The new face of environmentalism is you

Surprised? Don't be. Today’s environmentalism puts pragmatists like you in the driver’s seat.

Powered by people and innovation, the emerging Fourth Wave of environmental progress is transforming the way leaders run their businesses.

  • In a recent EDF survey, 91% of C-Suite executives agreed that technology can help businesses’ bottom line as well as improve their impact on the environment.
  • Corporations are proving that using pollution-reduction technology can be profitable for entire industries.
  • Utilities and communities are using new techniques to make once-hidden environmental problems – like gas leaks and alarming market patterns – not only visible but actionable.

Thanks to breakthroughs like these, local citizens are taking action in their own communities, and EDF and others are doing work of a scope and ambition once reserved for government agencies.


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Building on past momentum

From the beginning, environmental progress has been fueled by successive waves of innovation, each unleashing a powerful new tool.

The first wave, in the Teddy Roosevelt era, was about setting aside large areas of land for conservation. The second wave used the legal system to hold corporations and government accountable for pollution and wildlife preservation. The third wave harnessed the power of business and markets, through partnerships, to reduce emissions and make products safer.

These approaches led to great and lasting gains, but 21st Century problems require 21st Century solutions – and that’s where the Fourth Wave comes in.

The Fourth Wave empowers everyone

Think of the Fourth Wave as the first three waves...supercharged.

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Satellite helps break through ground-based barriers to fight air pollution from space.

Credit: European Space Agency

It's not about technology or innovation alone, but how innovation allows people to take action in new ways, unleashing human ingenuity to ensure that humankind – and the environment we depend on – can thrive and prosper.

The Fourth Wave is all about business, technology, financial and policy leaders, NGOs, advocates and communities working in concert to amplify environmental solutions for maximum impact.

This approach gives people the power to solve our most urgent environmental challenges like never before, by surfacing the most important problems, bringing the right people to the table and taking our solutions to scale.

How will we succeed?

Today’s environmentalists are innovators, visionaries and pragmatists who think changing the world isn’t just possible – it’s a necessity.

With this broader, more diverse coalition, we can move to stabilize the climate, build defenses against extreme weather, ensure food security and reduce exposure to air pollution and toxic chemicals.

And we hope you'll take part.

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