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Privacy policy

At Friends of the Earth, we know that the strength of our movement depends on the support and confidence of our supporters who give us their time, energy, and donations.
  Published:  22 Feb 2018    |      13 minute read

This is vital in helping us to protect people and planet. To ensure that we communicate with our supporters through their preferred channels, and to enable us to share updates about our work, we need to collect different types of information, including personal data. We understand the trust that our supporters place in us when sharing their data, and we will always do our utmost to respect that trust and protect their personal information. 

Our full privacy policy is explained below, but the main points to note are: 

  • We will only ever ask for what we really need to know.
  • We will collect and use the personal data that you share with us transparently, honestly and fairly.
  • We will always respect your choices around the data that you share with us and the communication channels that you ask us to use.
  • We will put appropriate security measures in place to protect the personal data that you share.
  • We will never sell your data.

Should you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0800 581 051 or by our contact form.

Privacy notice and policy

This is the privacy policy of Friends of the Earth. 

Friends of the Earth is a collective name for Friends of the Earth Charitable Trust, registered charity 281681, company number 1533942, and Friends of the Earth Limited, company number 1012357. Both organisations are data controllers and processors of your information under the conditions of the Data Protection Act 2018. The 2018 Act replaces the 1998 Data Protection Act from May 25 2018. This privacy policy applies to both the Trust and the Limited company. 

The two parts of Friends of the Earth act as joint data controllers with full transparency of the supporter data that they hold and manage. Responsibility concerning data subjects’ rights and any enquiries that they may have is led by the limited company for both parts of the organisation. 

This includes Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland and Friends of the Earth Cymru/Cyfeillion y Ddaear Cmyru

Contact information

Our postal address is: 

1st Floor,
The Printworks, 
139 Clapham Road,

We can be reached online or phone +44 (0)20 7490 1555. 

Our appointed Data Protection Officer is Chris Ransom. Chris can be contacted via the above address or phone number, or by our contact form.


At Friends of the Earth we take your privacy very seriously and we’re committed to protecting your personal information that you’ve shared with us. 

Our Supporter Promise underpins all our activity and engagement with our supporters. It is a vital part of our work with you, our supporters, and we commit to keeping our promise to you in everything we do. 

The statement below explains how we collect and use the information which you give us.

Our aim is to safeguard your privacy whilst providing a personalised and valuable experience. Collecting personal information is necessary if we are to satisfy the expectations and requirements of our supporters. It’s also a legal requirement for some of the things we do, such as processing donations. 

Our commitment to you: 

  • We will collect, process and use the personal data that you share with us in a way that is fair, transparent, and honest. 
  • We will only hold and use the personal data that you share with us in the ways you say we can.  
  • You have the right to amend or withdraw your consent about the ways in which we hold and use your personal data at any time. 
  • We will always respect your personal data rights as detailed in current data protection legislation. 
  • As a responsible organisation, we will always comply with our responsibilities and obligations as detailed in current data protection legislation. 
  • Where we have your consent to do so, we may share the information that you provide to us with other organisations with which we are working, for example on campaigns or activism activities. We will tell you who they are when we ask for your consent to do this. If you don’t want us to share your data with them, you simply need to tell us. You can also amend your consent at any time by contacting Friends of the Earth. 
  • We will update the data that you have shared with us regularly, and ensure it is accurate.  
  • We will log all changes that we make to the personal data that you share with us. You can ask to see a record of the changes at any time. 
  • We will do all that we can to protect the personal data that you share with us through reasonable technical and organisational safeguards and measures.
  • We will make sure we manage your data in line with the rights that you have under the 2018 Data Protection Act, including the right to object or restrict the ways in which we process your data, and your right to request the erasure of your data.
  • We will always comply with the current UK Information Commissioner’s Office guidance.

All the data that we use is held in accordance with the requirements laid out in current data protection legislation. If you have any requests concerning your personal information or any questions about how we manage our data, please contact our Supporter Care team who can put you in touch with our Data Protection Officer.  Rest assured - you won’t be charged for asking for this information. 

Ways in which we use your personal information

In some areas of our website and other communications, we ask you to provide personal information that will enable us to enhance your site visit or contact you with information you request or that may be of interest to you, such as when you subscribe to our emails, make a donation, or take an online action. We also collect your details when you email or call us with an enquiry or complaint so we can respond effectively to you. We also collect information about the things you do on the website. This includes personal information such as your name, postal address, phone number and email address. If you sign up to a direct debit we will also collect your account details.  

