Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Greenpeace employee loses over $5 mn worth of donations in currency speculation

Published time: June 16, 2014 17:59
AFP Photo/Dominique Faget

AFP Photo/Dominique Faget

Environmental organization Greenpeace has acknowledged that a staff member lost a record $5.1 million in currency speculation. The group offered apologies, saying the finance employee was fired, but acted 'in the best interest of the organization.'

In a statement released by Greenpeace on Sunday, the organization said that its soon to be published 2013 annual report will show a budget deficit of 6.8 million euros (US$9.2 million) for the year. "This deficit includes the loss of 3.8 million euros ($5.1 million) from an ill judged contract aimed at managing foreign currency exchange costs," explained Greenpeace, saying it "understands that supporters and donors will rightly be surprised and disappointed by the loss."

The contracts, which were a "serious error of judgment" by the organization's international finance unit employee, speculated on a weak euro. Euro strengthening later in the year resulted in the huge loss of donation money, which Greenpeace had to file into its 2013 accounts.

It is indeed a sensitive amount for Greenpeace International, which had an income of 72.9 million euros ($98.9 million) in 2013, out of a global budget of around 300 million euros (over $400 million). Like many big charities, it usually agrees fixed-rate currency exchange deals with third-party brokers, not to be affected by market fluctuations.

In its statement, the organization said it understands that it can only exist thanks to supporters' trust and contributions, adding that it is "determined to ensure their trust is not misplaced."

The organization said those responsible for the miscalculation acted "beyond the limits of their authority and without following proper procedures." It offered a "full apology" to its supporters, but said there was "no evidence of personal gain." An independent audit of the error will be conducted.

Greenpeace reassured its donors that none of its frontline environmental campaigning would be financially affected, as adjustments for the losses would be made through "amending planned infrastructure investments" in the next couple of years.

It remains unknown whether the organization's supporters will overlook the lost funds. Greenpeace exists through donations from individual supporters rather than governments or corporations. Small donations of under 100 euros make up 90 percent of Greenpeace's funding – meaning nearly 40,000 of its supporters may have had their money lost in the speculation.


Greenpeace has recently faced criticism from those who believe it's the small things that make a big difference. When a giraffe was killed and dissected publicly at a zoo in Copenhagen in February, Greenpeace kept silent. "Maybe that’s because Marius [the giraffe] was, in all senses, a poor giraffe," some disappointed social media users suggested.

Comments (17)

 

Dominique Aelen 18.06.2014 13:03

Would the involved employee also be fired if the investment would have made profits? Would the story even have surfaced? It's not the employee who has made the rules. If heads role it should be those who allowed this to happen.

 

William Vague 18.06.2014 09:48

Charity a noble concept developed in the UK and now it's fastest growing business sector.
Don't be fooled into thinking that Greenpeace is run by a rag tag bunch of beard and sandal tree huggers.
The control will be in the hands of the offspring of the elite who receive expenses rather than a salary.
When you are on the board of a dozen or so greenpeaces your expenses can be lucrative if based in London.
Free lunches, free travel, charity galas, another extension of the entertainment exploitation racket.

Rus sia knows all about these NGO's from the West.

 

Blue 17.06.2014 18:16

They obviously need a government bailout like the big banks got.

View all comments (17)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us