non-governmental environmental organization

Greenpeace is an international non-governmental organisation working for the protection and conservation of the environment. It was set up in Vancouver, Canada in 1971 and now has regional and national offices in 46 countries.

Vancouver, Canada
HeadquartersAmsterdam, Netherlands (international)
Key peopleKumi Naidoo, Executive Director
Area servedWorldwide
FocusEnvironmentalism, peace
MethodDirect action, lobbying, research, innovation

Greenpeace received international attention during the 1980s when the French intelligence agency bombed the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in the Auckland Harbor, killing one individual. In the following years, Greenpeace evolved into one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. Greenpeace is known for its direct actions and has been described as the most visible environmental organization in the world. The organization has raised environmental issues to public knowledge, and influenced both the private and the public sector.

Priorities and campaigns

The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior II

On its official website, Greenpeace defines its mission as the following:

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace by:

  • Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change.
  • Defending our oceans by challenging wasteful and destructive fishing, and creating a global network of marine reserves.
  • Protecting the world’s remaining ancient forests which are depended on by many animals, plants and people.
  • Working for disarmament and peace by reducing dependence on finite resources and calling for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
  • Creating a toxin free future with safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in today's products and manufacturing.
  • Campaigning for sustainable agriculture by encouraging socially and ecologically responsible farming practices.
    — Greenpeace International

All Greenpeace actions are based on a common set of values and should therefore be: nonviolent, non-partisan, independent and international.

Since Greenpeace was founded, seagoing ships have played a vital role in its campaigns. The group has three ocean-going ships, the Esperanza, Arctic Sunrise and Rainbow Warrior III.



Greenpeace receives its funding exclusively from individual supporters and foundations. Greenpeace screens all major donations in order to ensure it does not receive unwanted donations. The organization does not accept money from governments, political parties or corporations in order to avoid their influence. Donations from foundations which are funded by political parties or receive most of their funding from governments are also rejected.



  1. "Greenpeace International home page, Get involved". Retrieved 2012-11-23.

Other websites