The deterioration of the environment because of human influence is one of the most-discussed complex issues in the contemporary world. At first glance, this problem is not a social or political topic, as the nature of the challenge is commonly attributed to scientists such as geologists, meteorologists, ecologists, and others. However, there is another perspective, according to which the united contribution of negative impacts on society caused by the activity of people has a direct influence on other indisputably social and political spheres.
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For instance, the economy is impacted because of the necessity to fund methods to manage the issue, the wellbeing of people is deteriorated because of the ecology worsening, and the growth of population results in negative impact strengthening (15.3 The Environment; Carmi and Alon 4). In addition, problems associated with quality of life and social equality challenges are raised because of environmental issues.
It is possible to refer to such a branch of knowledge as environmental sociology to provide an insight into the way ecology is a social issue. This study is focused on the impact of environmental problems on communities and individuals, public opinion about the environment, and people’s environmental behavior (15.3 The Environment). Moreover, there are even such phenomena as environmental inequality and environmental racism. They imply that low-income individuals and people of color are more likely to experience various ecological problems and their influences. Therefore, there is a need in the contemporary world to approach the issue in a complex way. It is not surprising that many groups, including non-profit ones, are established to address ecological problems. This work will examine the local organization called “Greenpeace” and their value of solution promotion relating it to the outlined issue.
What is Observed in the Organization
With respect to the above-mentioned issue, the non-profit organization “Greenpeace” is engaged in solving ecological problems through a complex and comprehensive approach. It is possible to observe that there is a set of missions Greenpeace sticks to the protection of biodiversity, prevention of pollution and abuse of land, ocean, air, and freshwater, end of nuclear threats, promotion of peace, and non-violence.
The organization’s core value, the activity of which is mostly built around, is solution promotion. Greenpeace does not have particular artifacts associated with the discussed value but rather the symbols indicating the work of the organization. The instance is the Greenpeace logo composed on white letters on a green background that symbolizes vigor and devotion. It is rather the actions the organization makes that identify a value that its members hold in common than particular artifacts.
Creative non-violent confrontations and developing the steps to address an ecological problem are the methods the solution promotion value is manifested through which. It is often when members of this organization are present on the streets with banners protesting against one or another action that, they believe, can negatively impact the environment. The opinion of most citizens about Greenpeace is ambiguous, as its methods are not always seen to be appropriate and often perceived as attention-seeking ones rather than focused on solution promotion.
The Brief Outline of How the Shared Value is Defined and Enacted
It is possible to use texts, guides, principles, and other forms of content provided by the Greenpeace website for the textual analysis implementation as a means of primary research further in work. Moreover, means of secondary research analysis based on the previously conducted studies on Greenpeace’s campaigns are also to be utilized in the explanations provided below. It is also worth mentioning that further discussion and rationale are intended to contribute to accessing the way the shared value is defined and enacted.
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Thus, Greenpeace ensures the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity based on means of development, research, and concrete steps toward a green future promotion. This summarised definition reflects how the organization interprets and enacts its value. Simultaneously, a discussion of what researches indicate about it and to what extent Greenpeace stick to their policy is provided below.
Transparency, Services, and Values that Have not Been Considered
It is possible to indicate how Greenpeace is funded, what services it provides, and how independent it is. Besides the core value discussed, two others directly indicate that this organization’s policy is not influenced by any other’s one. Greenpeace sticks to complete independence and does not have permanent friends or foes (Our Values; How Greenpeace creates change). It implies that the organization works toward other companies for the benefit of a certain aim achieving if it is for the sake of the environment and the society.
Greenpeace does not accept money from governments, political parties, or corporations. It is funded mostly by individual donations, independent foundations, and lottery funding (Our Values; Funding and Transparency). Therefore, it can be considered with confidence that Greenpeace is not biased or influenced by any concerned group or organization’s intentions.
The operation of any company comprises of services it provides. As a non-profit organization, Greenpeace is focused not on profit obtaining, but rather on their and the society’s goals achieving based on the core value. There are four methods through which this organization makes a change. Investigations on factors, technologies, and companies responsible for environmental destruction are a primary service of Greenpeace. It reveals areas of operation that should be eliminated or adjusted, based on means on fieldwork, business and financial analysis, reports from whistleblowers, and others (How Greenpeace creates change). It is known that any company may participate in this process by directly contacting Greenpeace. This non-profit organization may support the efforts of any other side concerned as well.
The second service is lobbying, intended to make demands clearly heard by decision-makers. A network of trained volunteers meets politicians, disseminates reports and briefings, organizes events, and makes submissions to committee inquiries. Thus, the companies this political lobbying network is involved in are focused on engaging ones who may contribute to the issue solving (How Greenpeace creates change). The third service Greenpeace provides on a regular basis is peaceful direct action. It implies forming groups of ordinary people who share the organization’s value to confront those in a position of power, based on principles of non-violent direct action (NVDA) (How Greenpeace creates change). Bearing witness through physical presence is also a part of this service, intended to ensure the existence of evidence against ones who conduct crimes against the environment, and therefore, the society.
