Earth’s condition is deteriorating. To stop and heal, we must walk down the path of sustainable development. Acknowledging that many people are unaware of the essence of sustainable development, many organizations have started a noble job of educating and encouraging to apply the learned lesson. In this article, let’s talk about the ten NGOs working for sustainable development. 

Table of Contents

1. Ceres

Ceres: Mobilizing Business Leadership for a Sustainable World | Video Credit – Ceres
Major FieldEncourages sustainable business practices
HeadquarterBoston, Massachusetts

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Ceres is a nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization. The organization was established in 1989 by Joan Bavaria. 

After decades of influencing the public, they received the Skoll Foundation award for social Entrepreneurship in 2006. After a year, the organization was listed as one of the 100 most influential players in corporate governance by Directorship magazine.

The office appointed a new president, Mindy Lubber, in May 2017. The genesis of the organization goes way back to 1989. Joan Bavaria, then-president of Trillium Asset Management, allied with leading environmentalists to change corporate environmental practices.

Ceres was named after the Romanian goddess of fertility and agriculture. In addition, the CERES stands for Coalition for Environmental Responsible EconomicS. 

In the following years, in 1993, Sunoco became the first Fortune 500 company to endorse the Ceres principle. Since then, more than 80 companies have adopted environmental regulations. 

Ceres encourages sustainable business practices and solutions by working with more than 80 companies. In 2003, Ceres launched the Investor Network on Climate Risk, which has grown to include 100 leading investors managing more than eleven trillion dollars in assets. The organization published its first ten principles in the fall of 1989. 

2. Doctors without borders

Doctors without borders caravan mobilizing for the support
Doctors without borders caravan mobilizing for the support | Image Credit – Pixabay
NameDoctors without Borders
Major FieldHealth projects in conflict zones and countries influenced by endemic diseases
HeadquarterGeneva, Switzerland

Established on 22nd December 1971, The organization is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization. It is of French origin and popularly known for its projects in conflict zones and countries affected by endemic diseases.

The organization has general conservative status with the united states with the United Nations Economic and Social councils. After the consistent efforts to provide medical care in acute crises and raise international awareness of potential humanitarian disasters.

The office received the 1996 Seoul Peace prize. Christos Christou succeeded Joanne Liu as the international president in June 2019. They look over diabetes, drug-related infections, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, tropical and neglected diseases, tuberculosis, Vaccines, and COVID. 

The organization provides resources to over 70 countries with over 35,000 personnel, mostly local doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, logistic experts, water and sanitation, and administrations. Private donors constitute ninety percent of the organization’s funding, while corporate donors provide the rest. 

In the aftermath of the Nigerian Civil conflict, a small group of French doctors and journalists thought to expand access to medical care across national boundaries irrespective of race, religion, creed, and political affiliation. 

3. World Wildlife Fund for nature

World wildlife fund for nature camp in tuscany, italy
World wildlife fund for nature camp in Tuscany, Italy | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons
NameWorld Wildlife Fund For Nature 
Major FieldConservation of natural aspects 
HeadquarterGland, Switzerland

The World wildlife fund for nature is an international non-governmental organization. Founded in 1961, the organization works in the field of wilderness preservation and reduction of human impact on the environment.

With over five million supporters worldwide, the organization stands at the top as the largest conservation organization. The organization works in over 100 countries and supports around 3000 conservation and environmental projects.

Currently, the WWF’s work pertains to six areas: food, climate, freshwater, wildlife, forests, and oceans.

4. World resource institute 

Helen Ding, Senior economist at world resource institute
Helen Ding, Senior economist at world resource institute | Image Credit – Flickr
NameWorld Resources Institute 
Major FieldEnvironmental sustainability, economic opportunities, and human health
HeadquarterWashington, D.C., United States

Established in 1982, the World resource institute is a global research nonprofit organization funded by the Macarthur Foundation. It was an initiative under the leadership of James Gustave Speth. The organization focuses on seven areas: food, forests, water, energy, cities, climate, and ocean. 

