Who we are

Active since 1996, Friends of the Earth – SPZ is a non-profit civic association protecting the environment and nature in Slovakia as well as in Europe.

We are focusing on two areas: reducing environmental pollution caused by waste and toxic substances, and we also partly promote sustainable solutions to other ecological problems and their related economic and social issues.

We try to stop activities, which have destructive effects on people and nature, but our main work is to create and implement positive sustainable solutions for the benefit of future generations and other live forms.

Friends of the Earth – SZP are independent from any government, party whether political or group interests.

Ethical values

We believe that:

  • Human action should be based on the respect for all life, which should not be needlessly destroyed.
  • Human society can only develop within the limits of its natural resource base, which means that there already needs to be a reduction in the use of resources as well as pollution.
  • Instead of focusing only on economic growth, which ignores ecological and social costs, it is necessary to focus on the quality of human life and protection of life on the Earth. The environmental protection and fulfillment of human needs are interconnected.
  • Everyone has the right to adequate provision of security needs and safe and healthy living environment.
  • Everyone has the right to participate in decision-making and assess the impact and intents of various activities from the point of view of environment and health.

Ways of working

  • Informing and education (information campaign, seminars, lectures, …)
  • Campaigns for stopping harmful activities
  • Helping villages and cities to reduce the amount of waste by development of separation and recycling and its valuation
  • Piloting projects which offer sustainable solutions (e.g.,. separation, composts, recycling, reducing the amount of waste)
  • Helping citizens and self-governing bodies in case of certain harmful intents to their environment. We help them to protect their right to healthy environment.
  • Research, monitoring, elaboration of expert analysis
  • Practical environmental events
  • Work on legislative changes


Friends of the Earth - SPZ has strict rules for preserving its independence and work ethics:

We do not accept financial support

  • from polluters of the environment,
  • from companies harming the nature and not respecting human rights,
  • and also not from state bodies of the Slovak Republic.

We accept material and financial support from individual supporters – people like you. We also accept the support from independent foundations and small entrepreneurs. We also create our own resources through our activities.

International activities

The most significant membership of the Friends of the Earth – SPZ is its membership in the association of environmental-social organizations Friends of the Earth Slovakia. Through the association, we are the member of the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), the biggest federation of ecological organization in the world, which is active in 71 countries.

We are also member of:

  • International POP´s Elimination Network (IPEN) – international network of 350 health, environmental and consumer organizations and experts from 65 countries. The network is active in elimination of toxic persistent organic chemicals.
  • Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) – coalition of 443 organizations, mostly health workers from 52 countries, working on protection of human life by minimization of harming of the environment from health care.
  • European Environmental Bureau (EEB) – federation of more than 140 civic organizations in Europe working on environmental protection, focusing on improving the legislations and strategies of the EU in the area of environmental protection.
  • Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) – coalition of non-governmental organizations and experts for cleaner alternatives to burning waste.

Our achievements

  • We helped to launch and improve the process of separating garbage for recycling / composting of organic waste in many Slovak villages and cities
  • We stopped 3 plans for building dangerous dumps and intents on building poorly projected incinerators of dangerous waste in three Slovak towns
  • We organized more than 400 educational events, we distributed more than 500,000 free information materials to public, self-governing entities, state bodies and schools
  • We managed to launch the sale of milk in refundable glass bottles, which are more environmentally friendly. This lasted for two years.
  • We reduced the use of problematically recyclable packaging of food in the city of Kosice and also increased the public awareness about ways of packaging, which are more considerate to the nature.
  • We have helped and still are helping many towns to build composting sites for organic waste.
  • We built and donated app. 500 home compost places for people, we helped to build 8 composting sites for towns. We provide services for shredding thick part of organic waste.
  • We have successfully accomplished practical actions for recycling secondary materials and old things – tens of tons that were supposed to become waste were used again thanks to this event, much of it was offered to the weak and socially excluded people, the rest was recycled.
  • Thanks to our cooperation with the town of Palarikovo, the town has subscribed to the international concept of ‘Heading to Zero Waste’ – since 1999 the town has lowered the amount of rubbish being dumped by more than 70%
  • We elaborated and published many expert studies mapping the environmental problems, legislation and cleaner alternatives – for example on the pollution of the environment in the Slovak Republic by toxic substances, such as DDT, PCB, dioxins
  • We elaborated and distributed guidelines and multimedia CDs, which contained practical guides for villages and cities to reduce waste and separating it for recycling, composting of organic waste, ideas for economical provision of separated recycling, the list of processors of secondary material… Thanks to this, all towns in the Slovak Republic got free important information, which help them to lower the amount of waste.
  • We had activities in more than 200 schools – many of them have established separation and recycling points and compost places.
  • We removed many misleading eco-marks .

We pushed for many important legislative changes

  • In the Law on Waste we contributed to: the adoption of ban on import of foreign waste to incinerators, cement mills; to the increasing of kinds of wastes a process which contributes to increase of their separated recycling; the ban on dumping and burning of green organic waste from 1st January 2006; removal of legislative constraints for building municipal compost places for organic waste (until the production of 10 tons of compost the agreement of state organs is no more necessary,…); obligation for towns to introduce separated waste from 1st January 2010
  • In the Law on Advertising, we managed to adopt the ban on putting non-requested advertising material in the mailboxes, in case the citizens express their disagreement beforehand (.e.g. if they mark their mailbox that they do not wish to get the advertising). This was aimed to reduce the amount of useless waste.
  • In the Law on Packaging we contributed to the adoption of obligatory conceptions of lowering the establishment and harmfulness of waste from packaging; obligations for shops to offer consumers drinks also in ecological packaging, which is refundable and reusable; and to the adoption of fixed amount of deposit so that consumers would not be discouraged from buying the products in refundable packaging.

Friends of the Earth - SPZ got many significant acknowledgments

  • 1st place for the best non-commercial project for the environmental protection, awarded by the international foundation Sasakawa Peace Foundation 2001
  • 2nd place for the best non-commercial project for the environmental protection, awarded by the international foundation Sasakawa Peace Foundation 1998
  • Price of Minister of Environment of the Slovak Republic in 2003 for the work on environment in Slovakia


Change of name from the Society of Friends of the Earth to Friends of the Earth – SPZ

Society of Friends of the Earth changed in February 2005 its name to Friends of the Earth – SPZ. Together with the name, it changed its logo too – from original heart with planet to circle symbol, which is the logo of the international federation Friends of the Earth (Friends of the Earth International - FoEI).

Slovak representative of FoEI is association Friends of the Earth Slovakia, composed from three civic organizations for environmental protection: Friends of the Earth – SPZ, Friends of the Earth – CEPA (until January 2005 the organization was active under the name Center for the Support of Local Activism – Maintainable Economy). Affiliated member is association for forests protection VLK.

Membership organization of Slovak Friends of the Earth decided to strengthen its influence and recognition of the association Friends of the Earth and use the single international logo and name “Friends of the Earth”, the latter membership organization uses only abbreviation to express its identity (in our case we use the shortcut of previous name).