Month: February 2020

Climate Campaign Director, Netherlands

Climate Campaign Director, Netherlands


Mighty Earth, a global environmental campaign organization, is accepting applications for a Netherlands-based Climate Campaign Director for our initiative to protect the Amazon rainforest and other climate-critical ecosystems. A group of the world’s leading scientists recently summarized the latest climate science and found: “The world’s forests contain more carbon than exploitable oil, gas, and coal deposits, hence avoiding forest carbon emissions is just as urgent as halting fossil fuel use.” Destructive agricultural practices driven by irresponsible agricultural companies pour carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases into the air, making the problem even worse. As the Climate Campaign Director, you will focus on achieving gigaton-scale climate action by transforming the agricultural industry to end deforestation and make climate-friendly agriculture the norm.  

Despite the importance of forest conservation for the world’s climate, and the availability of sustainable solutions like channeling development onto the world’s 1.6 billion acres of previously deforested lands, big agribusinesses like Cargill and JBS have continued to drive deforestation and pollution on a mass scale. However, Mighty Earth has had great success in campaigns to protect forests threatened by the palm oil, rubber, and cocoa industries, and are now working to apply that model to the meat industry, the single largest driver of deforestation and climate pollution.

We’re looking for a talented individual to run campaigns that protect forests by leveraging the influence of Netherlands-based corporations, financial institutions, government officials, media, and the public. The primary focus of the position will be our campaign to protect the Amazon rainforest and other ecosystems in Latin America and support the rights of Indigenous communities who depend on them. The Climate Campaign Director, Netherlands will spend part of their time on other Mighty Earth campaigns areas where needed. If you are passionate about climate change, want to transform global agriculture to create a more sustainable food system, and work at a highly effective organization, please apply. 

Who we are: 

Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect tropical forests, oceans, and the climate with staff based around the world. We have played a leading role in persuading the world’s largest food and agriculture companies to adopt policies to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuse from their supply chains, and driving the adoption of multi-billion-dollar shifts to clean energy. Our Chairman, former U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman, is responsible for some of the most important climate and environmental legislation of the last 50 years in the U.S., notably the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Background on the position: 

The Netherlands has huge potential when it comes to curbing deforestation and driving action to transform global agriculture and create a more sustainable food system. Dutch companies such as Ahold Delhaize are leading customers for the world’s biggest forest destroyers, and have the influence to drive global change. Dutch banks and pensions funds are leading players in financing deforestation and other unsustainable agricultural ventures, but have also shown the capacity in the past to influence companies to stop deforestation and pollution.  

As the Climate Campaign Director, Netherlands, you will build and lead our campaigning in the Netherlands. Your work will build campaigns that persuade corporations, financial institutions, and government officials to implement strong environmental and human rights policies.  

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Playing a critical role in an international campaign to transform the meat industry to end deforestation, adopt regenerative agricultural practices, and shift to plant-based protein. 
  • Developing and implementing effective plans and strategies to achieve campaign goals, integrating communications, online, field and grassroots into a highly strategic campaign.
  • Engaging with senior executives and government officials.
  • Building relationships with civil society and other key constituencies in the Netherlands.
  • Recruiting volunteers and developing leadership to help build the campaign across the Netherlands.
  • Organizing campaign actions and press events. 
  • Generating media attention through report releases, events, press conferences in key media markets, through a strategic media plan and building relationships with journalists. 
  • Working on additional Mighty Earth campaigns as needed.

Who you are:

Required qualifications:

  • You have a minimum of 5 years of experience, with a background in issue advocacy campaigning or grassroots organizing.
  • You are passionate about protecting the environment and advancing a more just society. 
  • You have experience developing and implementing campaign strategy and detailed plans, communicating with corporate executives and/or elected officials, and figuring out how to move decision makers. 
  • You are comfortable operating in highly dynamic environments where changes in politics, economics, and other external events regularly create opportunities and challenges on a regular basis
  • You are comfortable working with various internal and external stakeholders and can network and build coalitions across diverse constituencies.
  • You are a good writer and can take complex information to distill into understandable products such as press releases, reports, and letters.
  • You have an international orientation. You have experience with and are committed to working with people from a variety of backgrounds, including different ethnic, racial, and religious communities. 
  • English and Dutch fluency are required. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Additional language skills, including Chinese,Portuguese, Spanish, German, or other European languages, a plus, but not essential. 
  • Expertise in deforestation and agricultural issues is a plus, but not required.

