Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Greenpeace’s Next Reform? It’s Finances

Economy Jul 15, 2014 10:00AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items

By Kathleen Caulderwood - Greenpeace International has fired a well-intentioned but misguided employee who lost the Amsterdam-based environmental advocacy group more than $5 million on a badly-timed currency trade last year

Greenpeace, funded soley by charitable donations, said it's continuing to audit its treasury procedures to repair its reputation and win back some disillusioned members.

“We’ve completely rewritten our authorization policy to make it absolutely explicit who can authorize which transaction and who can sign off on invoices,” Greenpeace representative Mike Townsley said to Bloomberg.

“There have been two failures. One, an individual acting outside their authority, and the second is that the existing systems were not adequate,” he said.

Greenpeace officials announced in June that the financial expert was acting outside of his authority.

His trades bet that the euro, which was rising when the trade was put on, would continue to do well against other currencies. He was wrong, to the tune of  3.8 million euros, or more than $5 million.

While his job included managing currency risks he wasn’t authorized to be making such big bets, the group said.

“Every indication is, this was done with the best of intentions but not the best of judgement,” spokesman Mike Townsley said to NBC News.

Intentions aside, the fallout was real. With a substantially lower budget than usual adding to continued pressure from international governments such as India that have condemned the organization’s activities, its workers made their feelings known.

Just days after the scandal broke, Greenpeace’s German chapter lost 700 supporting members, as other branches made public apologies, according to a report in Der Spiegel.

“We will make adjustments for these losses in the coming two or three years by amending planned infrastructure investments,” a June 15 press release says. “No money will be taken from our frontline campaigning to protect the climate, our oceans, rainforests and precious natural environment.”

Last year Greenpeace International had an income of $99 million (72.9 million euros) out of a $408 million (300 euro) global budget, according to the release. 

Greenpeace’s Next Reform? It’s Finances

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email