How We Work

NRDC combines the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 lawyers, scientists, and policy advocates to secure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. We’ve been doing it since 1970, with a powerful track record of success. Here’s our secret formula for effectiveness.


NRDC advocacy is firmly grounded in meticulous research and sound scientific principles. Our experts, drawing on their knowledge and experience in disciplines ranging from molecular biology to nuclear physics, examine critical environmental challenges and identify the most effective solutions. Our work is rigorously reviewed to ensure its credibility. Learn more


Clean Air Act? Check. Clean Water Act? Check. NRDC helped pass our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, and our seasoned attorneys have argued all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure those laws are enforced and polluters are held accountable. We take on the world’s most powerful corporations and win, delivering justice and standing with those who fight for their right to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. Learn more


Creating blueprints for lasting environmental change isn’t enough. We have to persuade decision makers to adopt those innovative solutions, so NRDC’s advocates work at every level, from mayors’ offices to the halls of Congress to international negotiating tables. Our successful track record means those decision makers listen to our advice, and when they need an extra push, we mobilize strategic coalitions and the grassroots power of millions of citizen activists to urge elected officials to put the public interest ahead of polluting industries.


At the Center for Market Innovation, some of the smartest minds in the business world put their economic expertise to work on ways to spur global prosperity while improving our environment and communities. We pioneer strategies to make buildings more efficient, improve green infrastructure, and encourage manufacturers to clean up the fashion industry. Our advocates push for local, state, and national policies that expand markets for environmentally sustainable products and services. Learn more


No organization, no matter how motivated, can change the world alone. To help shield communities from pollution and build political strength, NRDC joins forces with a diverse network of allies: leaders of low-income communities and communities of color concerned about air pollution, religious groups calling for climate action, ranchers committed to living peacefully with wolves and grizzlies, and brewers whose success depends on clean water, and many more. NRDC also collaborates with a broad range of international partners to build the momentum needed to secure stronger environmental safeguards and build a better future for us all.