More about our team: Mighty Earth is made up of people from various backgrounds including people with a background in non-profit organizations, election campaigns, government, the private sector, and legislative offices, at a range of experience levels. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming place for people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, parents, empty-nesters, and more.

Details: This is a full-time position and candidates can be based anywhere in the Netherlands. The position involves some international travel. You will report to our European Director, and will work with other team members around the world.

Application Deadline: Please submit your application as soon as possible. Please click on the apply button below and include a thoughtful cover letter which speaks to our mission and demonstrates your writing abilities and also let us know where you heard about the job. The position will remain posted until it is filled.

Compensation: This is a full-time role. The annual pay range is 68K to 86K EUR, with exact pay depending on experience. 

If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please contact Sara at [email protected].

Mighty Earth is an equal opportunity employer; we strictly prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression and any other characteristic protected by law. Women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.


Climate Campaign Director, Germany

Climate Campaign Director, Germany


Ansicht auf Deutsch

Mighty Earth, a global environmental campaign organization, is accepting applications for a Germany-based Climate Campaign Director for our initiative to protect the Amazon rainforest and other climate-critical ecosystems. A group of the world’s leading scientists recently summarized the latest climate science and found: “The world’s forests contain more carbon than exploitable oil, gas, and coal deposits, hence avoiding forest carbon emissions is just as urgent as halting fossil fuel use.” Destructive agricultural practices driven by irresponsible agricultural companies pour carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases into the air, making the problem even worse. As the Climate Campaign Director, you will focus on achieving gigaton-scale climate action by transforming the agricultural industry to end deforestation and make climate-friendly agriculture the norm.  

Despite the importance of forest conservation for the world’s climate, and the availability of sustainable solutions like channeling development onto the world’s 1.6 billion acres of previously deforested lands, big agribusinesses like Cargill and JBS have continued to drive deforestation and pollution on a mass scale. However, Mighty Earth has had great success in campaigns to protect forests threatened by the palm oil, rubber, and cocoa industries, and are now working to apply that model to the meat industry, the single largest driver of deforestation and climate pollution.  

We’re looking for a talented individual to run campaigns that protect forests by leveraging the influence of German-based corporations, financial institutions, government officials, media, and the public. The primary focus of the position will be our campaign to protect the Amazon rainforest and other ecosystems in Latin America, and support the rights of Indigenous communities who depend on them. The Climate  Campaign Director, Germany will spend part of their time on other Mighty Earth campaigns areas where needed. If you are passionate about climate change, want to transform global agriculture to create a more sustainable food system, and work at a highly effective organization, please apply. 

 

Who we are: 

Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect tropical forests, oceans, and the climate with staff based around the world. We have played a leading role in persuading the world’s largest food and agriculture companies to adopt policies to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuse from their supply chains, and driven the adoption of multi-billion dollar shifts to clean energy. Our Chairman, former Congressman Henry Waxman, is responsible for some of the most important climate and environmental legislation of the last 50 years in the United States,, notably the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

 

Background on the position: 

Germany has huge potential when it comes to curbing deforestation and driving action to transform global agriculture to create a more sustainable food system. German supermarkets and food companies are leading customers for the world’s biggest deforesters, and have the influence to drive global change. German banks and pensions funds are leading players in financing deforestation and other unsustainable agricultural ventures, but have also shown the capacity in the past to influence companies to stop deforestation and pollution.  

As the Climate Campaign Director, Germany, you will build and lead our campaigning in Germany. Your work will build campaigns that persuade corporations, financial institutions and government officials to  implement strong environmental and human rights policies.  

