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PRESS RELEASE: Environmental Movement Is Getting More White, Failing to Improve Its Racial and Ethnic Diversity

January 9, 2019

Green 2.0 Team

For Immediate Release: January 9, 2019
Contact: Daniel Herrera,, 213-694-3353

REPORT CARD: Environmental Movement Is Getting More White, Failing to Improve Its Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Key Groups PEW and Oceana Still Refuse to Submit Data, Foundations Severely Lacking Diversity

Washington, D.C — Today, Green 2.0, an independent advocacy campaign to increase diversity among environmental groups, released new data on the movement’s top 40 NGOs and top 40 foundations showing that the professional leadership within these organizations continues to leave out people of color. The second annual “Transparency Report Card” shows that the racial and ethnic makeup of staff, leadership, and boards of these organizations remains overwhelmingly white.

Green 2.0 partnered with Guidestar to collect and track the diversity of these organizations and found that participation in the survey not only remained stagnant within the foundation sector but that the top 40 environmental foundations have gotten more white across full time staff, senior staff, and board members.  The foundations have also stayed about the same when it comes to the male to female ratio in all of these categories. While participation in the survey was better among the NGO sector, there are still a few organizations that have refused to report their data, including some of the largest environmental organizations.

“It’s unacceptable that since the last time Green 2.0 released this report card, the environmental sector has actually gotten more white,” said Robert Raben, Founder of Green 2.0. “ With some of the largest environmental NGOs and foundations refusing to cooperate and be transparent with their data, it is likely the problem is even worse. Despite Green 2.0’s efforts and assistance, the environmental movement has failed to make any progress in achieving racial and ethnic diversity. It’s about time we hold them accountable.”

“For the past five years, we’ve been working to ensure that the environmental movement and its leaders reflect the current U.S. workforce demographics,” said Whitney Tome, Executive Director of Green 2.0. “Communities of color bring to bear experience and perspective on both problems and pathways to power building. As an organization, we plan to take a more aggressive approach to calling out the environmental movement for their lack of diversity. This is just the beginning. Environmental groups are now on notice.”

Moving forward, Green 2.0 will be a catalyst for transformation. Green 2.0 will hold environmental organizations and leaders accountable for fair, equitable hiring and promotion of people of color to leadership positions. This will be done by driving accountability via information and visibility—including praise and exposure of individual NGOs and foundations—and their collective work on national initiatives and priorities. As an organization, Green 2.0 will elevate and sustain public attention to the racial demographics of the leadership of environmental field and degree to which these leaders are positioned to embed equity and shape the strategies, programs, and operations of their organizations.

Data for the Green 2.0 Transparency Report Card was voluntarily submitted and self-reported by individual organizations. Individuals who declined to answer questions about their racial and ethnic identity in the survey will not be reflected in their organization’s data. Green 2.0 is continually working with GuideStar to improve the reporting process for greater accuracy and consistency.

To view this year’s Transparency Cards, click here.