Its offices are in different parts of the world, the United States, China, India, and Mexico, to name a few of them. Its primary purpose is to promote environmental sustainability, economic opportunities, and human health. 

Partnering with local and national governments, private companies, cooperation, and other nonprofits, WRI offers services including global climate change issues, sustainable markets, ecosystem protection, and environmentally responsible governance services.

Since 1st October 2008, the WRI has maintained a 4 out of 4 stars rating from Charity Navigator. The organization receives a lot of funds from government and private donors. In 2014, Stephen M. Ross, an American real estate developer, bestowed 30 million USD to establish the WRI Ross center for sustainable cities. 

5. Sierra Club

Volunteers of Sierra club
Volunteers of Sierra club | Image Credit – Flickr
NameSierra Club
Major FieldEnvironmental protection

The environmental organization was founded on 28th May 1892. They Preach to explore, enjoy, and protect the earth’s wild places to the public. The Sierra Club has a lot of offices worldwide. 

With one hundred and twenty-nine years of successful operation, its longest-serving president and the first president was John Muir. The club encourages progressive movements. It was one of the large-scale environmental protection organizations globally and currently inciting politicians to promote environmentalist policies. 

With the help of politicians, they were able to help millions of acres of wilderness. Passing critical environmental legislation, including the Clean air act, is what they consider their most remarkable feat.

With solidarity among individuals, they consider that they have the power to bring a decisive change. 

They educate individuals to practice and promote responsible use of the earth’s ecosystem and resources. They have organized a “beyond coal” campaign with an adamant mission to replace coal with other energy sources, they have organized a “beyond coal” campaign.

6. Oxfam 

Oxfam charity shop
Oxfam charity shop | Image Credit – Flickr
Major FieldAlleviating global poverty
HeadquarterNairobi, Kenya

A British confederation of twenty-one independent charitable organizations, Oxfam focuses on alleviating global poverty. 

Founded at 17 Broad Street, Oxford committee for famine Relief by a group of Quakers, social activists, and Oxford academics in 1942 and registered by UK law, the committee members were a group of concerned citizens, including Henry Gillett.

Advertising advisor Harold Sumption leads the fundraising innovations idea. The organization headquarter is in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The organization has been actively providing relief services during various global crises. They lend their helping hands to some of the significant problems in the world, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the North Korean Famine, the 2011 East African drought, the Nepal earthquake, and the Yemen conflict.

A report published by Oxfam in 2014 stated that 85 wealthiest individuals globally have an incorporated wealth equivalent to that of the bottom 50 percent of the world’s population. Again In 2016, the office revealed its revised report stating that the wealthiest one percent will possess more than half of the global wealth by 2016.

In 2019, the charity Navigator gave Oxfam America a three-star overall rating with two-star in financial, two-star in financial, and a four-star in accountability and transparency. 

7. The Nature Conservancy

Planet Together: Earth Day 2022 | Video Credit – The Nature Conservancy
NameThe Nature Conservancy 
Major FieldPlantation Campaign, protect natural landscape
HeadquarterArlington County, Virginia, United States

With branches in 79 countries and across every state in the US, the Nature Conservancy is a global environmental organization. Its headquarter is located in Arlington, Virginia, United States.

As of 2021, The Nature Conservancy has over one million members worldwide. In 2014, the organization became the most significant environmental nonprofit organization by asset and revenue in the Americas. During the stint of the organization, they have been able to protect more than 119,000,000 acres of land and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide.

The Nature Conservancy evolved out of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). The ESA was founded in 1915 under the leadership of Victor Shelford. Shelford intended to find areas of land that would benefit long-term research. Lately, the organization commenced a plant a billion trees campaign. The campaign encourages individuals and organizations to plant their trees worldwide. 

To lessen the consequences of climate change, the organization sees forest restoration as a meaningful tool. The foundation got a three overall rating with a 2-star financial rating and a four-star accountability and transparency rating by the Charity navigator in the fiscal year. Their plant a billion tree campaign’s mission is to restore Brazil’s Atlantic forests. 