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Playing a critical role in an international campaign to transform the meat industry to end deforestation, adopt regenerative agricultural practices, and shift to plant-based protein. 
  • Developing and implementing effective plans and strategies to achieve campaign goals, integrating communications, online, field and grassroots into a highly strategic campaign.
  • Engaging with senior executives and government officials.
  • Building relationships with civil society and other key constituencies in Germany.
  • Recruiting volunteers and developing leadership to help build the campaign across Germany.
  • Organizing campaign actions and press events. 
  • Generating media attention through report releases, events, press conferences in key media markets, through a strategic media plan and building relationships with reporters at key outlets. 
  • Working on additional Mighty Earth campaigns as needed.

 

Who you are:

Required qualifications:

  • You have a minimum of 5 years of experience, with a background in issue advocacy campaigning or grassroots organizing.
  • You are passionate about protecting the environment and advancing a more just society. 
  • You have experience developing and implementing campaign strategy and detailed plans, communicating with corporate executives and/or elected officials, and figuring out how to move decision makers. 
  • You are comfortable operating in highly dynamic environments where changes in politics, economics, and other external events regularly create opportunities and challenges on a regular basis
  • You are comfortable working with various internal and external stakeholders and can network and build coalitions across diverse constituencies.
  • You are a good writer and can take complex information to distill into understandable products such as press releases, reports, and letters.
  • You have an international orientation. You have experience with and are committed to working with people from a variety of backgrounds, including different ethnic, racial, and religious communities. 
  • English and German fluency are required. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Additional language skills, including Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, or other European languages, a plus, but not required. 
  • Expertise in climate, deforestation or agricultural issues is a plus, but not required.

More about our team: Mighty Earth is made up of people from various backgrounds including people with background in non-profit organizations, election campaigns, government, the private sector, and legislative offices, at a range of experience levels. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming place for people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, parents, empty-nesters, and more.

Details: This is a full-time position and candidates can be based anywhere in Germany. The position involves some international travel. You will report to our European Director.

Application Deadline: Please submit your application as soon as possible. Please include a thoughtful cover letter which speaks to our mission and demonstrates your writing abilities and also let us know where you heard about the job. 

Compensation and benefits: This is a full-time role. The annual pay range is 68K to 86K EUR, with exact pay depending on experience. 

If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please contact Sara at [email protected].

Mighty Earth is an equal opportunity employer; we strictly prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression and any other characteristic protected by law. Women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.


Forests Campaign Director, UK

Forests Campaign Director, UK


Mighty Earth, a global environmental campaign organization, is accepting applications for a UK-based Forests Campaign Director. We’re looking for a talented individual to run campaigns that protect forests around the world by leveraging the influence of UK-based corporations, financial institutions, government officials, media, and the public. The primary focus of the position will be our campaign to protect the Amazon rainforest and other ecosystems in Latin America, and support the rights of Indigenous communities who depend on them. The Campaign Director will spend part of their time on other Mighty Earth campaigns areas where needed. If you are passionate about climate change, want to transform global agriculture to create a more sustainable food system, and work at a highly effective organization, please apply. 

Who we are: 

Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect tropical forests, oceans, and the climate with staff based around the world. We have played a leading role in persuading the world’s largest food and agriculture companies to adopt policies to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuse from their supply chains, and driven the adoption of multi-billion dollar shifts to clean energy. Our Chairman, former U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman, is responsible for some of the most important environmental legislation of the last 50 years, notably the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In 2016, we launched a major project to protect Latin America’s forests, savannahs, and indigenous peoples, with a focus on breaking the link between agriculture and deforestation. Through creative, hard-hitting campaigns and savvy negotiating, Mighty Earth has made major progress – winning policies from three out of five of Latin America’s largest soy companies to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. However, as the Amazon fires and the continued threat from hostile governments shows, much more action is needed.

Background on the Position: 

The United Kingdom has huge potential when it comes to curbing deforestation and driving action to transform global agriculture and create a more sustainable food system. The UK has traditionally had an outsized cultural and media influence on environmental, human rights and supply chain issues. British companies such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda are leading customers for the world’s biggest deforesters, and have the influence to drive global change. British banks and pensions funds are leading players in financing deforestation and other unsustainable agricultural ventures, but have also shown the capacity in the past to influence companies to stop deforestation and pollution. 

