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:
- Figure out which companies were selling products made from these thousand-year-old trees;
- Hold those companies accountable through high-profile events, demonstrations, and discussions with the executives;
- Create advertisements, petitions and more to make sure their customers know what’s in the products and; and
- 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.
We hold governments and corporations accountable
We have a proven track record of helping corporations and governments change their policies and behaviors to be inclusive, forward thinking, and responsible. Companies and governments are made up of people, and most people opt to do the right thing when encouraged to do so and see a pathway. We work with key individuals and groups within larger organizations to help them find their way towards more livable solutions and keep them accountable to their commitments.
We use a variety of strategies, designed for maximum impact
Different problems, agencies, and companies respond to different types of pressure. Our goal is not to fight, but to solve. Our breakthrough strategies leverage grassroots power, media, and the biggest names in business to transform the environmental practices and policies of governments and whole industries.
And by the way, we’re relentless. When we fix our sights on an issue, we work tirelessly to bring about change. Stand.earth collaborates with strategic partners to develop effective high-impact solutions for people, wild places, and our climate, and then we work for years, even decades, to implement them. We will pursue a powerful and practical solution in place of one that is perfect but not attainable. Our work has resulted in sweeping industry-wide changes and environmental protection on a massive scale.
The well-being of people cannot be separated from the well-being of the environment
As science continues to show us, humans are as much a part of the environment as the air and water are a part of us. We are not apart from nature; we are a part of it. Forest destruction, dirty energy, and air and water pollution affect all of our health and wellbeing. But degradation of the environment has an uneven effect on societies. Communities of color and people whose voices have been marginalized bear the brunt of pollution and environmental problems caused by the actions and decisions of others.
Access to clean air, water, and soil, and to a healthy, safe, livable community is a basic human right – not a privilege. That’s the core principle of environmental justice - and a core value at Stand.earth.
We STAND behind the people and the communities on the front lines of environmental issues
Stand.earth forges supportive partnerships with communities who are personally engaged in the social, economic, and environmental crises we face. Frontline communities bear the impacts of social and environmental injustices and are also best equipped to envision solutions to these issues. Stand.earth builds democratic and equitable relationships to elevate local voices and advance solutions that respect different points of view.
We’re fully engaged in protecting our climate
An unstable climate isn’t good for anyone. We’re already seeing the ugly effects of record-breaking temperatures, increased storm damage, displaced populations, and declining ecosystems as the result of climate change. The time is now to take swift action to stave off even greater disruption. Solutions to climate change are realistic, popular, and have enormous benefits. But first, we must overcome resistance from corporate and governmental forces that are motivated to continue to use outdated polluting supplies of fossil energy.
We STAND by our results
Our strategic approach and fierce determination bring extraordinary results: since 1999, Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) has helped secure the protection of 65 million acres of wild places and shifted billions of dollars of corporate purchasing toward responsible options.