What is the Environmental Defense Fund and what do they do?
Environmental Defense Fund or EDF (formerly known as Environmental Defense) is a nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in the United States since 1967. They began as a group of ‘scrappy scientists’ in Long Island, New York, fighting to save a group of ospreys from a toxic pesticide known as DDT. Since then, the EDF has grown into one of the world’s largest leading environmental organizations and has been called one of the country’s most influential nonprofits by Fortune magazine. The EDF is known for its work addressing issues such as climate change, promoting clean energy, ecosystem restoration, public health, and more. They’ve been able to successfully protect over 4 million acres of land containing rare species of animals and work with partners and allies on an international scale in order to solve the most pressing environmental problems.
One of the aspects of the EDF that the organization prides itself on is the multifaceted integration of diverse fields of study in order to affect the greatest change in the environment. Through implementing work from science, economics, leveraging partnerships, and shaping bipartisan policy, the EDF is able to forge effective solutions from a multitude of angles. For example, while science and data (in which all of the EDF’s work is based) may be able to present a particular solution, data alone is not able to get people to act on the information. By partnering with powerful corporations and defending essential environmental laws, the EDF excels in its ability to implement change through its involvement in many facets of influence.
What impact does the EDF have on our lives today?
One of the main focuses of the EDF today is to hold the line on national environmental protections. The EDF and its allies have been constantly fighting the Trump administration’s attempts to remove or weaken environmental protection policies and have been winning. By the end of 2019, the Trump administration had lost 80% of cases before the D.C. Circuit Court, compared to a 19% rate with the Obama administration. Key victories included court winnings supporting the public’s right to know about toxic chemicals in residences and the FDA ban of seven cancer-causing chemicals from food. They are also involved with several cases dealing with the defense of the existence of climate change against the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Even outside of our scope of perspective inside the United States, the EDF has done notable work on international communities outside of the United States as well. Approaching their 29-year mark in their history of working with China, the EDF has been able to guide their system’s design and train over 55,000 environmental enforcement offers in order to help keep the country, with ever-increasing economic and carbon-emissions growth, accountable for their climate action. In addition to environmental enforcement, the EDF is helping change China from the bottom-up, helping China to “develop infrastructure and policies needed to shift the economy toward a low-carbon future.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the EDF, please feel free to reach out to Anish Nagar (email: anishnagar [at] corecentra.com). Anish is the CEO of Corecentra Solutions, a software company providing purpose-built digital solutions for socially conscious and outcomes-focused companies, foundations, nonprofits, and frontline government agencies.
Corecentra provides advanced digital tools for organizations to manage, monitor, and report their social performance and impact. We help socially-conscious companies, impact investors, foundations, nonprofits, and frontline government agencies manage portfolios and programs, aggregate and analyze data, and easily report outcomes to key stakeholders. By seamlessly integrating program management, budgeting & finance, stakeholder engagement, predictive analytics, and impact assessment, our products empower organizations to increase their social impact and deliver a quantified view of social performance to investors, donors, beneficiaries, employees, and communities.