As the Campaign Director, UK, you will build and lead our campaigning in Great Britain and Ireland.  Your work will build campaigns that persuade corporations, financial institutions and government officials to implement strong environmental and human rights policies.  

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Playing a critical role in an international campaign to transform the meat industry to end deforestation, adopt regenerative agricultural practices, and shift to plant-based protein. 
  • Developing and implementing effective plans and strategies to achieve campaign goals, integrating communications, online, field and grassroots into a highly strategic campaign.
  • Engaging with senior executives and government officials.
  • Building relationships with civil society and other key constituencies in the UK and Ireland.
  • Recruiting volunteers and developing leadership to help build the campaign across the UK and Ireland.
  • Organizing campaign actions and press events. 
  • Generating media attention through report releases, events, press conferences in key media markets, through a strategic media plan and building relationships with journalists. 
  • Working on additional Mighty Earth campaigns as needed.

Who you are:

  • You have a minimum of 5 years of experience, with a background in issue advocacy campaigning or grassroots organizing.
  • You are passionate about protecting the environment and advancing a more just society. 
  • You have experience developing and implementing campaign strategy and detailed plans, communicating with corporate executives and/or elected officials, and figuring out how to move decision makers. 
  • You are comfortable operating in highly dynamic environments where changes in politics, economics, and other external events regularly create opportunities and challenges on a regular basis
  • You are comfortable working with various internal and external stakeholders and can network and build coalitions across diverse constituencies.
  • You are a good writer and can take complex information to distill into understandable products such as press releases, reports, and letters.
  • You have an international orientation. You have experience with and are committed to working with people from a variety of backgrounds, including different ethnic, racial, and religious communities. 

 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Additional language skills, including Chinese,Portuguese, Spanish, German, or other European languages, a plus, but not essential. 
  • Expertise in deforestation and agricultural issues is a plus, but not essential.

More about our team: Mighty Earth is made up of people from various backgrounds including people with background in non-profit organizations, election campaigns, government, the private sector, and legislative offices, at a range of experience levels. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming place for people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, parents, empty-nesters, and more.

Details: This is a full-time position and candidates can be based anywhere in the UK or Ireland. The position involves some international travel. You will report to our European Director and will work closely with our senior staff members.

Application Deadline: Please submit your application as soon as possible. Please include a thoughtful cover letter which speaks to our mission and demonstrates your writing abilities and also let us know where you heard about the job. 

Compensation and benefits: This job is envisioned as a full-time consultancy.  Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience. We can discuss your pay expectations early in the interview process. We are open to discussing the possibility of a full-time, salaried role beyond this consultancy.

Mighty Earth is an equal opportunity employer; we strictly prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression and any other characteristic protected by law. Women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.


U.S. Leaders: Protect Our Oceans from Climate Change

The ocean is an amazing place full of creatures that are critical parts of our planet. In particular, the vast number of fish species are key members of the ocean ecosystem and are important for human consumption, livelihood, and recreation. Unfortunately, one of the often-overlooked dangers of climate change is the negative impacts on our oceans. As oceans warm, fish populations suffer, threatening not only the biodiversity of the seas but also the coastal communities that rely on them.

The U.S. has already done a lot to protect fisheries and has some of the best management systems in the world. We have successfully brought back many fish stocks from overfished levels, but now we need to protect them in a changing climate. Elected officials need to take this seriously and propose solutions that will keep our oceans healthy, especially if they want to be taken seriously as climate champions.

Climate change has already caused a decrease in fish populations and is driving down productivity of global fisheries. Fisheries have declined by more than 4 percent since 1930, with some fisheries shrinking by as much as 35 percent. Warming waters cause fish to move to cooler areas, disrupting regular fishing patterns and threatening ecosystems. Additionally, ocean acidification is weakening shells and corals that provide important food and habitat. This decline in fish populations and disruption of critical ocean areas have and will pose severe challenges to the 10 percent of people globally who depend on fish for their livelihoods and the more than 4 billion people who rely on fish for healthy protein. 

If we don’t take action to protect our oceans now, we could lose a huge part of what makes our oceans awe-inspiring, as well as a critical source of food and livelihood for people in the U.S. and globally.

