Values

These are ILEA's core values:
· Perspective
· Urgency
· Courage
· Scientific Rigor
· Businesslike Ethic

Perspective

ILEA is driven by a hopeful, long-term vision of the future, specifically a sustainable global economy. Keeping this challenging and distant goal in sight ensures ILEA's integrity, and allows ILEA to make consistent and appropriate decisions throughout its lifetime. A distant goal gives ILEA the flexibility necessary to act most effectively at each moment in its history, and to change its means as necessary.

ILEA works toward a sustainable global economy in order to protect two fundamental and irreplaceable resources: biodiversity and human health. Every act that ILEA undertakes must not only work toward a sustainable economy, but must do so in the manner that most effectively minimizes the current threats to these two resources.

Urgency

Biologists agree that in the next 100 years Earth will lose between 1/3 and 2/3 of all species of living organisms, the work of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Meanwhile, anthropogenic climate change is not only accelerating the loss of biodiversity, but also threatens human health directly by disturbing the ecosystems that allow efficient food production and by allowing expanded migration of diseases.

We are losing species on a daily basis, and must curtail greenhouse gas emissions early in this century in order to have a reasonable chance at keeping the climate tolerably stable. Only with immediate, widespread education and action against these threats to biodiversity and human health, will the human race be able to work together to minimize the damages.

ILEA subscribes to the Precautionary Principle, meaning that it endorses taking fast and strong action against sufficiently dangerous environmental threats even if their danger is not yet fully proven.

Courage

ILEA releases clear and strong opinions on a corporate level, when these are in agreement with its Mission Statement and Core Values. ILEA's staff know that there is a severe environmental emergency at hand, and they believe themselves to be in the right to act on this emergency with vigor. ILEA has the courage to face controversy generated by conclusions it makes based on scientific fact or moral imperative. ILEA is outspoken in the name of education, urgency and movement toward a common goal.

Scientific rigor

ILEA applies the most rigorous possible scientific standards to data it collects and reports. ILEA's work as an advocacy organization must be founded in defensible science, and ILEA strives to be respected by the scientific community as a world-class repository of lifecycle energy analysis data. Every datum published by ILEA, electronically or in print, includes a traceable reference to its source or its derivation. Sound, documented research is the backbone supporting ILEA's courage to be outspoken, and provides realistic perspective on its goals.

Product analysis and ecolabeling decisions are always based on rigorous, technical standards independent of the business interests of the product manufacturers affected.

Businesslike ethic

ILEA recognizes that information reaching consumers consists primarily of advertising generated by the marketers of consumer products. ILEA believes that it must market itself and its message equally strongly to the corporations with whom it is competing for consumers' attention. Driven by its sense of urgency ILEA is willing to compete with other organizations in order to be the first to get the word out. The sense of urgency, drive to compete and desire for growth that have brought so much power to the business world can also bring great power to the nonprofit world.

ILEA draws the boundaries of its market sector carefully. This supports cooperation with organizations working in different ways toward the preservation of biodiversity and human health, and ensures that ILEA does not waste energy by spreading its efforts too thinly.

Last Modified on June 9, 2001.