In 1971, motivated by their vision of a green and
peaceful world, a small team of activists (the Don't
Make A Wave Committee) set sail from
Vancouver, Canada, in an old fishing boat. These
activists, the founders of Greenpeace, believed that
a few individuals could make a difference.
Their mission was to “bear witness” the US
underground nuclear tests at Amchitka, a small island
of Alaska, which is one of the world's most earthquake-
Amchitka was the last refuge for 3000 endangered sea
species, and home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons
and other wildlife.
Even though their old boat was intercepted before it got
to Amchitka, the journey sparked a huge interest of
The US still detonated the bomb, but the voice of
reason had been heard. Nuclear testing on Amchitka
ended that same year, and the island was later
declared a bird sanctuary.
And this was the beginning of an independent
global campaigning organization, that alert the
people for the danger that we create to the
We can say that the founders of Greenpeace were
the “Don‟t Make a Wave Committee” founders:
Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Marie and Jim
Bohlen, Ben and Dorothy Metcalfe, and Bob
Hunter. Its first directors were Stowe, Bohlen, and
a student named Paul Cote.
The name origin…
The Canadian ecologist Bob Hunter had an idea, in
order to change the name of their committee: he
wanted combine words that represent the aims of
the group: “green world”, “peace”, “environment”.
And with the combination of this two words “green
and peace" came the name of this global
organization that defends the environment.
The organization of Greenpeace includes
“Greenpeace International”, whose principal
department is in Amsterdam, and 28 national and
regional offices worldwide, providing a constant
presence in over 40 countries.
These national/regional delegations are
autonomous in the conduction of local campaign
strategies, in which they operate, as well as the
searching of financial support from donors to fund
The preparation and coordination of global
strategies is the job of Greenpeace International.
The coordination of Greenpeace campaigns across
the world and its development and performances is
followed by this committee too.
Greenpeace International is the entity that
maintains contact with
supporters and donors in the countries where don‟t
exist any national Greenpeace delegation.
Greenpeace around the
Countries where are a Greenpeace department
“Bearing witness" of environmental destruction in a
peaceful and non-violent way;
Use non-violent confrontation to raise the level and
quality of public debate;
Don‟ t have permanent allies or adversaries in the
reporting of threats to the environment and finding
solutions to its treaths;
Ensure the financial independence of the
organization for political or commercial interests.
How Greenpeace works?
Greenpeace is known for its non-violent direct
action and confronting environmental problems
peacefully. However, the non-violent direct action
and isn´t the only method that Greenpeace uses to
protect the environment.
Witness environmental crimes is one other way,
and it was the first form of action taken by the
founders of Greenpeace in 1971, at Amchitka.
Sensitize and alert citizens is essential to bring
about change. Greenpeace uses its sites, e-mails
and official presentations to inform the public,
industry and governments on environmental
problems and propose solutions.
Greenpeace also lobbies
and proposes solutions
to persuade business and
industry to adopt best
practices and measures
to implement truly
Greenpeace over the years…
Since the first major victory at Amchitka, many
others (over 100) have been achieved too, from the
whales' rescue to the nuclear tests ending. This
organization is involved in many issues related to
environment, and easily solve them.
1994: Greenpeace actions exposing toxic waste
trade from Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD) to non-OECD countries
culminate in government negotiation of the Basel
Convention banning this practice.
2000-2001: An ever increasing and significant
number of European retailers, food producers, and
subsidiaries of multinational companies guaranteed
to keep genetically engineered ingredients out of
their products due to consumer pressure. Thanks
to its consumer networks in 15 countries,
Greenpeace tests products, collects information
about food products and policies and exposes
February 4, 2004:Esso loses its court case against
Greenpeace in France. As part of our "Don't buy
Esso, Don't buy Exxon/Mobil" campaign,
Greenpeace developed a parody of Esso's logo
with a double dollar sign: E$$O, which the oil giant
attempted to censor. In a victory for freedom of
expression on the web and for its campaign
against the world's #1 environmental criminal, the
French court defended the logo as an exercise in
March 9, 2006: Electronics giant Hewlett Packard
commits to a phase out plan for a range of
hazardous chemicals in its products.
September 2008: Six Greenpeace UK volunteers are
acquitted of criminal damage by a Crown Court jury in a
case that centered on the contribution made to climate
change by burning coal. The charges arose after the six
attempted to shut down the Kings north coal-fired power
station in Kent in 2007 by scaling the chimney and
painting the Prime Minister's name down the side. The
defendants pleaded 'not guilty' and relied in court on the
defense of 'lawful excuse„, claiming they shut the power
station in order to defend property of a greater value
from the global impact of climate change. The
landmark case marks the first victory of the 'lawful
excuse' defense in a climate-change case in Britain.
The Greenpeace fleet of ships is the unique mean
asset in the battle to save planet Earth and protect
the global commons. The ships are used at the
forefront of Greenpeace campaigning, often sailing
to remote areas to “bear witness” and take action
against environmental destruction.
Port of registry: Amsterdam,
Date of arrival: 1987
Construction: 1957 (Cochrane & Sons,
Weight: 555 tons
Maximum speed: 12 nodes
Port of registry: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Arrival Date: 2000
Construction: 1984 (Poland Gdansk)
Type of ship: expedition/research
Helicopter Capable: Yes
Weight: 2,076 tons
Maximum speed: 14 nodes
Port of registry: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Arrival Date: 1995
Construction: 1975 (ASS Vaagen Verft )
Weight: 949 tons
Maximum speed: 13 nodes
Port of Registry: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Arrival Date: 2000
Construction: 1977 (Lunde, Sweden)
Type of boat: patrol
Maximum Speed: 20.5 nodes
Technical Name: RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats)
Arrival date: used since 1975
Hull: fiberglass or aluminum
Engines: 1 or 2
*Note: Responsible for the most famous and spectacular
actions of the organization
Greenpeace doesn't‟ t accept donations from
businesses, governments and political parties
to finance their activities. The financial
resources that sustain their activities come
from voluntary donations from individuals and
part of the sales in their stores.
These stores, called “Greenpeace Area” (Green
Shop) releases and markets a line of licensed
products by other entity, whose production doesn´t
bring any risks to the environment or have low
environmental impact. The strategy is offer non-
polluting alternatives to consumers.
The future of Greenpeace…
For the next years, Greenpeace want to continue
this “fight” against all of the environmental
problems, unfortunately created by us.
The priorities campaigns are:
Catalyzing 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
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 toxic free future with safer alternatives to
hazardous chemicals in today's products and