Environmental progress doesn't just happen. It has been propelled by successive waves of human ingenuity, each expanding our toolkit.
Today, a Fourth Wave of environmental innovation is leveraging technological breakthroughs, unlikely partnerships, and new public policy ideas, giving people the power to take action.
First wave: Conservation and habitat
1903: President Theodore Roosevelt preserves millions of acres in national parks and forests.
Second wave: Science and law
1972: A series of legal actions brought by the scientists and attorney who founded EDF leads to a U.S. ban on DDT, a pesticide harmful to wildlife.
Third wave: Markets and partnerships
1990: EDF designs the cap-and-trade program for acid rain and launches our first corporate partnership, with McDonald's.
Fourth wave: Technology and innovation
2013: World Resources Institute begins using satellites to track Amazon deforestation nearly in real time.
Fourth Wave pioneers
The Fourth Wave allows people to take action in new ways, unleashing innovation to ensure that humankind – and the environment – can thrive. These trailblazers are at the forefront.