Americans have a vested interest in protecting oceans from climate change, and every candidate running for President of the United States should show their commitment to protecting American fisheries from the impacts of a changing ocean. As candidates roll out climate plans, they must take fisheries and oceans into account.

Mighty Earth is calling on presidential candidates, as well as current elected leaders that are in a position to take action on climate and fisheries, to protect oceans and keep fisheries strong as part of their climate action plans.

Join us! Sign the petition.

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Photo credit: USFWS/Jerry Reid 


Mighty Earth Northwest Arkansas Field Organizer

Field Organizer -- Northwest Arkansas


Mighty Earth, an environmental advocacy organization, is accepting applications for a Northwest, AR – based field organizer for our campaign for agricultural practices that protect the water, soil, and climate. If you are passionate about fighting climate change and protecting critical habitat, this position may be a good fit.

We’re looking for a talented leader, campaigner and team builder with the experience and strategic skills in advocacy, organizing and communications to organize with us in Arkansas. This is a short-term contract position, with the potential for longer-term continuation. You will be a leader of a campaign focused on winning transformational changes from some of the biggest polluters in the business.

Who we are:

Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect tropical forests, oceans, and the climate with staff based around the world. We have played a leading role in persuading the world’s largest food and agriculture companies to adopt policies to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuse from the palm oil, chocolate, and rubber industries, and driven adoption of multi-billion-dollar shifts to clean energy. Our Chairman, former Congressman Henry Waxman, is responsible for some of the most important environmental legislation of the last 50 years, notably the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Background on the position:

In 2017, we launched a major project to protect US land and water, and combat climate change, with a focus on breaking the link between industrial agriculture and pollution. Through creative, hard-hitting campaigns and savvy negotiating, Mighty Earth has helped lay the groundwork for action. However much more action is needed – and we are planning to ramp up.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Recruiting and engaging a base of local volunteers.
  • Running a local campaign to transform the meat industry, promote regenerative agricultural practices, and support increased use of plant-based protein.
  • Developing and implementing effective plans and strategies to achieve campaign goals.
  • Integrating the campaign’s communications, online, field and grassroots work.
  • Generating media attention through events, press conferences and strategic actions.

Who you are:

  • You have experience in grassroots organizing, whether in a professional capacity or as a volunteer.
  • You are passionate about protecting the environment and advancing a more just society.
  • You are comfortable operating in highly dynamic environments where changes in politics, economics, and other external events regularly create opportunities and challenges on a regular basis
  • You are comfortable working with various internal and external stakeholders and can network and build coalitions across diverse constituencies.
  • You are a good writer and can take complex information to distill into understandable products such as press releases, reports, and letters.
  • You are outgoing and comfortable engaging large numbers of people in a new campaign.
  • You are excited to recruit and engage volunteers.
  • English fluency is required.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Additional language skills, including Spanish, is a plus, but not essential.
  • Expertise in agricultural issues is a plus, but not required.

More about our team: Mighty Earth is made up of people from various backgrounds including people with background in non-profit organizations, election campaigns, government, the private sector, and legislative offices, at a range of experience levels. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming place for people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, parents, empty-nesters, and more.

Details: This position is based in Northwest Arkansas. You will report to our senior associate. Candidates are required to adhere to all U.S. government disclosure requirements.

To apply: Please submit a resume and a cover letter as soon as possible to [email protected].

Compensation: Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience and we can discuss your expectations early in the interview process.


Mighty Earth Washington State Field Organizer

Field Organizer -- Washington State


Mighty Earth, an environmental advocacy organization, is accepting applications for a Seattle – based field organizer for our campaign for agricultural practices that protect the water, soil, and climate. If you are passionate about fighting climate change and protecting critical habitat, this position may be a good fit.

We’re looking for a talented leader, campaigner and team builder with the experience and strategic skills in advocacy, organizing and communications to organize with us in Washington State. This is a short-term contract position, with the potential for longer-term continuation. You will be a leader of a campaign focused on winning transformational changes from some of the biggest polluters in the business.

