How we work

To solve the most pressing environmental problems, EDF looks beyond the typical paths to conservation.

We leverage the power of the marketplace, helping to create new economic solutions like carbon markets and habitat exchanges.

We also work with a range of partnersfrom individual farmers to companies like FedEx, McDonald’s and Walmartto launch cost-saving solutions that protect nature and human health.

Founded by scientists, [EDF] believes in data…It promotes market incentives to change behavior and isn’t afraid to work with industry.

Utterly nonpartisan, it is oriented toward practical policy solutions.

Joe Nocera New York Times columnist

Our core strategies

  • Economic incentives

    Economics »

    The global economy is a powerful force in today’s world. Our results show that markets can be shaped to alleviate environmental problems.

  • Partnerships

    Partnerships »

    Landowners, investors, businesses large and small are all essential partners. The environmental stewardship of companies like FedEx and Ocean Spray helps lead the way to market-wide changes.

  • Nonpartisan policy

    Nonpartisan policy »

    EDF’s policy experts work closely with congressional staff and leaders to find common ground on legislation that helps both the environment and people.

  • Sound science

    Sound science »

    Rigorous science underpins all this work, helping us measure problems and evaluate effective remedies. Our Office of the Chief Scientist assists staff in using the best science for setting and meeting goals.

Case study: Fertilizer pollution

Man in field of corn

The problem: Fertilizer is the engine of agriculture, helping crops grow. But if farmers use too much, the runoff pollutes water and air.

The solution? We call it our Sustainable Sourcing Initiative. Farmers learn science-driven methods to reduce pollution, such as optimizing fertilizer use, planting cover crops, and using no-till methods.

Scale it up: We’re using the supply chain to drive more farmers to reduce pollution, working with leading companies to increase demand for sustainable grains. 

More agricultural initiatives »

Be part of our progress

With news updates and action alerts, you’ll find out when your support can help most. (See our privacy policy.)