We may analyse the personal information you provide and may make use of additional information sources to help us build a better profile of you. This helps us to understand you better, to improve the service we’re able to provide and to make sure our communications to you are as relevant as possible. We may also use your personal information to detect and reduce fraud and credit risk, helping to keep you, and us, as safe as we can. 

We keep your personal information only for as long as required for the purposes for which it’s supplied. Where your information is no longer required, we will always make sure it is disposed of in a safe and secure manner. Details of our data retention periods for the different types of personal data that we hold are held in our data protection policy. 

We will only ever use your data in line with our commitments to you. Should you have any concerns about this, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0800 581 051 or contact us.


We carry out regular, targeted fundraising activities. We will always endeavour to make sure that we share the most appropriate communication, and will do so in a way which we believe is relevant, timely and that provides you with an improved experience. To achieve this, we may use publicly available data, profiling tools and wealth screening data as well as any information that you may have already provided to Friends of the Earth. 

This activity assists us in understanding the background of people who support us and helps us to make appropriate requests to supporters who may have the means and the inclination to give more. You can opt out of your data being used for profiling and wealth screening by contacting us  or by calling us on 0800 581 051.

Our communications

We will only ever contact you directly using the methods for which you have given your clear consent. 

We want to give you as much control over the ways we communicate with you as possible.  If you’d prefer we did things differently – or even stop contacting you entirely – all communications from us will always explain how to opt out of future communications or change your preferences. Our aim is to give you complete control over how we use your personal data that you share with us. 

Alternatively, you can always contact our Supporter Care team on 0800 581 051 or by our contact form.

How we hold and process your personal data

To ensure that we communicate with you through your preferred channels (eg, post, email, phone or text message), you can update your preferences at any time. To change your preferences, please contact us or call our Supporter Care team on 0800 581 051.

To be compliant with the Data Protection Act 2018, we need to have a legal basis through which we may hold and process your data. Having completed the relevant assessments, Friends of the Earth is using legitimate interest as our legal basis for all postal communication, and for telecommunications. For email and text messaging our legal basis for processing will be consent. If you have expressed an interest in the Environmental Data for Change Network, our legal basis for processing will be legitimate interest.

Sharing your data

We will never sell your details to other organisations.  

If you’ve given your specific consent for us to share your data, we may share your contact details with your local Friends of the Earth group, or if your home address is in Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland.

If you sign a petition which involves a hand-in, for example a petition to be handed in to the government, it may be necessary to include some contact details on the petition hand-in. These details will not be shared further. We would only disclose your data if we are obliged to do so by law. 

We will sometimes use approved third party partner agencies to process information on our behalf, such as a mailing house to post communications to supporters. Third parties with which we share your information are only authorised to use that information to fulfil their contractual obligations to us. They are not permitted to use it for any other purpose. We retain full responsibility for how your personal information is used and we conduct comprehensive checks on these companies before we work with them and periodically throughout the duration of our relationship. See a non-exhaustive list of our third party data processors.

Keeping your details up to date

The accuracy of your information is important to us. If you change your home or email address, or if any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or changes in any way, or even if you simply wish to check that the data you have shared with us is up to date, please contact us on 0800 581 051 or use our contact form.


We know how much trust you place in us when you share your personal data. Because of that we place great importance on the security of your personal information and will always take appropriate precautions to protect it. This applies both to the physical security of the data that we hold, and the high level of digital security features that we use.  

This website and the checkout pages on our online shop use industry-standard software protection for secure financial transactions. Your personal information, such as your credit card number, name and address, is securely encrypted so that it cannot be read as the information travels over the internet. While on a secure page, such as our donation form, the lock icon on web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome becomes locked to indicate this. We never hold your credit card details on our website or in our own records. 

Even with all these precautions, no data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. So, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information which you disclose to us online and you must understand that you do so at your own risk. 

We take care to protect your personal information. We take steps to ensure that access to personal information is restricted to employees who need it and that all Friends of the Earth staff who handle personal information are fully trained and kept up to date on our data management, security and privacy practices. Our employees are notified and reminded about the importance we place on privacy, and what they can do to ensure your information is protected. 