Who we are:

Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect tropical forests, oceans, and the climate with staff based around the world. We have played a leading role in persuading the world’s largest food and agriculture companies to adopt policies to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuse from the palm oil, chocolate, and rubber industries, and driven adoption of multi-billion-dollar shifts to clean energy. Our Chairman, former Congressman Henry Waxman, is responsible for some of the most important environmental legislation of the last 50 years, notably the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Background on the position:

In 2017, we launched a major project to protect US land and water, and combat climate change, with a focus on breaking the link between industrial agriculture and pollution. Through creative, hard-hitting campaigns and savvy negotiating, Mighty Earth has helped lay the groundwork for action. However much more action is needed – and we are planning to ramp up.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Recruiting and engaging a base of local volunteers.
  • Developing and implementing effective plans and strategies to achieve campaign goals.
  • Integrating the campaign’s communications, online, field and grassroots work.
  • Canvassing in neighborhoods around Seattle in order to engage potential supporters in the campaign.
  • Representing the campaign at public events such as farmers markets in order to engage prospective activists.
  • Generating social media content aligned with the campaign’s goals and messaging.

Who you are:

  • You have experience in grassroots organizing, whether in a professional capacity or as a volunteer.
  • You are passionate about protecting the environment and advancing a more just society.
  • You are comfortable operating in highly dynamic environments where changes in politics, economics, and other external events regularly create opportunities and challenges on a regular basis
  • You are comfortable working with various internal and external stakeholders and can network and build coalitions across diverse constituencies.
  • You are a good writer and can take complex information to distill into understandable products such as press releases, reports, and letters.
  • You are outgoing and comfortable engaging large numbers of people in a new campaign.
  • You are excited to recruit and engage volunteers.
  • English fluency is required.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Additional language skills, including Spanish, is a plus, but not essential.
  • Expertise in agricultural issues is a plus, but not required.

More about our team: Mighty Earth is made up of people from various backgrounds including people with background in non-profit organizations, election campaigns, government, the private sector, and legislative offices, at a range of experience levels. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming place for people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, parents, empty-nesters, and more.

Details: This position is based in Seattle, WA. You will report to our senior associate. Candidates are required to adhere to all U.S. government disclosure requirements.

To apply: Please submit a resume and a cover letter as soon as possible to [email protected].

Compensation: Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience and we can discuss your expectations early in the interview process.


Fish

This is the fish page.


A Bridge Too Far? Social and Environmental Concerns in Bridgestone's Liberian Rubber Plantation and A Plan for Remediation

February 2020

New investigation documenting serious labor and environmental concerns at the single largest rubber plantation on the planet – the Firestone Rubber Plantation in Harbel, Liberia.

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Report: Bridgestone Connected to Ongoing Labor and Environmental Concerns on its Liberia Rubber Plantation

New investigation documents serious ongoing issues at the planet’s largest rubber plantation

Mighty Earth today published the findings of a new investigation documenting serious labor and environmental concerns at the single largest rubber plantation on the planet - the Firestone Rubber Plantation in Harbel, Liberia. The report, A Bridge Too Far? Social and Environmental Concerns in Bridgestone's Liberian Rubber Plantation and a Plan for Remediation,” found several on-going problems, including:

Environmental Concerns

  • Local people complain of contamination of their rivers, creeks and wells due to insufficiently treated effluent discharged from Firestone’s nearby rubber factory;
  • Locals allege that there is serious air pollution and strong ammonia smells during the day;
  • Local fishermen at Owensgrove near the Firestone Liberia factory say there are no fish in the river during the dry season because of Firestone’s wastewater contamination and that their livelihoods are badly affected.

Labor Rights Issues

  • Five key labor union leaders and workers at the Firestone Liberia plantation in Harbel were allegedly unfairly dismissed by Firestone without recourse;
  • A key union leader and a worker were reportedly ordered to leave their company-owned houses after being dismissed and given just 7-days’ notice to vacate, or face eviction;
  • Dozens of Firestone plantation retirees said their Firestone pensions had been stopped abruptly and transferred to the dysfunctional Liberian state pension scheme.

Mighty Earth’s full report highlights Firestone Liberia’s legacy of environmental impacts and controversial labor practices, while providing detailed recommendations for the parent company, Bridgestone, to remedy past problems at the plantation.