8. Natural Resource Defense Council 

NRDC's work to save the environment
NRDC’s work to save the environment | Image Credit – The Chronicles of Philanthropy
NameNatural Resource Defense Council 
Major FieldSafeguarding the earth
HeadquarterNew York, United States

The Natural resource defense council is a nonprofit international advocacy group, a United state-based foundation founded in 1970. As of 2019, the NRDC accumulated over three million members. 

The community has offices all over the world. Its members primarily consist of 700 lawyers, scientists, and policy experts. The office’s work revolves around safeguarding the earth. Protecting the earth’s ecosystem and biodiversity is its motto, as all peoples have the right to clear air and water.

Their stated work areas include climate change, communities, energy, food, health, oceans, water, and the wild. They are a legal advocacy group, so they work to achieve environmental goals by functioning within the legal system to recede pollution and safeguard natural resources through litigation. 

The council’s first president was John. H. Adams. He served until 2006; subsequently, Frances Beinecke served from 2006 to 2015. Currently, Gina McCarthy is the organization’s CEO and President.

9. Ocean Conservancy 

Ocean conservancy 2017 cleanup
Ocean conservancy 2017 cleanup | Image Credit – Flickr
NameOcean Conservancy 
Major FieldPromoting a healthy ocean ecosystem, formulate ocean policy
HeadquarterWashington, D.C., United States

Ocean Conservancy is an environmental advocacy group based in Washington, DC, United States. They help formulate ocean policies at the federal and state government levels based on peer-reviewed science.

Intending to promote a healthy and diverse ocean ecosystem and oppose practices that pulverize the intricacies of an ecosystem, the organization conducts programs advocating for protecting unique marine habitats, restoring sustainable fishes, and reducing the human impact on ecosystems.

It is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. It is one of the organizations that meet the Better Business Bureau’s 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Throughout history, the organization has achieved a lot of its goals. In 1996, Ocean Conservancy helped enact a Congressional rewrite of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and management act.

Legions of people value the organization and its effort. However, the detractors aren’t behind in pointing out the effects on the economy. Some criticize the organization because of the restriction made on the fishing industry. 

10. Green peace 

Anti plastic march by greenpeace volunteers
Anti plastic march by Greenpeace volunteers | Image Credit – Flickr
NameGreen Peace 
Major FieldWorldwide climate change, deforestation, overfishing, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues.
HeadquarterAmsterdam, Netherlands 

Greenpeace is a nonprofit, independent global campaigning network that comprises 26 independent national organizations in over 55 countries worldwide. Irving and Dorothy Stowe established the foundation. 

Greenpeace asserts its goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity. It focuses its campaign on worldwide climate change, deforestation, overfishing, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues.

Using research, lobbying, ecotage, and direct action to achieve its goal, the organization does not accept funding from governments, corporations, or political parties. Still, it relies on three million individual supporters and foundation grants. 

As Greenpeace is known for its direct actions, It is regarded as the most visible environmental organization in the world. It does the work of making the public acknowledge the ecological issues. The foundation has been able to sway both the public and private sectors. 

In 1993, Greenpeace became the first party to formulate a sustainable development scenario for climate change mitigation. In the 1990s, the organization was a cornerstone to educate the public about global warming. 

Wrapping Up 

The above list mentions the top 10 NGOs working for sustainable development. They have done what the most significant government could not do. In the dark time of climate change, they came as a beacon of hope to nearly eight billion people.

There are so many other organizations, other than the mentioned, working towards a common goal of sustainable development. With joint efforts, we can surely lessen the global warming crisis. 

(Last Updated on May 3, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Saurav Khadka, with his A levels in computer science from Saipal Academy, owns a keen desire to know more about the environment. He wants to preach his knowledge to others by learning through his hobbies; reading, writing, traveling, and watching movies. He believes sharing his insight regarding a sustainable environment will undoubtedly generate positive perceptions in the people.