Website tracking

As part of our security measures, every time our website is accessed, we record the date, time and the IP address used. In some circumstances this may mean that these details are linked to the personal data you have shared. Sometimes the device used to access the website (eg, a mobile phone, tablet, laptop) may provide us with further information, such as the device and operating system. Using this information helps us to improve our site performance, for example by understanding the times of day and days of the week when we see peak traffic, and to assess the popularity of different areas of the site. 

Use of cookies

Cookies are small pieces of information sent by a web server to a web browser, which enable the server to collect information from the browser. Like many websites, Friends of the Earth uses cookies to provide you with a more personalised web service, including monitoring the performance of our web pages, building a profile of the ways in which you use our website and finding people with similar profiles to you, which helps us to provide personalised content on social media sites you visit. Read further information about our use of cookies.

You may avoid the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser (more details of how to change this will depend on which browser you are using (eg, Google Chrome or Microsoft Internet Explorer). Please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of our website. 

Internet-based transfers and processing

The internet works as a global environment. This means that using it to collect and process personal data often involves the international transmission of data, and on occasions processing of personal data by third parties (including social media companies) outside the European Economic Area. 

Although this may happen, we can reassure you that the data will always be held securely and in line with the requirements of UK data protection legislation. However, we want you to be aware that by communicating electronically with us, you understand and agree to our processing of personal data in this way. If you do not agree to your personal data being processed by social media companies, please contact our Supporter Care team on 0800 581 051 or use our contact form.


We may make changes to this policy from time to time. If we change our Privacy Policy we will post the changes on this page, and will hold a record of the changes that we make. When we make significant changes to this policy we will communicate with our supporters to tell them what has changed. Please revisit the policy when you want to confirm how we use your personal information. 

This policy was last revised 22 February 2018. 

Access to your personal information

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have the right to request and be sent: 

  • confirmation that your data is being processed; 
  • access to your personal data; and 
  • other supplementary information that we hold about you.  

You can make a request by our contact form or by post using our contact information. We will take steps to confirm your identity before releasing any information to you. We will not charge you for providing the information that you request. We will respond to your request within one calendar month of the request, unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

Your rights and acceptance of this policy

By sharing your consent preferences and using our sites, you consent to the collection and use of information by Friends of the Earth in accordance with our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to this policy, please do not use our sites. 

Any personal information submitted via our websites is treated in accordance with current UK data protection legislation (from May 25 2018, we will be working in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018). To find out more about your entitlements under current and future data protection legislation, visit the Information Commissioner's website.

Privacy policy for minors

The protection of minors is very important to us, so we won’t actively seek opportunities to collect personal information from under-18s. However, we don’t want to exclude under-18s from opportunities to support our work either (with the exception of donations), so we may sometimes need to store their personal information. Where appropriate, we’ll ask under-18s for their date of birth to make sure they’re completely excluded from our fundraising activities.

Minors should always ask a parent or guardian for permission before sending personal information to anyone online.

Information retention

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is appropriate for the activity that you are supporting (for example participating in a campaign or making a donation to support our work). If you ask for your personal information to be deleted we will manage your request in a transparent way, and in line with our data retention policy. We may, however, retain a secure anonymised record for research and analytical purposes. 

We regularly review the data we hold to ensure it is held in line with consent of the person who shared it with us. 


While we will take all reasonable steps to protect and secure your personal data, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any messages transmitted between you and us via email as these are potentially accessible by the public. We will not be liable to you or anyone else for any loss relating to any email message sent by you to us or by us to you. 

Like many organisations, we can estimate how many supporters open our emails by counting how many have downloaded the images in them. We also track how many supporters click the links in our emails. By keeping track of which emails our supporters open and click, we can find out what content is popular, and therefore send more of the kind of emails our supporters read. It also means that if a supporter – like you – appears to have stopped opening or clicking emails, we can ask them why. This feedback helps us to improve our emails for the future.

Sensitive information

When using or subscribing to our services, you may choose to provide us with information which is defined as sensitive personal information under the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018. Examples of sensitive information include details of your ethnicity or state of health. As with all the personal information which you provide to us, we shall use and store this information carefully in accordance with this privacy policy. We will always explain why we are collecting this kind of information if we ever ask for it, and we will always ask for your consent to use this data. 

This privacy policy is governed by the laws of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.