Starting point: In the ‘70s and early ‘80s, the lack of efficient middle-person between producers and consumers who shared value of social and environmental responsibility.
Organizing strategy: Create marketplace of goods and ideas through a national membership organization (name changed from “Co-op America “ to “Green America” in 2009)
Tools: National catalog, quarterly journal, progressive health insurance plan, fair trade initiatives, renewable energy campaigns, festivals, campaigns addressing dangerous social and environmental corporate behavior
Outcomes: Pioneering effort to establish a fair trading, responsible marketplace
Green America (originally known as Co-op America until January 1, 2009) is a nonprofit membership organization based in the United States that promotes ethical consumerism. Founded in 1982, by Paul Freundlich, it is dedicated to harnessing the economic power of consumers, investors and businesses to promote social justice and environmental sustainability through helping responsible consumers and green businesses find each other in the marketplace. Businesses displaying the Green America Seal of Approval have successfully completed Green America’s screening process and have been approved to be listed as a socially and environmentally responsible — or green — businesses in their National Green Pages directory. The Green America Approved seal is given to applicant businesses that operate in ways that support workers, communities, and protect the environment.
from its own materials:
For over three decades, Green America has provided a home place that is both practical and conceptual for Americans looking to live their values of social and environmental responsibility. Building the infrastructure that offers a legitimate framework has led Green America to partnering with many other progressive organizations and businesses.
Recycled paper, fair trading to protect often exploited populations, providing a home for “Boycott Action News” and the Social Investment Forum – leadership in convening common interests in solar and GMOs – campaigns to alter sourcing and ingredients against major companies such as Nestle and Hershey.
The exciting and successful Green Festivals, now in half a dozen cities, began as a collaboration with another activist non-profit, Global Exchange, in San Francisco.
Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.
We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.
What Makes Green America Unique
- We focus on economic strategies—economic action to solve social and environmental problems.
- We mobilize people in their economic roles—as consumers, investors, workers, business leaders.
- We empower people to take personal and collective action
- We work on issues of social justice and environmental responsibility. We see these issues as completely linked in the quest for a sustainable world. It’s what we mean when we say “green.”
- We work to stop abusive practices and to create healthy, just and sustainable practices.
Our democratically-constituted board is elected by our members from our consumer, business, and staff stakeholders. Green America operates as a collaborative and participatory workplace, where staff members reach consensus through democratic decision-making processes on key strategic issues for the organization.
Our programs empower you to make changes in your personal life and join together with others in economic action for a better world.
GMO Inside is a campaign dedicated to helping all Americans know which foods have GMOs inside, and the non-GMO verified and organic certified alternatives to genetically engineered foods.
Bad Apple campaign asks Apple to stop the use of the most dangerous, toxic chemicals in Apple supplier factories and replace them with safer alternatives.
Green America helps you switch your purchases to Fair Trade, provides links to Fair Trade business across the country, and helps you join with others to promote Fair Trade through our Fair Trade Alliance.
Green America helps you keep sweatshop and child labor out of your purchases, provides you green and Fair Trade options, and helps you work with others to promote fair wages and labor standards worldwide.
Break Up With Your Mega-Bank
Break Up With Your Mega-Bank Campaign is helping consumers and investors create and strengthen healthy communities in the U.S. and abroad.
Take Charge of Your Card
Responsible credit cards from community development banks and credit unions create benefits for people and communities nationwide, while offering you all the conveniences you expect from a credit card.
Socially Responsible Investing helps you meet your financial goals while ensuring that your investments have a positive impact on people and the planet.
Clean Energy Victory Bonds
The investments in clean energy supported by CEVBs can create at least 1.7 million competitively-paying jobs in the U.S. Another economic advantage will be the reduction of U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Climate and Energy
Our Climate Action Campaign brings together individuals, shareholders, and communities to pressure corporate polluters to take climate change seriously.
Amazon: Build a Cleaner Cloud
Data centers for Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) use over 6.5 million MWh of power per year, or roughly enough to power 600,000 US households. Most of that energy is dirty and nonrenewable.
Better Paper Project
Learn how to make forest-friendly choices, including reducing your use of wood and paper products, recycling, and promoting responsible paper use by magazine publishers.
It’s easy to be green. Get advice to green your home, your wardrobe, your office and more. Find out how to invest in a clean environment. Find out what others are doing to make healthy, just, and sustainable choices every day.
People & Planet Award
The People & Planet Awards recognize businesses for their dedication to a green economy: a bottom line that includes protecting workers, communities, and the environment.
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|It’s easy to be green. Get advice to green your home, your wardrobe, your office and more. Find out how to invest in a clean environment. Find out what others are doing to make healthy, just, and sustainable choices every day.|
|Learn how to make forest-friendly choices, including reducing your use of wood and paper products, recycling, and promoting responsible paper use by magazine publishers.|
|Green America helps you switch your purchases to Fair Trade, provides links to Fair Trade business across the country, and helps you join with others to promote Fair Trade through our Fair Trade Alliance.|
|Our Climate Action Campaign brings together individuals, shareholders, and communities to pressure corporate polluters to take climate change seriously.|
|Discover what you need to know to be a responsible shopper. Check out how 150 of the most popular consumer-product companies stack up on their social and environmental performance.|
|Boycotts are powerful tools for raising awareness about the impact of corporate practices on workers, communities, and the Earth. We help you put boycotts to use to help promote greater corporate responsibility.|
|Green America helps you keep sweatshop and child labor out of your purchases, provides you green and Fair Trade options, and helps you work with others to promote fair wages and labor standards worldwide.|
|What you buy, and what you choose not to buy, can make a tremendous difference for you, your family, workers, and the environment. We give practical and easy-to-use tips and strategies to green your purchasing.|
|Green business. It’s more than a good idea. It’s a practical and powerful
way to help create a more just and environmentally sustainable economy.
|Socially Responsible Investing helps you meet your financial goals while ensuring that your investments
have a positive impact on people and the planet.