How the vision became the new system to power Greenpeace websites.

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The successor of Planet 3, Planet 4 is the codename for the complete redesign of Greenpeace’s global content management system (CMS).

Ultimately built on WordPress, P4 was initially conceived not only as a tool to publish and manage web content, but to drive people to action.

It took the international team around 3 years to build the concept, design and implement P4 in more than 41 websites, this page contains the P4 story.


In May 2010 Greenpeace International completed the rollout of the a web Content Management System (CMS),  codename Planet 3, which was then adopted by 21 of 27 NROs. Planet 3 has been in operation for 7 years and in 2016 was at the end of its software lifecycle, requiring a large upgrade.

The Planet 4 project was initiated to analyse our users’ changed functional needs and the current overall software landscape in Greenpeace and deliver a new global website with the required people, processes and tools to implement and maintain P4.

The objective of the project was to deliver a new global website and publishing platform, including a new user experience and the structure to enable collaborative development with NRO’s. This includes managing the migration schedule of NRO websites and decommissioning of the old platform, but excludes the actual migration work that should be done by NRO’s.

In order to do this we need a team responsible for the initial development and rollout and the ongoing development and maintenance of the platform. It is foreseen that after the Planet 4 project the team also takes responsibility for development of other (engagement) systems.

For more background info, please check the Greennet pageThis page is only accessible to Greenpeace staff.


Planet 4, Greenpeace’s global content management system (CMS), is the engagement platform that has the potential to interface with the most people. It is how we can deliver the critical information of why people should lend their energy, their creativity, their resources to Greenpeace’s work. It must be first and foremost focused on how we build people power whenever people visit our web properties. 

Our thesis is that engagement will be most successful when we present ourselves to our supporters and our potential supporters through a clear representation of our values, with a clear proposition for why we exist, how people can become change agents through our work, and what we need them to do right now. 

Project Roadmap

The Project was split into five phases to the delivery of the first new site. More info in the Planet 4 Treasure Map.

Here’s the Planet 4 project phases:

A more complete project definition is available in our Project Baseline Document, which contains more information about the scope, the constraints, the expected team roles and structure, etc.


The main objectives of the Discovery phase has been to gather data to be able to make decisions during the next phase of the project.

You can find more information about the deliverables and approach in the Discovery Stage Plan document.

A full FAQ on this phase is also available.


>> The Planet 4 Concept is available <<

The main objective of the Concept phase was to create ideas and refine them into concepts using the outcome of the Discovery phase. These ideas will then help form the final design during the next phase of the project. Such concept phase is needed to make sure we design a product with the needs of our end users in mind, in alignment with the organisation strategy.

You can find more information about the deliverables and approach in the Concept Stage Plan document.

Audiences & personas 


Concerned about future generations and feel guilty for not doing more, want to set a good example. Internally motivated and have both expertise and (some) time to give. Regularly read environmental news, sign online petitions from time to time when they come via emails, but unsure of impact.

Goal(s): Leave their (and others’) children a healthy planet and improve the larger community.

Connected Evangelists

Thoughtful progressive beliefs based on widely accepted facts. Regularly share articles and post political opinions on social media. May engage in online debate. Feel strongly about ideas and want to enlighten others.

Goals: Share beliefs with reliable data. Validate beliefs

Frontline Defenders

Concerned about wages, well being and education of children and elders. On the front line of environmental issues such as water pollution and climate change. May be active in unions, work co-ops, or other community groups. May not think of themselves as “environmentalists” or know about organizations like Greenpeace.

Goals: Fix a specific issue; stand up, protect and confront egregious wrongdoing.


Concerned about the consistency, accuracy and functionality of the website. They might be campaigners, storytellers, media officers, or developers. They want control as editors, instead of handing things off to other people to produce.

Goals: follow guidelines to publish on behalf of GP

These three archetypes illustrate our initial audience for the Planet 4 project. Please read the Who are we designing for? Medium post to understand how these archetypes were selected. There are a number of documents linked from that article, all of which can be found in this folder. As we conduct interviews and learn more about what people need and want from Greenpeace web presences, these archetypes may change.

A full FAQ on this phase is also available.


>> The Planet 4 DESIGN (aka “Shedding Light“) is available <<

The main objective of the third project phase was to turn concepts and preparatory work into a clear picture of the user experience, the Planet 4 visual language, the complete technical approach and the performance measurement prototype.

You can find more information about the deliverables and approach in the Design Stage Plan document.


The main objective of the fourth project phase is to turn visual design into the actual first iteration of Planet 4: the prototype, which will be the Greenpeace International website.

You can find more information about the deliverables and approach in the Prototype Development Stage Plan document.

Links & Resources