A Step Toward Equity and Environmental Justice

Statement of EDF President Fred Krupp – May 19, 2021

May 19, 2021
Eric Pooley, 212-616-1329, epooley@edf.org

"Today we are taking an important step forward to integrate equity and justice into our work and strengthen the environmental outcomes we seek to achieve. EDF is adopting new Equity and Environmental Justice Vision and Principles to better position our organization to stand with frontline and overburdened communities and find lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems.

"EDF's pursuit of equitable solutions to environmental challenges can only be taken on by matching words with actions.

"We know that EDF has lived within and benefited from systems that have provided us opportunities not afforded to others. We have also come to understand that EDF's focus on solving environmental issues at the global and national levels can conflict with local EJ goals and concerns. We have not been consistently intentional in addressing the disproportionate environmental burden borne by marginalized communities, including communities of color. As a result, our policy stances and actions may have been at odds with local needs and priorities. We have learned from our EJ partners the importance of co-created and community-led solutions. We will listen to and learn from community experts. We will use our position to support EJ and frontline communities in having an unfiltered voice to affect change on issues critical to their communities.

"As we embark upon a new chapter at EDF, we commit to becoming more authentic partners with EJ and frontline communities by:

  • Being transparent about our priorities and open to new perspectives and solutions to environmental challenges
  • Opening doors to broaden access to donors and grant-makers
  • Standing with the communities most affected by pollution to help secure clean air, clean water, access to sustainable and healthy food, and freedom from exposure to toxic substances

"We are also looking inward to examine how our structure, strategy and culture can better reflect the global community we serve.

"I am thankful to the staff on EDF's Environmental Justice Council, who led the development of the Vision and Principles – they are representative of EDF's ability to learn and change. By integrating equity and environmental justice into our internal culture and strategies, and by supporting EJ organizations and learning from them, I believe EDF can accelerate progress where we are best suited to do so, and in communities where it matters the most."

- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund

# # #

One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund