Investigations

Last edited 13 September 2011 at 11:34am

We investigate, expose and confront environmental abuse by governments and corporations around the world. 


Documenting radiation in the Niger near AREVA uranium mines.

Our investigations are a fundamental part of our campaigns and solutions work. We expose those responsible for an environmental crime, and work with affected communities to identify solutions. Our global nature and our fleet of ships allow us to investigate environmental crimes and impacts wherever they are happening - often in remote places, or out at sea. 

Investigations often start at the scene of an environmental crime – forest destruction in Indonesia, for example – and then trace the 'chain of destruction' through suppliers and retailers, revealing the links between often remote environmental destruction and powerful players in consumer countries. 

In the case of Indonesia, we traced the illegal destruction of Indonesia's last remaining rainforests to the palm oil producer, Sinar Mas. We documented their offences. We followed the palm oil supply chain to individual companies and identified which products the palm oil was ending up in – for example Nestle's Kit Kat. 

Identifying this chain of destruction meant that we – along with hundreds of thousands of people - were able to put pressure on companies using Sinar Mas palm oil in their products. The result? Nestle and Unilever agreed to stop sourcing their palm oil from destructive sources, and are in turn putting pressure on Sinar Mas to stop their destructive practices. Over the years, we've conducted dozens of similar investigations, tracing the chain of destruction across national borders. Often, we've worked with local communities affected by environmental destruction, like indigenous peoples in Papua New Guinea and Brazil, as a part of our investigations. 


A glaciologist places a Geodetic GPS unit on the Humboldt glacier in Greenland during a three-month Greenpeace expedition to document the effects of climate change.

Investigations are also at the heart of our solutions work, and we often commission scientific research into solutions from our Exeter Laboratories. We publish the results of our research widely, producing papers for national and international scientific journals and books, and we often work in collaboration with other academic, governmental and scientific institutions.

We also investigate the impacts of environmental destruction is having on our planet and its inhabitants. We've been to the Arctic, Antarctica, China, South America and Africa to document the impacts of climate change, for example, with the aim of adding to the growing body of knowledge about what climate change really means, and how we can take meaningful action to tackle it.

Finally, The Greenpeace Environmental Trust is crucial for our investigations work. Founded in 1982 with the objective of furthering public understanding in world ecology and the natural environment, the Trust looks at the effects of human activity on the natural environment, conducts research and makes the results available to the public. You can find out more here.

To read the results of some of our investigations work, you can browse our reports here.


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