Anti-discrimination and harassment: what Friends of the Earth is doing

Environmental justice recognises the climate crisis as a social and political problem, as well as an environmental one. This means acknowledging that struggles are interconnected and, by doing so, fighting for solutions that create a more sustainable planet, and a fairer and more just world. This is why we believe all of our staff and wider network and the work we do must be free from discrimination and harassment. Find out more by reading our statements.
  Published:  06 Mar 2023    |      2 minute read

Our position on anti-discrimination

Working towards environmental justice requires the intentional disruption of discriminatory behaviours, both in our grassroots initiatives and in our day-to-day work.

According to sociologist Dr Robert Bullard, "environmental justice embraces the principle that all people and communities have a right to equal protection and equal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations."

If environmental justice is about the right we all have to protection from environmental harm, then environmental injustice is what happens when some of us aren't afforded that right.

We are a community of staff, activists and volunteers, and we have the right to work and live in an environment where individuals identity and lived experience are treated with dignity and respect. Friends of the Earth is committed to advancing equality, celebrating diversity and creating inclusion. So we have a strict stance against identity-based discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender, age, family or marital status. 

Everyone in our community deserves to be treated equitably.  We encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses discrimination, harassment or bullying to come forward and get support and advice: no act is too small to be addressed. We understand doing so can be difficult, especially if you’ve had negative experiences in the past. We can assure you that all reports will be investigated.

We want all identity-based misconduct at Friends of the Earth to be challenged, and appropriate and proportionate actions are taken. Our “Dignity at work”, “Grievance procedure” and “Disciplinary procedure” outline how to raise allegations of misconduct and highlight actions that can be taken, ranging from warnings to dismissal.

To better secure the dignity and comfort of our community in their work, we’ll update guidance for managers soon, to clarify and streamline our internal processes.

But disrupting discrimination can’t and won’t end with us just applying policies and procedures. Our stance against discrimination is part of our journey towards becoming an anti-racist organisation, promoting structural and cultural change, and eliminating identity-based inequity.

People are at the heart of progress. There’s no environmental justice without social justice – justice that we have a collective responsibility to promote externally and internally.

Our position on third-party harassment and discrimination statement

Achieving environmental justice requires the intentional disruption of discriminatory behaviours and eliminating the harassment individuals in our network may experience.

Interactions between our staff and third parties must come from a place of mutual respect, acknowledging that victimisation on the grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender, age, family or marital status is not tolerated.

This means we’ll actively moderate communications we receive by phone, online and email to ensure your dignity is upheld. We want to create a safe environment where the shared goal of protecting our planet is advanced.

When harassment, discrimination or hate occurs, our staff have the discretion and are empowered to:

  • challenge discrimination and misinformation
  • restrict communications
  • block and report serious and repeat offenders

We may treat these as hate incidents or hate crimes when negativity or threats occur because of someone's identity, with the potential of police involvement.

There’s no environmental justice without social justice, and in being proudly anti-discriminatory in our work, we won't tolerate hate speech online or offline.