Welcome Letter from the Chief Executive

Thanks very much for your interest in the Director of Communities and Networks position at Friends of the Earth.

It was a great honour to become Chief Executive of this amazing organisation in July 2015. I didn’t want this job just so I could crank the Friends of the Earth machine for one more cycle. I wanted it so I could take Friends of the Earth to the next level; from good to great. I’m now looking to appoint the Senior Leadership Team that will help me do that.

Over the last 45 years, Friends of the Earth has run many powerful and successful campaigns that have resulted in lasting change, from doorstep recycling in every town, to the phase out of leaded petrol, protection for our best wildlife sites, the world’s first climate change act, solar panels on more than 600,000 houses, five years without fracking, and much much more besides. We’ve also joined the dots across the issues to build a bigger picture narrative that helped make concern about the environment part of the mainstream, and we’ve never been shy to tell truth to power.

However, the vast majority of environmental trends are still going in the wrong direction. Too often, our amazing natural world plays second fiddle to short term market fundamentalism, political expediency and a “can’t do” mentality. Too often, the poorest communities are those that suffer most from environmental problems caused predominantly by the richest and most powerful.

Our vision is a healthy environment that provides a decent life for all generations to come. We’re optimistic and ambitious about how fast we can reach our vision, but we can’t fix everything instantly. So we’ve just set a medium term goal to provide focus for everything we do; by 2030, the next generation will enjoy an environment that’s getting better - a safer climate, flourishing nature, healthy air, water and food.

There are five step changes needed in Friends of the Earth’s performance to deliver this goal (outlined in more detail within the microsite). These step changes are led by an outstanding team of Directors appointed last summer, each focused on one step change in particular, but also working together to ensure they work as a package, with a Director of Finance and Regulatory Affairs to ensure this entrepreneurial phase of our history is underpinned by sustainable finances and effective organisational systems.


I am now looking for a Director of Communities and Networks to transform how we inspire, enable and empower people to come together to take action in support of our goal; creating a stronger, more dynamic and impactful movement for change characterised by fun, friendship and solidarity. Our aim is for Friends of the Earth to be the place where anyone can come to affect impactful change online and offline – at a local, national and international level. We need to ensure that they will feel welcome, confident and supported in taking action with us no matter their background, geography, experience or how much time they have to offer – and that they have fun along the way. 

You will need to be comfortable working in an environment where change is the only constant, and where you are constantly looking for new opportunities to deliver impact while ensuring successful completion of previous projects. You will need the passion and ability to bring fresh insight and successfully embed new approaches, working with people right across the organisation, not just in your own department.

On the rest of this microsite you will find more information about the specific role, our work and plans for the future. If you believe you have the qualities and skills we need to be involved in writing the next chapter of the Friends of the Earth story, I would love to hear from you.

Craig Bennett

CEO, Friends of the Earth


Organisational vision and goal 

Our vision is a healthy environment that provides a decent life for all generations to come. 

We’re optimistic and ambitious about how fast we can reach our vision, but we can’t fix everything instantly. So we’ve set a medium term goal to provide focus for everything we do: 

By 2030, the next generation will enjoy an environment that’s getting better: a safer climate, flourishing nature, healthy air, water and food. 

Five step changes we will make to reach our goal

Friends of the Earth has identified five step changes that are required in the organisation to enable delivery of the new strategy:

  • A step change in the long term impact of Friends of the Earth’s campaigns, and the number of people engaging in them
  • A step change in our supporter experience, increasing the long term loyalty, value and impact of our supporter base
  • A step change in how Friends of the Earth champions disruptive innovation externally and internally in support of our organisational goal
  • A step change in how Friends of the Earth inspires, enables and empowers people to come together to take action in support of our goal
  • A step change in the impact, effectiveness and diversity of people at Friends of the Earth