EIN 13-2654926

Natural Resources Defense Council

IRS 501(c) type
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The Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) is an international environmental organization dedicated to protecting the world's natural resources and ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all people. We work to restore the integrity of the...

Program areas at Natural Resources Defense Council

PROGRAM SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS PART III, LINE 4 This fiscal year, NRDC has continued its work to protect human health and the environment in the U.S. and abroad. NRDC has three key programmatic areas: 1. Averting the most dangerous impacts of climate change, 2. Advocating for the health of people and thriving communities, and 3. Conserving nature and protecting wildlife; each programs highlights are covered below in order of spending. The summary also highlights the work of NRDCs International program. Sustainable Communities NRDC works to change systems that affect people directly and indirectly- in drinking water and wasterwater, in food production and food waste, in consumer products, and in infrastructure and communities that need financial support in the face of serious climate impacts. This work includes a wide range of efforts including addressing toxic chemicals and pesticides in our environment in food, air, water, and products; advocating for communities that have historically and presently continue to bear disproportionate impacts of harm from climate change and environmental policies; and promoting resilience and health for all, on local, state, and regional levels. Here are some key milestones and highlights in this program this past year: NRDC made big strides in FY20 in protecting people from the dangers of toxic chemicals. At the national level, we won a court challenge to rules implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act, which will yield stronger public health protections, and also won a case against the EPA on TCVP, a dangerous organophosphate pesticide used in pet products such as flea collars, after a decade of advocacy. Additionally, we made progress at the state levels on this issue. In a huge win after decades of our work, Dow Chemical and other pesticide companies reached a settlement to phase out the use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide readily sprayed on produce that is especially harmful to childrens developing brains, by the end of 2020 in California. We also marked big advancements in other states: such as New York, whose governor signed the Child Safe Products Act into law, to disclose chemicals of concern in childrens products and phase out the most toxic ones; in New Jersey, which finalized regulations that set maximum contaminant levels for PFAS, the broader group of harmful "forever" chemicals that includes PFOA and PFOS, at concentrations that are among the strictest in the country; in Maryland, which passed legislation banning the use of toxic flame-retardant chemicals in consumer products; and in California, which advanced a bill to ban PFAS. Other NRDC projects focused on protecting communities from the harms of fossil fuel infrastructure-especially in preventing new infrastructure from being put into place. Following years of our advocacy and member activism, New York and New Jersey denied certifications to the Williams fracked gas pipeline, which prevented the pipeline from moving forward. In addition, our work to provide scientific, technical, and policy support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and in defense of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was recognized in the Tribes win in federal court requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to write a full environmental impact statement for DAPL. In our work to protect communities along the Eastern seaboard, a federal court of appeals vacated a permit to build a compressor station for the proposed Atlantic Coast gas pipeline, citing inadequate assessment of environmental justice impacts on Union Hill, a majority Black community in Virginia. NRDC also worked to secure protections for people as the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the U.S. during the spring of FY20. For example, we advocated that the HEROES Act include emergency food relief benefits to recipients of food stamps, funding support for local and regional food systems, and the issuing of emergency temporary standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect workers in healthcare, in grocery stores, and other workers from exposure to COVID-19. Due to the necessity of clean water, especially during a pandemic when public health experts recommend measures such as hand-washing and staying at home, we also advocated for government leaders to impose utility shutoff moratoria, to safely require households that have been disconnected from utilities to be reconnected, and to provide assistance to low-income utility customers-through action alerts, external sign-on letters, and press coverage. This led to the governor of Michigan issuing the moratorium on the practice of shutting off water in homes with unpaid bills, and the City of Chicago launching an emergency water program that provided bottled water for homes that were facing water reconnection delays. In order to safeguard states and communities from the oncoming challenges of climate change, NRDC helped build climate resilience and improve disaster preparedness in a number of ways. In North Carolina, our advocacy and recommendations led to the state of North Carolina releasing its Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan, which outlines the steps the state must take to address current and future impacts of climate change; and we also sponsored a workshop attended by government officials, researchers, and experts to share information and build a community of practice on managed retreat and buyouts in the U.S. In New York, NRDCs efforts led to the state passing legislation authorizing a $3 billion bond act to improve the states resilience to flooding, including flood risk reduction, resilient infrastructure, and water quality improvements.
Wildlife and Wildlands NRDC protects wildlife and unspoiled lands from inappropriate and unlawful industrial development, commercial exploitation, pollution, and climate change. We partner with ranchers, farmers, energy companies, and the government to promote solutions that help wild predators coexist with livestock and people. We push for international agreements that protect the elephants, rhinos, sharks, and other animals from being killed for trade. And we fight to keep reckless oil and gas drilling out of wild areas, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Canadian boreal forest. The main FY20 accomplishments and highlights in this category include: NRDC continued its work to protect endangered and other vulnerable species from becoming further endangered-through advocacy, litigation, and public outreach. Most urgently, we released an action plan to prevent future pandemics by restricting the wildlife trade and preventing habitat destruction. Other efforts included advocacy to protect the critically-endangered North Atlantic right whale, which led to a Senate appropriations bill that secured funding for its conservation, and to the re-introduction of the Save Right Whales Act. Additionally, we defended the Endangered Species Act in the courts, challenging the presidential administrations revised regulations that made it more difficult to protect species and their habitats. We published a report on the role of the U.S. in the lucrative and unsustainable global shark fin trade, and our advocacy informed a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. NRDC kept up efforts to defend unspoiled areas in the U.S. and worldwide from extraction and development. Most pressingly, we advocated to protect at least 30 percent of lands, waters, and oceans by 2030, from California to Chile to China, in order to respond to the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. In addition, our work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Capitol Hill encompassed advocacy on Capitol Hill, organizing coalition votes, galvanizing our members and online activists, and raising awareness in the public through social media, which led to the passage of legislation protecting the Refuges coastal plain from oil and gas development in the House of Representatives. Further, our advocacy and communications efforts led to the Los Angeles city council unanimously approving a motion to divest Log Angeles-one of the largest economies in the world-from corporations profiting from the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. We also worked to secure the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in the Senate, which