“Bridgestone needs to agree to an independent investigation and make amends for their unfair dismissal of the two key union leaders,” said Judy Gearhart, Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum. “The company urgently needs to redouble its commitment to the rights of the rubber plantation workers and affected local communities.”

Firestone Liberia is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japan-based Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. Mighty Earth is calling on Bridgestone to ensure that Firestone Liberia fully upholds the rights of workers and neighboring communities and protects and restores the local environment.

“Bridgestone must urgently clean up all the insufficiently treated effluent that has been discharging into local water sources near its Firestone rubber plantation in Liberia,” said Alex Wijeratna, Senior Advisor at Mighty Earth. “In order to make progress towards this and other labor, environmental, and social priorities, Bridgestone should publish a clear implementation plan for their Global Sustainable Procurement Policy. As the world’s largest tire company, they have a real opportunity to be a leader in the industry.”

To support the investigation, Mighty Earth worked with rubber plantation workers and the legal advocacy group Green Advocates in Liberia to document testimonials from local community members in March 2019. This collaboration shed light on current problems as well as the social and economic impact of Firestone’s 94-year presence in Liberia.

“The history of Firestone Liberia is fraught with controversy,” said Goldman Award winner Alfred Brownell. “Unfortunately, the company has never fully reckoned with, compensated for, or apologized to local people for its historical violations of labor and community rights. Documenting these transgressions is the first step toward reconciliation, but the next step is up to Bridgestone. Bridgestone must commit to the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission.”

In a meeting with Mighty Earth in October 2019, Firestone acknowledged that the level of pollutants in local creeks near their rubber plantation in Harbel were still at an unacceptable level. The company informed Mighty Earth that they are installing a new state-of-the-art water treatment system to tackle the pollution.

Firestone has denied all of the labor rights concerns cited in Mighty Earth’s report.

*Photo: Firestone Rubber Factory in Harbel, Liberia


French lenders bankroll firms linked to deforestation: analysis

France 24 | February 10, 2020 

French banks have provided almost two billion euros of financial backing to agribusiness groups implicated in deforestation despite a law preventing firms from funding environmental damage, according to new analysis seen by AFP.

Read More


How Ditching the Iowa Caucus Could Remake the Biofuels Debate

The New Republic | February 10, 2020

If politicians no longer coveted that early "Iowa bump," would they still feel compelled to support ethanol subsidies?

Read More


In 2020, Retailers Must Stop Stocking Environmental Destruction

When customers go grocery shopping, they expect to find quality products that will feed their families and are produced in legal and responsible ways. Yet many supermarkets are buying products from some of the most environmentally destructive suppliers on the planet. Leading retailers are stocking meat from JBS, Tyson, and Cargill, all of which have long track records of environmental destruction and human rights abuses- from destruction of tropical forests and indigenous communities across Latin America to water pollution and soil erosion causing a massive Dead Zone in the Gulf. Supermarkets largely dictate the kinds of food that people have access to, and their buying decisions can therefore mean the difference between healthy ecosystems and ecological destruction. 

Supermarket retailers have spent decades building trust in the communities they serve. But their willingness to turn a blind eye to pollution and deforestation now threatens the customer trust that is core to success. In fact, 81 percent of respondents in a recent poll said that knowing about a company’s environmentally irresponsible business practices would make them less likely to purchase their products.

With the global environment in a state of deep crisis, Mighty Earth is calling for supermarkets to implement robust policies around deforestation, native ecosystem clearing, regenerative farming and water pollution, and to drop contracts with the worst offenders like Cargill. Mighty Earth’s 2020 campaign to hold these retailers accountable is off to an exciting start. 

National Retail Federation

On January 11, the National Retail Federation held the opening ball to its annual “Big Show.” With 38,000 retail professionals in attendance, this trade show is quite literally the largest retail conference on the planet. Mighty Earth volunteers in New York City took the opportunity to call on Stop & Shop and parent company Ahold Delhaize to cut contracts with Cargill, taking center stage at the opening banquet and engaging conference participants in a variety of creative ways.

