Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Biodiversity strengthens nature. Diversity strengthens EDF.

At Environmental Defense Fund, we believe that by creating a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, we will foster greater strength and resilience within and beyond the organization. Learn more about EDF’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion here.

Climate change impacts everyone differently. It disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income communities. Each year, in addition to private sector placements, fellows are placed at public sector institutions – such as housing authorities and city agencies – and nonprofit organizations. To date, we have placed nearly 400 fellows with more than 180 public sector and nonprofit organizations. Some of these fellowships have contributed to advancing environmental justice – such as driving improvements in energy efficiency and supporting climate resiliency in frontline communities. See Ricardo Careaga’s project with the American Red Cross in 2019 as an example of this work.

In order to develop the most innovative and inclusive environmental solutions, we need sustainability leaders who represent these communities. The Climate Corps program is proud that our fellows represent a diverse population of individuals with different experiences, backgrounds and identities – both visible and invisible – such as race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation. In 2020, over 40% of fellows working in the U.S. self-identified as persons of color and 60% identified as female. Approximately 20% were international students. We believe this diversity makes our program stronger.

Climate Corps is committed to continuing to improve upon diversity, equity, inclusion and justice across all areas of our program. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • expanding fellow recruitment to reach a more diverse group of applicants,
  • fostering an inclusive environment during the fellowship and within our alumni community,
  • identifying and enacting opportunities to be more equitable in program processes, and 
  • deploying more fellows to work on environmental justice projects. 

There is still much work to be done and we welcome any feedback and suggestions on ways to develop and improve.