aims to fund programs for enhancing access to nature and preserving habitats. NRDC also worked in FY20 to promote the health of rivers and streams that promote ecological health for wildlife and people. For example, we worked with partners to bring a lawsuit to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for rolling back existing protections for salmon and other endangered species in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Our advocacy was also instrumental to a House resolution highlighting the importance and success of federal clean water protections, in which we played a central role in developing. PART III LINE 4D International From China to India to the Americas, NRDCs international work leverages our scientific, economic, and policy expertise to advance key environmental programs that will help build a better future across the world. Our highlights from this past fiscal year are as follows: NRDC continued to advance climate resilience work in India by helping create programs and policies that support peoples health, such as entering into an agreement with partners to create programs on air pollution and cool roofs in Pune, a city of five million people; and issuing reports and holding workshops with government officials, academics, and civil society leaders about air pollution and sustainable cooling. In recognition of our work on the Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan, which has prevented about 1,190 deaths each year due to extreme heat in the city of Ahmedabad, NRDC and partners were nominated as the finalists for the Ashden Award, an honor of excellence in climate solutions. NRDC also continued its climate mitigation work in India, such as authoring reports on clean energy infrastructure, including siting for electric vehicle charging stations, and on clean energy jobs, which found that Indias renewable energy jobs sector grew five-fold in the past five years. Other notable work in India included the establishment of a Green Window, a $100 million facility for catalyzing climate financing and growing clean energy markets. In Canada, NRDC kept up its fight against tar sands expansion in the courts, which resulted in a legal win when a federal court invalidated the permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline that allowed it to be built across U.S. waters via an opaque process, and another achievement in which Teck Resources cancelled its plans to build the Frontier tar sands mine, the largest one ever proposed. We also persevered in our efforts to protect the boreal forest in Canada by calling on Proctor & Gamble and Costco to stop sourcing materials from the carbon-critical boreal forests at their high-level meetings; leading a public awareness campaign on using recycled toilet paper instead of products sourced from old-growth forests; and launching a summit in Ottawa to explore opportunities in advancing solutions that support climate, biodiversity and Indigenous rights. In China, NRDCs sustained efforts to reduce coal and oil and consumption by sharing applicable research and policy recommendations with governmental agencies, financial and business leaders, and other stakeholder organizations. Our work ranged from roundtables on decarbonizing the power sector, publishing of guidelines on energy performance benchmarking for existing large buildings, and a first online training on reducing coal consumption in Shanxi, Chinas third largest coal user. Additionally, the Chinese government adopted a decision to further ban the illegal trade of wildlife and eliminate the consumption of wild animals, owed in part to our recommendations supporting the revision of regulations in managing wild animals. In Latin America, NRDC worked to promote decarbonization, wildlife protection, and climate resilience, ranging from holding webinars to exchange water management solutions between stakeholders in Chile, Mexico, and the U.S.; holding a panel on landscape restoration in Latin American countries during COP25 in Madrid, Spain; and presenting recommendations on sustainable transportation to Mexicos financial sector to spur financing solutions for climate-resilient transportation infrastructure.
Clean Energy Future NRDCs Clean Energy Future work aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with a 1.5-degree Celsius increase pathway by 2050, in accordance with 2018 guidance issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In FY20, this category of work broadly comprised of advancing climate goals in government, advancing clean energy, and defending the climate and environment. NRDC focused much of its efforts on driving systemic change on clearn eneergy-from partnering with businesses and communities to expanding or reforming clean energy infrastructure to working with state and local governments to speed up the transition off of fossil fuels. At the same time, we continued to focus on defending the climate and environment protections at all levels, especially in the courts. Some top climate and energy accomplishments include the following: During this past fiscal year, NRDC worked on advancing climate goals and policy in Congress and in state governments. We advocated alongside other environmental groups and business leaders to press the House Energy & Commerce Committee for an ambitious, equitable climate bill, which will serve as a foundation for climate legislation in the next Congress. We also helped drive the legislation outlining "100% Clean" goals by 2050 in the House, and provided policy recommendations on climate change fort the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. In Nevada, the governor signed an executive order we helped develop coordinating the states agencies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. NRDC played key roles in FY20 in creating systemic changes toward a fossil fuel-free future on both federal and state levels. In energy efficiency and building electrification, the International Code Council officially approved the 2021 update to the national building energy code-which will prevent millions of tons of carbon pollution each year-following months of extensive NRDC enagement and advocacy. NRDC was also able to play a key part in a broad coalition in New York State to push it to increase investments for energy efficiency in buildings, which it did by additional $2 billion and will play a significant role toward the states greenhouse gas reduction goals. In addition, NRDC also made progress in laying the groundwork for advancing clean energy in the transportation sector, the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, by accelerating the transition to clean energy. For example, we advocated for consumer incentives for electric vehicle (EV) purchasing in the Midwest and in New Jersey, which led to the introduction of a tax rebate bill in the Ohio Senate, and a landmark legislation creating a $300 million rebate program for EV buyers in New Jersey. NRDC also helped craft a settlement agreement to improve San Diego Gas & Electric's proposed commercial EV rate-an agreement that is expected to set an important precedent for EV commercial rate reform across the country. Our efforts this past fiscal year also included protecting the climate and environment from further assaults by federal agencies within the presidential administration. We defended existing clean car standards by litigating the EPA and the Department of Transportations final rules rolling back greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for model years 2021 through 2026, and by joining with partners to publicly rebuke automakers that joined the presidential administrations efforts to roll back standards. Further, we defended clean air protections by submitting extensive comments on EPA's "do nothing" proposal on national ambient air quality standards for soot pollution, stressing the urgent need for public health protections. NRDC also persisted in our court efforts against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over its unlawful approval of a Liquified Natural Gas project in Coos Bay, Oregon, which FERC had rejected four years prior. NRDC continued its work to curb the use of climate-warming gases. We made big strides to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas, by litigating a successful lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit challenging EPAs rollbacks of restrictions on the use of HFCs, by helping craft legislation in Congress to implement HFC commitments nationally under the Kigali Agreement, and by advocating in states to limit the use of HFCs, which led to Colorado and Virginia approving mandates to do so. Our work also led to two House committees passing pipeline safety legislation to upgrade leak detection and repair, and to block the administrations proposed repeal of current EPA methane standards. standards.

