The Miss Earth winner is the spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other environmental organizations.The Miss Earth Foundation also works with the environmental departments and ministries of participating countries, various private sectors and corporations, as well as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
Carousel Productions organized and launched the first Miss Earth beauty pageant in 2001 to actively promote the preservation of the environment.
Those who participate in the pageant are involved with humanitarian and environmental causes. The pageant winner is expected to be involved in international projects, which are also promoted during the pageant's broadcast. The delegates also take part in tree planting ceremonies, environmental and cultural immersion programs, sponsor visits and tours.
In October 2001, Miss Earth adopted the slogan "Beauties For a Cause", but it was in 2003 when the first "beauty for a cause" prize was awarded. In 2004, the Miss Earth Foundation was created to further the pageant's causes and to work with local and international groups and non-governmental organizations that are actively involved in conservation and improvement of the environment. The Miss Earth Foundation campaign focuses in educating the youth in environmental awareness. Its major project “I Love Planet Earth School Tour," teaches and distributes educational aides for school children.
The Miss Earth pageant has grown over the years, with an increasing number of countries participating each year. The number of national Miss Earth pageants has grown on every continent as well.
The Miss Earth pageant started to cohost in 2006 the United Nations Environment Programme's Champions of the Earth, an annual international environment awards established in 2005 by the United Nations to recognize outstanding environmental achievers and leaders at a policy level.
In 2006, the host country Chile failed to meet the requirements of the host committee; the pageant was moved back to the Philippines.
Since it began the pageant has been held annually in the Philippines, either October or November, and televised nationwide via ABS-CBN and Studio 23 with international delayed telecasts in more than 80 countries via Star World and The Filipino Channel.