What do you do when the health and foundation of communities and their environment are being undermined?

Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) was founded nearly twenty years ago by a group of dedicated people who were working day in and day out to solve a big problem: What do you do when the health and foundation of communities and their environment are being undermined?

Our founders were leading a global effort to stop the logging of rare thousand-year-old forests on the coast of British Columbia. Indigenous communities had lived there since time immemorial and their lands were being logged at an alarming rate, putting their way of life and a global biogem at risk. 

We were founded to do something very specific: 

  1. Figure out which companies were selling products made from these thousand-year-old trees; 
  2. Hold those companies accountable through high-profile events, demonstrations, and discussions with the executives;
  3. Create advertisements, petitions and more to make sure their customers know what’s in the products and; and
  4. Protect the forests.

This strategy, called markets campaigning, proved incredibly successful. Most of the hundreds of companies we communicated with wanted nothing to do with the destruction. They either stopped selling the products or insisted their suppliers make them from something more sustainable. Their collective demand to stop the unsustainable logging on Canada’s West Coast worked.

The story of the Great Bear Rainforest campaign was covered in newspapers around the world and is about as epic as they come, complete with mythic white Spirit bears, cultures that stretch back millennia, majestic trees taller than a twenty story building, and rainforest wolves. 

As unlikely as it might seem, the tools we learned in an ancient rainforest have proven incredibly successful as we have evolved to take on issues that threaten not only forests, but our climate as well. In places like Alberta’s tar sands, we’ve brought the power of markets campaigns and organizing to stop new pipelines and oil infrastructure projects that threaten the safety of communities and our environment. 

Today, our campaigns challenge destructive corporate and governmental practices, demand accountability, and create solutions that protect the forests and the stable climate required to keep our planet – and us – thriving.

As we’ve done since the start, we pursue audacious solutions, campaign for as long as it takes to see them through, punch way above our weight, and treat everyone, including our adversaries, with respect. Our work has resulted in sweeping industry-wide changes and environmental protection on a massive scale.