Form 990s for Natural Resources Defense Council

Fiscal year endingDate received by IRSFormPDF link
2019-062020-11-10990View PDF
2018-062019-06-19990View PDF
2017-062018-09-12990View PDF
2016-062017-09-21990View PDF
2015-062016-08-10990View PDF
...and 5 more Form 990s

Who funds Natural Resources Defense Council

Grants from foundations and other nonprofits
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater BostonDaf - Environment$7,516,450
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...and 689 more grants received
Federal funding details
Federal agencyProgram nameAmount
 Subscribe to view███████ ██ █████ ██████ ██ ████$░░░,░░░
 Subscribe to view████ ████ ██ ██████ ██████$░░░,░░░
...and 1 more federal grants / contracts

Grants made by Natural Resources Defense Council

GranteeGrant descriptionAmount
NRDC Action FundEnv. Advocacy$1,597,000
 Subscribe to view██ ████$999,999
 Subscribe to view██ ████$999,999
 Subscribe to view██ ████$999,999
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...and 90 more grants made

Financials for Natural Resources Defense Council

RevenuesFYE 06/2020
Total grants, contributions, etc.$187,198,934
Program services$4,671,787
Investment income and dividends$3,054,202
Tax-exempt bond proceeds$0
Royalty revenue$0
Net rental income$0
Net gain from sale of non-inventory assets$2,608,276
Net income from fundraising events$-122,915
Net income from gaming activities$0
Net income from sales of inventory$0
Miscellaneous revenues$175,551
Total revenues$197,585,835

Personnel at Natural Resources Defense Council

Gina McCarthyPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Andrew WetzlerChief Financial Officer
Mercedes FalberChief Communications Officer$232,996
 Subscribe to viewChief Information Officer$238,015
 Subscribe to viewChief Administrative Officer$285,279
...and 20 more key personnel

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General information
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
Metro area
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
Website URL
(212) 727-2700
Facebook page
Twitter profile
IRS details
Fiscal year end
Taxreturn type
Form 990
Year formed
Eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub 78)
NTEE code, primary
C30: Natural Resources Conservation and Protection
NAICS code, primary
813312: Environment, Conservation, and Wildlife Organizations
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Central organization