Bellona Foundation

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The Bellona Foundation
Industry Environmentalism
Founded June 16, 1986
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Area served
Norway, EU, Russia and U.S
Key people
Frederic Hauge (co-founder)
Number of employees
About 70 (2010)

The Bellona Foundation is an international environmental NGO based in Oslo, Norway. Founded in 1986 by Frederic Hauge and Rune Haaland as a direct action protest group to curb Norway's oil and gas industry pollution, it became multi-disciplinary and international in scope and now maintains offices in Oslo, Murmansk, St. Petersburg, Brussels and Washington, D.C. To achieve its goal Bellona employs ecologists, scientists with expertise ranging from the natural to social sciences, engineers, economists, lawyers, and journalists.


Through branches located in Europe and North America, Bellona works with groups of environmental activists, scientific experts, governments, and other NGOs to address the world’s most pressing environmental problems, find sustainable solutions and move towards the green society. These include dealing with climate change fall-out, the clean-up of the Cold War nuclear legacy in Russia, and the safety of the oil and gas extraction and processing in Norway and Europe.[1]

In 1998, the so-called "B7" partnership program with the private sector was developed by Bellona. It specified preferential goals, individual projects and programs to deal with the environmental concerns and issues. Altogether, seven focus areas were determined: environmental rights, international environment work, environmental management, environmental economy, environmental technology, energy and Envirofacts.


In 1994, the Bellona Foundation's report "Sources of Radioactive Contamination in Murmansk and Archangel Counties" raised serious concerns about the safety of the decommissioned soviet nuclear-powered submarines after the dissolution of the USSR.[2] In February 1996, Russian FSB arrested Bellona's Russian expert Alexander Nikitin, a former Soviet naval officer, and charged him with treason through espionage for his contributions to Bellona's report on the nuclear safety within the Russian Northern Fleet.[3] He was fully acquitted by the Russian Supreme Court in 2000.[4]

In 2003, Bellona accessed radioactive contamination at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing facility in England.[5]

At the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Bellona presented "101 Solutions to Climate Change".[6][7]

In 2013, Bellona Foundation filed a police report after it learned that a "disposal well in the Norwegian Sea owned by Norway’s state oil company Statoil leaked 3,428 tons of hazardous chemicals and oil based drilling fluids over six years at the Njord site".[8]


More than 100 businesses, organization and enterprises have partaken in the Bellona foundation's B7-program, since it was introduced in 1998. In 2003, among Bellona's B7 partnership program with business and industry were: Aker Kværner, Aker RGI, Applied Plasma Physics, Bertel O. Steen, Braathens, Conoco Phillips Norway, Coop Norge, E-CO, Eidesvik, Eiendomsspar, Energos Energy and Industry, Eramet, Ferrolegeringens Forskningsforening, Norwegian Fishing Vessels Owners Association, Fred Olsen, Marine Harvest, Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), Federation of Norwegian Processing Industries (PIL), Norway Post, Select Service Partner, Water Power Industries (WPI), Uniteam, Norske Shel, Skretting, Statkraft, and Statoil.[9]

The organization's cooperation with industry and business came about as a result of recognition by the Bellona Foundation that the environmental movement alone would not be able to impel the necessary changes in order to counter the impending threats against environment. Through B7 program, Bellona wanted to aid those enterprises that were willing to take the environment protection in earnest. It also wanted to offer businesses an arena on which they could take the step from being a part of the problem to becoming a part of the solution.

For example, though Bellona and Norway’s state oil company Statoil have somewhat opposing views on environmental issues, they both acknowledge that dialogue can be an important tool in order to introduce better environmental standards. Through constructive dialogue and by challenging each other they try to further the development of new and better solutions for tackling the global climate challenges through the development of forward-looking solutions. In particular, Bellona currently collaborates with the Statoil on development of the Snøhvit field on the Norwegian continental shelf, the world’s most northerly offshore gas-field.[10]


In 2001, the annual budget of Bellona was 25 million Norwegian kroner (NOK). Among the sources: 10 million Norwegian kroner came from selling advertising; 6 million was received from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for projects in Russia, and 1 million was received from the Norwegian government for general purposes; 6 million was received from business sector to implement the B7 program; 2 million came from sales of reports, donations and gifts.[11] Between 2005 and 2008, the Bellona Foundation was sponsored by the Norwegian oil company Statoil with 500,000 NOK (approximately €55,000).[10] Currently, Bellona does not provide public information about its budget.[12]


In Norway, the Bellona Foundation was criticized for "publicity seeking", and in Russia — for accepting funds from the Norwegian government.[13] Some maintain that Bellona damaged its environmental credibility by "cooperating with market agents", eventually turning into a consulting entity servicing business sector.[14]


  1. About Bellona, Official website
  2. Took, Roger. Running with Reindeer Encounters in Russian Lapland. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 2004.
  3. Charlton, Angela (13 September 2000). "Russian Whistle Blower Acquitted". Associated Press. Retrieved 28 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Old Habits Die Hard: Aleksandr Nikitin, the European Court of Human Rights, and Criminal Procedure in the Russian Federation". B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 25 (1): 190. 2002.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Bellona Report No. 8: Sellafield, Oslo: The Bellona Foundation, 2003. ISBN 82-92318-08-9
  6. Meg Lowman. The Bellona solution, Herald-Tribune, February 15, 2010.
  7. Bellona presents 101 Solutions
  8. Charles Digges. Bellona files police report against Statoil over six years of chemicals leaked into Norwegian Sea, Nuclear-News, 11 October 2013.
  9. Bellona Report № 7, 2003.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Snøhvit — Unlocking resources in the frozen North
  11. Cecilie Løne. Communicating Solutions for a Greener World: A case study of The Bellona Foundation’s communication process within the Hydrogen Project. University of Oslo, 2001.
  12. Partners, Official website
  13. Krupnick, Charles. Decommissioned Russian Nuclear Submarines and International Cooperation. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2001, p. 183.
  14. Grendstad, Gunnar. Unique Environmentalism: A Comparative Perspective. New York: Springer, 2006, p.125.

Further reading

External links