Treehugger's Diversity Pledge

To our readers,

Our mission at Treehugger may be to help the planet, but we can’t do that in a vacuum. Issues of oppression and systemic racism are inextricable from the climate crisis, and its consequences disproportionately affect marginalized groups. Extreme weather events, food shortages, contaminated drinking water, toxic waste, exposure to environmental hazards at both work and home, and other impacts of the climate crisis hit communities of color the hardest. 

Our founder Graham Hill once said, “We’re not blue or red, we’re green.” We get what he meant: environmental issues affect everyone, so they should transcend politics. But these issues do not affect everyone equally. We cannot ignore the racist economic and social policies that continue to force people of color to shoulder the greatest burdens of the climate crisis.  

Forward progress on environmental issues cannot be achieved without addressing systemic racism. More than simply standing for the environment, we must stand for environmental justice, which includes speaking up about inclusivity, equality, and human rights.  

Sure, we have talked about diversity, but it’s time to really walk the walk. We are committed to being actively anti-racist, and we owe you, our readers, a concrete plan of action. Below, you will find the terms of our Diversity Pledge. This will be a work in progress and will evolve as we do, but we promise to never be just “green” again.

Our definition of diverse includes diversity of race, culture, gender identity/sexual orientation, age, body type, and ability. 

  • Diversify our contributors. We pledge to diversify our in-house and contributor teams, including writers, editors, and fact checkers. We view this as an editorial imperative — we cannot adequately cover climate and environment issues without a diversity of voices.  
  • Highlight diverse voices and perspectives. We pledge to seek out diverse experts in sustainability and STEM when looking for sources for our stories. By Sept. 30, we will increase the number of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) sources represented in our new content by 15 percent. In addition, we pledge to center diverse voices and perspectives in our Treehugger Voices section. We will commission features and personal essays that address the connections between the climate crisis and the lived experiences of marginalized people around the world.
  • Eliminate bias. We will conduct a thorough audit of our existing library to ensure that the language we use is always inclusive and anti-racist. By Sept. 30, we will evaluate and update articles accounting for 50 percent of our traffic.
  • Share our platform. We pledge to share our platform with grassroots BIPOC-led environmental organizations. We can organize social media takeovers, publish op-eds by organization leaders, and more. We will listen to grassroots leaders to learn how we can best amplify their voices. 

We are committed to being fully transparent about our progress on these initiatives. Starting Sept. 30, we will release a report each quarter outlining our progress, learnings, and future opportunities to improve. If you have any questions about our plan, suggestions for how we can improve it, or referrals for writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, or other contributors, please email us at contact@treehugger.com. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.