WatchRAN: 30 Years

RAN’s theory of change is built right into our name. We identify the biggest problems, we find the right targets, and we take action.

In 1985, Randy “Hurricane” Hayes and Mike Roselle knew that if we wanted to make a difference for the planet, we had to go big. So RAN pioneered the corporate campaigning model. We target the biggest players— like Home Depot, Citicorp, or Chevron. We make big statements — like dropping banners in Union Square or shutting down a coal plant. And then we get them to the negotiating table — and the real work begins.

“RAN is the only organization that I know that works in the intersection of three different issues: preserving the rainforest, protecting the climate and defending human rights through the lens of corporate accountability”  

Van Jones

CNN political contributor, founder of Green for All & author of Rebuild the Dream

Honest and effective partnerships with Indigenous and frontline communities.

At RAN, we know that the best solutions for preserving ecosystems come from the communities that depend on them. Building lasting relationships and developing working partnerships is not only the right thing to do, but it is vital to achieving our mission. That’s why we have a long history of Community Action Grants, directly supporting activists across the globe — from South America to Africa, and from Appalachia to Southeast Asia.

“Some of the most savvy environmental agitators in the business.”

Wall Street Journal

We tackle some of the biggest problems of the 21st century — climate change, extreme fossil fuel extraction, massive deforestation and rampant labor abuse. But we don’t target one company at a time. We target whole industrial sectors.
We fight for systemic change because it’s not about what is possible — it’s about what is necessary.


1986

RAN hangs its first banner off the World Bank's headquarters.

Kicking off a worldwide movement to highlight the destructive lending practices of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, RAN hangs its first banner off the World Bank's Washington, D.C., headquarters.


1987

Where is that burger really coming from?

In 1987, RAN wins its first campaign right out of the gate when Burger King agrees to cancel $35 million in cattle contracts that tear up Central American rainforests.


1994

Hollywood and hardwood.

Under pressure from RAN, Hollywood's major studios agree to phase out the use of lauan,­ a tropical forest hardwood used in set design, and switch to alternative wood products.


1999

The New Alliance:

RAN was on the frontlines at the 1999 Seattle WTO Protests bringing together one of the earliest and strongest coalitions of labor, environmentalists and social justice advocates in the United States. 


1999

Home Depot commits to stop selling wood from endangered forests.

Home Depot, the world's largest wood products retailer, announces its commitment to stop selling wood from endangered forests. Within the next year, home improvement retailers Wickes Lumber, HomeBase, Menard's, Lowe's, 84 Lumber and Payless Cashways all commit to phase out wood from endangered forests.

From the start, our strategy is clear. We know that we have an incredible role as consumers to identify the biggest culprits of climate change, human rights violations, and rainforest destruction, and we can tarnish their reputation if we come together.


2001

3.5 million acres protected in the Great Bear Rainforest.

RAN and a coalition of allies, First Nations communities and logging companies announce the largest rainforest conservation measure in North American history, protecting more than 3.5 million acres of Canada's Great Bear Rainforest.
Photos: Marni Grossman


2003

"Boise and the Environment"

After three years of relentless RAN campaigning, Boise releases "Boise and the Environment", a policy that makes it the largest American forest products company to eliminate the logging and purchasing of wood and paper products from endangered forests.


2007

Toronto Dominion becomes the first Canadian bank to adopt a comprehensive environmental policy to guide its financing and operations

It is also the first bank to recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent over industrial projects in their traditional territories.


2008

RAN and allies convince ANZ, Australia's third largest bank, to not fund Australian logging giant Gunns Ltd's controversial Bell Bay pulp mill project in Tasmania.

The pulp mill would have accelerated the conversion of Tasmania's native and old-growth forests to woodchips for export to Japan.


2010

General Mills issues strongest palm oil policy to date.

General Mills issued one of the strongest palm oil policies to date and commits to getting all of its palm oil from responsible sources by 2015, supporting the call for a moratorium on peat forest conversion and requiring free prior and informed consent (FPIC) from impacted communities.


2011

Disney is the biggest publisher of children’s books in the world.

After direct RAN campaigning and 18 months of negotiations, they agreed to a worldwide policy to eliminate rainforest destruction not just from their book, but from all Disney paper products across the globe.

You’ve heard of David and Goliath?
Our corporate targets sure have. 
RAN defies the notion that a small group of people cannot take on the biggest corporations. We have the track record to prove the doubters wrong.


2012

Bank of America had the dubious title of being the number one funder of coal mining.

When we told them we wanted them to stop funding coal, they laughed. After four years of pressure and constant negotiations, they became the first bank in the world to publicly exit the coal mining sector.


2016

Millions of people see this iconic PepsiCo sign in New York every day.

Unfortunately, PepsiCo has become an icon of rainforest destruction and labor exploitation. In 2016, our network of activists dropped a 100 foot Cut Conflict Palm Oil banner on this sign to let Pepsi know that cheap snack foods are not worth orangutan extinction, burning forests and climate catastrophe.


2017

Abercrombie & Fitch Commits to a Wood-Based Fabrics Policy

Thanks to the work of RAN supporters, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. adopted a new policy to address deforestation and related human rights abuses in its supply chain.

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RAN directly supports organizations working on forest preservation and the community impacts of climate change. You can find out more and directly help support these organizations today.

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Together, we can have a hugely outsized impact on the planet. Thirty years of thousands of feet on the ground and hands together, hundreds of calls to decision makers and signs in the air, and we’ve got plans for more.

We fight the big fights, we ask the big asks, and with you, we can win.