Social Media & Greenpeace

Greenpeace is an infamous nonprofit advocacy group that uses the power of social media in many aspects of its organization. The Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo acknowledged on CNN the use of social media.

“When we connect online marketing campaign as well as on the ground conventional activities you can get the best impact.” (May 24th 2010)

There are many value levers associated to the implementation of Enterprise 2.0 according to the McKinsey Global Institutes report, and Greenpeace does embrace many of this aspects with their business model.


Image from “Social economy” report – McKinsey & Company

In this blog I will briefly focus on Greenpeace’s efforts to enlist volunteers and raise funds through their use of Social media. This blog will briefly discuss some of the core functionality of Greenpeace such as crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and cyber activism. Greenpeace is a point of realization that social media provides new technologies for engaging with people and an opportunity to change people’s minds allowing them to react and act as a unified and united voice.

Collect Information and Insight

Greenpeace are continually investigating the effects of human activities on the natural environment, conducting research and publicising results including its effects on people and animals as a result of changes in the environment. These issues are predominantly investigated through Greenpeace’s research team and journalist teams, although collating information at times has presented itself through social media. Greenpeace’s Benjamin Borgerding hosted a conversation sharing examples of Greenpeace Germany utilization of crowdsourcing tool Jovoto to design a logo for renewable energy. This initiative invited 40,000 freelance designers to create the logo, Greenpeace received 300 entries with the winner receiving a financial award.


Image from jovoto

Mobile Resources

Greenpeace has a traditional website to collect donations similar to most organizations methods of collecting funding. However their most interesting endeavour in using social media as a fundraising exercise was around the construction of the ‘Rainbow Warrior III’. Greenpeace used what is now called crowdfunding to generate fundraising for its construction, through an interactive 3D model using Autodesk products and DDB Paris, viewers can select items that they would like to buy or help fund its construction. All donors received a certificate and their names were added to dedication wall on the ship.


Image from Ideasspotter

The project received 100,000 donors from around the world and provided users an opportunity to share their purchases or donations on social media networks through Facebook and Twitter.

Executive Mission

The simplistic mission statement form Executive Director Kumi Naidoo is “Greenpeace’s ultimate success will be measured when we are no longer necessary.” The Greenpeace Chronicles

As well as donating and volunteering one of Greenpeace’s fundamental strategies is to simply spread the message, Greenpeace encourages this by taking action and signing up as a cyberactivist. Their use of Social Media has set the standard for other organizations, and when all formal communications and correspondence with businesses fail social media is a very important tool in Greenpeace’s arsenal, an example of this is the Facebook campaign against coal.


Image from Greenpeace

This use of social media to engage supporters set a world record with excess of 80000 Facebook comments in eleven languages in 24 hours. This is one of many campaigns Greenpeace has used social media to improve collaboration and communication tool to educate people and spread their message.


Screen capture from The Greenpeace Chronicles


About jcoglan2013

I am currently completing my master in IT at QUT, I am the ICT/CAD Manager for the department of Public Works Queensland Government.
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5 Responses to Social Media & Greenpeace

  1. Thanks for the very interesting and informative post on Greenpeace. You have obviously put lots of research and effort in writing this and it surely shows. I found the video about the Rainbow Warrior III very interesting and also the novel way of their fundraising using 3D models. Please check out my post too, i’m curious what you think 🙂

  2. Sarun Y. says:

    Hi John,
    You have brought up some interesting points about Greenpeace (GP) and how it uses of the social technologies to create ’values’ to its organisation. Within the post, I can see wide ranges of the online social activities that GP has been managed to convey its message to its audiences. To focus on the part of collecting the information, GP made use of the crowdsourcing effectively for its renewable energy campaign. This is not only about contributing the ideas to achieve and get the reward, but the following campaign can reflect the thoughts of participants on the contest topic. It is also possible that some of these crowdsourced ideas might later lead to the innovative/unthinkable solutions to those unsolved problems (e.g. the use of natural energy in appropriate areas) as well as improving the quality of the societies.

    Nice in-depth social sector’s post for Greenpeace, John 🙂

  3. Nice example, Greenpeace does have several creative ideas on crowd-sourcing, and I really like how it creates the 3D products for public to choose and make donation. It offers interesting user experience

  4. yannick says:

    The Rainbow Warrior crowdfunding initiative really shows several characteristics of a good campaign: it engages the donators by letting them choose which part of the ship they’d like to ‘buy’, even displaying its location on board; supporters are encouraged to share their donations on social networks, helping to make the project go viral; and rewarding donations with a certificate creates an extra incentive. Donating is not just an act of transferring money, but an interactive and social experience.

  5. Tom says:

    I was wondering how they maintain 11 different languages of Facebook posts? Do they have staff to respond to all? #346class13 on Twitter to discuss further and check out my current posts.

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