(CNN)The movement for a cleaner, greener world has grown increasingly popular as the climate crisis has worsened, and organizations such as Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund, now household names, have raised millions to save species, cut down on pollution and slow the effects of climate change.
The world's top environmental organizations are still predominantly White, a new report finds
But many environmental organizations are still predominantly staffed and led by White employees, a new report finds. And with few people of color on staff, racial disparities in who's impacted most by harmful environmental policies will continue, a leading environmental justice expert says.
A report from Green 2.0, a group that advocates for improved diversity among environmental groups, found that 40 of the top environmental justice organizations in the United States and worldwide are mostly White. Though many of the organizations evaluated have made an effort in the past four years to increase the number of staffers and board members who are Black and people of color, the report shows the green movement has a long way to go in terms of racial parity in leadership.
NBC News first reported on the findings.
Green 2.0 evaluated employment data submitted by 40 environmental non-profits, non-governmental organizations and advocacy groups and compared that to data submitted since 2017. Between 2017 and 2020, most of the organizations added on average six people of color to their staffs, Green 2.0 reported.
According to the report, the international environmental group Greenpeace has made notable strides since 2017, when 31.4% of its full-time staff were people of color. In 2020, more than 40% of its staffers were people of color, though just over a quarter of them were senior staff, with most of those positions still held by White staffers.
World Wildlife Fund, an international organization with a focus on animal conservation, made little progress in racial equity. People of color have made up between 25% to just over 26% of its full-time staff from 2017 to 2020, the report found, and most of its board members are White, too.
The National Audubon Society, a non-profit that focuses on bird conservation, added 6% more people of color to its full-time staff for a total of 24% -- still less than a quarter. Senior staff at the Rainforest Action Network, a San Francisco-based non-profit for rainforest conservation, are more than 77% White.
Andrés Jimenez, executive director of Green 2.0, said it's not enough to hire more people of color. Structural change within an organization requires buy-in from leaders.
"If you don't create a workplace envi