Brighter Green Locally Advocates for Global Sustainability

by Alexina Cather, MPH
Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: Brighter Green

What they do: Individually and in partnership with other organizations and individuals, Brighter Green generates and incubates research and project initiatives that are both visionary and practical. It produces publications, websites, documentary films, and programs to illuminate public debate among policy-makers, activists, communities, influential leaders, and the media, with the goal of social transformation at local and international levels.

How they do it: Brighter Green focuses on the multiple challenges to, and possible solutions for, conservation, sustainable development, animal welfare, and human rights. Working in the U.S. and internationally, with special emphasis on emerging economies and countries in Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific rim, they draw attention to the ways in which these seemingly separate concerns are inextricably linked.

Brighter Green’s goal is to raise awareness and encourage policy action by providing information to governmental decision-makers, non-governmental organizations, and the media so that they, in turn, can educate the public, generate debate, shape opinion, and bring about systemic change.

Brighter Green works in four main areas:

  • The Asia Program links community-based and non-governmental organizations, universities, researchers, and media outlets from Asia and other parts of the world to support the development of sustainable food systems through the exchange of knowledge and public education. Their focus is on China, but they are expanding their efforts at collaboration throughout Asia.
  • The Globalization of Factory Farming Program consists of policy papers, briefs, and short documentary videos examining the globalization of industrial animal agriculture in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, and India through the lens of climate change, as well as the growth of the dairy industry in Asia.
  • Through their International Climate Advocacy Program, Brighter Green holds seminars, workshops, and presentations at global climate conferences in order to educate policy-makers and opinion-formers about creating meaningful pathways to genuinely sustainable development on a planetary scale.
  • The Vegan America Project is an ongoing writing, presentation, and research project that uses veganism as a way to think about how the U.S. might adapt to ensure food security, animal welfare, and social transformation in the face of climate change.

Mission: Based in New York, Brighter Green is a public policy action tank that works internationally to raise awareness of and encourage policy action on issues that span the environment, animals, and sustainability.

Latest project/campaign: The Green Dining Tour in China. In 2018, Rafi Taherian, associate vice president of Yale Hospitality and head of Yale University’s food services, went on a speaking tour throughout China in which he presented Yale’s “dining policy, vision, and strategy, [to] encourage Chinese universities to make commitments to serve ‘greener food.’”

Major Funding: VegFund, Open Philanthropy Project, A Well-Fed World, Animal Welfare Trust, and individual donors.

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: N/A

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: The organization operates out of a NYSERDA certified “green” workspace: all energy is wind-powered and all food is plant-based and composted.


Location: 165 Court Street #171, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Core Programs: Public Policy Research and Analysis on Food Policy and Equity, Sustainability and Community, Climate Change, Livelihoods, and Rights; the Vegan America Project.

Number of staff: 5

Number of volunteers: N/A

Areas served: Brooklyn, National, International

Year Started: 2008

Director: Mia MacDonald

Contact Information: (212) 414-2339 ext. 17

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