Key achievements from our past

We have a 50-year track record of creating innovative solutions to tough environmental challenges. Here's an overview of our early record.

  • California climate

    2006: California passes law to rein in climate pollution

    We helped policymakers create legislation that sets an economy-wide cap on greenhouse gases, sparking a clean energy economic boom.

  • EDF ecologist in the field

    1995: New program gives landowners an incentive to protect vulnerable wildlife

    Because of our unique incentive system called Safe Harbor, the owners of 4 million acres nationwide welcome 63 rare species to their land.

  • Better packaging

    1991: McDonald's reduces waste—and saves money

    In forming the first corporate partnership, we showed that an environmental group and a Fortune 500 company can get results together.

  • acid rain pollution

    1990: Acid rain pollution is slashed using the power of the marketplace

    Our proposal, written into the 1990 Clean Air Act, required that overall sulfur emissions be cut in half, but let each company decide how to do it.

  • Safer gasoline

    1985: Switching to unleaded gasoline saves hundreds of thousands of lives

    After we helped convince federal regulators to end the use of leaded gasoline, blood lead levels in U.S. children plummeted.

  • endangered whales

    1970: Hunted whales are given lasting protection

    We led the fight to bring whales onto the U.S. endangered species list, an important win that secured that helped many whale populations to recover.

  • Saving birds

    1967: DDT is banned, ushering in the modern environmental movement

    Alarmed by the devastating effects of the pesticide DDT on wildlife, a group of scientists sue to get it banned--and win. Soon after, EDF is officially incorporated.