All the above-mentioned actions are a part of the solution promotion value enacting, while the last one, which is science, is a direct implementation of methods intended to address an issue. Participation in research conduction or using other scientists’ works supports Greenpeace campaigns over a range of disciplines with an evidence-based approach (How Greenpeace creates change). Therefore, there is a broad spectrum of services Greenpeace provides independently or at the request of other companies.
With respect to values that are not considered, Greenpeace advocates for personal responsibility and non-violence but does not distinguish the following key concepts within it. Collaboration, equality, integrity, compassion, and respect, are the other common sub-values for non-profit organizations. It is evident that the mentioned points are implicit, deriving from the way the company operates. However, they are hardly manifested based on, sometimes, contradictory approaches that violate the work of people involved in technology-dependent activities. This state of affairs conceives mistrust into values Greenpeace stands for.
The Connection Between the Value and the Issue
The current campaigns of Greenpeace should be outlined to reveal the implementation of solution promotion approaches, discussing the connection between the value and the issue. It is beneficial for complementing an insight into how the organization operates, the way its actions address ecological problems, and how it intervenes in the associated events, considering the outlined above services Greenpeace provides. Solution promotion value implies an emphasis on constant searching for the most optimal approach to a problem. Being a non-profit organization mean not being capable of own resources allocation to face one or another challenge. Therefore, the operation of Greenpeace is focused on attracting the attention of publicity, contacting companies that potentially can contribute to problem-solving, and generating new and revising outdated methods of negative factors’ influence reducing.
One of the most recent actions of Greenpeace is the company against Lego corporation because of its partnership with the oil business. In this case, the value was manifested through creating a video that shows the negative impact of Lego corporation operating for the future of the Arctic (Still). The other example of a campaign against Burberry and Primark fashion brands was the manufacturing processes of which had included toxic, perfluorinated chemicals (Still). The solution promotion value was expressed by engaging thousands of people in a social media storm and indirect non-violent actions, which resulted in success.
The Analysis about the Shared Value
Despite the detailed discussion of the shared value and its connection to the issue and the availability of comprehensive sources of information, two assumptions can be made and supported. First, it seems that solution promotion is perfectly shared as value and manifested as an approach. However, there is a contradictory policy of the organization to be “anti-science” (Wirtz). Indeed, the negative impact on ecology results from the tendency for innovation and technological improvements.
Greenpeace fights against, for instance, GMO food considering it is unnatural, while not connecting their policy to the core issues of developing countries as malnutrition is a more crucial concern than the environment (Wirtz). Perhaps, the organization should revise how they connect the value to ecology, as they do not pay enough attention to the problems technological development is intended to address, blaming progress for being dangerous.
It is possible to make another guess based on an in-depth analysis of how Greenpeace tends to operate. Although the organization is independent, it is more focused on publicity and attracting attention to an issue rather than providing resources to solve it. It is understandable that Greenpeace does not generate its own finances, being funded by individual donations and grants. However, constant participating in events such as petrol station blocking and oil rig work disrupting conceives doubts if the claim that “It’s not enough for us to point the finger” is true (Our Values; How Greenpeace creates change; Wirtz. Therefore, despite the positive results of primary research conducting, guessing and complementary analysis reveal that there are inconsistencies in Greenpeace’s policy.
It is possible to summarize the points made about Greenpeace. This non-profit organization advocates for lowering the negative technological influence on the environment, a crucial contemporary social issue. The core value of Greenpeace is solution promotion that is enacted through such actions and investigations, lobbying, peaceful direct actions, and the use of science. This organization is independent as it is funded by individual donations and does not have any permanent relationships with any corporation or political party. It is often that members of Greenpeace can be seen at the streets participating in strikes, which are a method of making the organization’s demand heard by decision-makers. Greenpeace launched many successful companies, reducing the negative influence of some companies.
However, it is evident that the organization does not always follow its own values’ provisions, which are, moreover, not set in detail. It is also possible to see that Greenpeace tends to be an attention-seeking organization, which does not always take into consideration the positive effects of new technologies.
“15.3 The Environment.” LumenLearning. Web.
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“Funding and Transparency.” Greenpeace. Web.
“Greenpeace.” Activistfacts. Web.
“How Greenpeace creates change.” Greenpeace. Web.
“Our Values.” Greenpeace. Web.
Carmi, Nurit, and Alon Tal. “The perceived relationship between population growth and current ecological problems using repertory grid technique.” Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, vol. 25, no. 7, 2019, pp 1773-1788.
Still, John. Five Greenpeace campaigns against companies: Lego, Barbie and Shell. The Guardian. 2014. Web.
Wirtz, Bill. Greenpeace and ‘the awful reality of anti-science activism’. ConcumerChoiceCenter. 2018. Web.