained in leadership roles and board rooms since 2020,” said Andres Jimenez, Green 2.0 Executive Director.

“Latino, Black and working-class communities are the most impacted by rapidly developing climate change events and the least represented in positions of power. The numerous impacts of climate change cannot be effectively addressed if the most affected communities are not at the table, advocating and helping shape equitable climate and environmental justice policies,” said Congressman Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL- 04).

“I commend Green 2.0 on its important work to shed light on the lack of diversity and representation in our nation’s environmental nongovernmental organizations and advocacy groups. These groups play a critical role in helping develop, shape, and advance new policies and priorities, and they provide an important voice for historically marginalized environmental justice communities,” said Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan (VA-04). “For these reasons, these groups must reflect the diversity of our nation and work to ensure that a wide range of perspectives are included at every seniority level. As leaders, we must continue fighting to create equitable and inclusive workplaces that uplift every voice.”

“What we need is for environmental organizations to understand that our collective survival depends on our ability to let communities of color lead the way towards real environmental and climate solutions, top down, left to right, all around,” said Niria Alicia Garcia, environmental activist and board member at Green 2.0.

“We know the solutions to the climate, racial justice, and public health crises are intertwined. We also know that the solutions that would best reflect all of our communities, especially historically excluded communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, require bold leadership at every level,” said Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). “It’s up to environmental leaders to ensure our climate priorities reflect the voices and perspectives of the diverse body of people impacted by our changing environment and pollution.”

Visit Green 2.0’s website to view the full report here.


ABOUT GREEN 2.0: Green 2.0 is a 501(c)3 independent campaign working to increase racial and ethnic diversity among environmental organizations. Green 2.0 believes in a powerful, winning environmental movement grounded in equity and inclusion.