Since 1970, Earth Day has been a catalyst for ongoing education, action, and change. Our mission is to carry the enthusiasm and spirit of Earth Day into the 21st Century to meet today's environmental challenges.
Earth Day Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes environmental awareness and solutions through partnerships with schools, community organizations, businesses, and governments. We do so through year-round programs as well as our annual Earth Day events.
Earth Day began in 1970 when a perfect storm of public awareness, political will, and dedicated activism converged to create one of the largest demonstrations in human history. More than 10,000 events engaged 20 million people across America. Everyone from housewives to Hollywood actors took part in the first Earth Day events. Over the years, Earth Day has continued as an annual call to action from classrooms to board rooms. The inclusiveness of the first Earth Day has only grown as Earth Day events have spread around the world.
Our organization was founded by a broad coalition of environmental groups to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day in New York City in 1990. We organized the largest event ever held in Central Park and every year since then have organized large-scale events in landmark locations. We have also grown into year-round programs and partnerships that all aim to bring the enthusiasm and spirit of Earth Day into our daily lives to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st Century.
John Oppermann, Executive Director
John is Executive Director of Earth Day Initiative. John manages the breadth of Earth Day Initiative's activities, from its annual Earth Day events to its year-round programs, which include a classroom gardens program and a sustainable food toolkit aimed at high school students. Prior to joining Earth Day Initiative, John worked in both corporate law and energy and climate change policy. He has experience coordinating and researching projects focused on the national electricity grid, renewable energy legislation, and international conservation regulation. He has published his work on Latin America’s role in global deforestation talks. He is also a licensed real estate broker who focuses on green residential real estate options. John graduated with a B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Pamela Lippe, Founder and President
Pam is an innovative professional with 15 years of experience as a green-building consultant and over 35 years in the environmental and communication fields. Through e4, her green-building consulting firm, she was the consultant to the Durst Organization on the first “green” skyscraper built in the US. She continues to work on most Durst projects, including the new 2.2 million square-foot Bank of America Tower at 1 Bryant Park, which achieved LEED Platinum certification.
Pam serves as President of the Earth Day Initiative board. Going back to the 20th anniversary celebration of Earth Day in 1990, which engaged roughly two million people, Pam annually helps to organize the largest Earth Day events in the country. Since 1996, Earth Day Initiative has aimed a number of its educational campaigns at the real-estate community, including the Lessons Learned publications, which have been well received throughout the industry. Pam was one of the co-founders of Earth Day Network and regularly launches Earth Day programs that reach well beyond New York.
We extend our sincere appreciation to all of our funding partners. We could not do what we do to broaden the environmental community and support the ongoing and important work of a wide range of environmental groups without their support. You can find out more about some of our funding partners on our sponsors page.
President (e4, inc.)
Chairman (Bromley Companies)
Secretary (Environmental Defense Fund)
Treasurer (Columbia University)
Board Member (Project for Public Spaces)
Board Member (NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability)
Board Member (The Durst Organization)
Board Member (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Board Member (Howe & Addington)
Robert T. Schanz
Board Member (West Harlem Environmental Action)
Board Member (Robocast)
Board Member (GreeNow)