A video of their speech can be found here:

Costco Shareholder Meeting

Costco is so big that the sourcing decisions made there can literally move entire markets and shape whole industries. Costco brands itself as an eco-conscious company suitable for families who value protecting the planet- yet all the while selling products that do just the opposite. According to Bloomberg research, Costco’s top suppliers include JBS, Cargill, and Tyson- while tissue paper sold through the Charmin, Bounty, and Kirkland brand is made from 100% virgin fiber sourced from Canada’s Boreal forests. 

Together with NRDC, SumOfUs, and Stand.Earth, we attended Costco’s shareholder meeting to call on Costco to adopt strong sustainability policies that ban destruction of native forests and require sustainable agricultural practices throughout its supply chain.

At the shareholder meeting, we turned up with over a dozen volunteers who rallied on the sidewalk, distributed literature, and highlighted Costco’s record to hundreds of shareholders as they drove in. Some of the volunteers even got creative and put up a light projection on the outside of the shareholder meeting. More than 100,000 people have signed petitions over the past year calling on Costco to protect forests, which we delivered to Costco’s CEO.

Stop & Shop

Stop & Shop, a popular East Coast supermarket chain owned by parent company Ahold Delhaize, has also been feeling the heat for its business partnerships with Cargill that are funding widespread destruction of tropical forests and pollution of American waterways. While claiming to be committed to sustainability, Stop & Shop recently signed a contract with Cargill to open a meat processing facility that will supply poultry to Stop & Shop stores.

Mighty Earth partnered with Green Corps to lead a hard-hitting campaign in Stop & Shop home state of Massachusetts. Field organizers have hit the ground running- educating shoppers, gathering petitions, and hosting community events to call on Stop & Shop to cut ties with Cargill and to adopt strict sustainability policies banning destruction of native forests and requiring more sustainable farming practices for all their meat suppliers. 


Activists Stage Protest at Tyson Shareholder Meeting over Sustainability Concerns

Northwest Arkansas citizens rally for Tyson to “Keep Your Promise” and abide by 2018 sustainability commitments

Springdale, AR -- ​On Thursday morning, over 30 community members and environmentalists rallied outside Tyson’s annual shareholder meeting, voicing concerns that the company has not shown any progress on its promise to reform farming practices that are causing widespread water pollution and climate change. Chanting “what do we want, a livable earth; when do we want it, now,” protestors highlighted the urgency of the planetary crisis underway and called for sweeping changes.

Two years ago, Tyson announced that it would adopt sustainable farming practices on 2 million acres used for animal feed by 2020. This commitment followed months of protests across the country from farmers, shareholders, community leaders, employees, and environmentalists calling on Tyson to take responsibility for cleaning up water pollution caused by its supply chain. With the deadline approaching and no public reports of progress, Mighty Earth volunteers rallied outside the Tyson shareholder meeting, telling executives to “Keep your promise” and implement farming practices that protect soil health, prevent water pollution, and mitigate climate change.

“It is time to look deeply into the personhood of your corporation, to your ethical and moral obligations to the world around you,” ​Reverend Jim Parrish ​said at the rally. “Tyson: there is no more time. The world is on fire, and your actions either fuel our collective death, or begin the healing.”

Meat production is the single largest source of water pollution in the U.S., with runoff from fields that produce animal feeds being the primary source. Mighty Earth is calling on Tyson to only source animal feed from farms that protect soil health, minimize fertilizer usage, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and prevent excess runoff from dirtying the waterways, and also to significantly ramp up investments in planet-based proteins.

“It is clear we are in a planetary emergency and need rapid leadership from business to drive solutions. Tyson made a promise last year to fix polluting farming practices that are contaminating our waters and fueling climate change, and we are watching to make sure they deliver,” ​Mighty Earth campaign director Lucia von Reusner​ said.

One month ago, Mighty Earth and Care2.org launched a ​petition​ calling on Tyson to change -- and more than 60,000 people have already signed on. Activists delivered these signatures to Tyson leadership at the shareholder meeting.


Protesters demonstrate during Tyson’s Shareholders Meeting

4029 News | February 6, 2020

The group ‘Mighty Earth’ held a protest outside the meeting in Springdale.