Greenwash & Public Relations

Today CorpWatch is releasing the fifth in a series of articles written by members of the Alliance for a Corporate-Free UN documenting violations of UN Global Compact Principles by the very companies that have signed onto the controversial UN Compact.
A major U.S. government report on the Keystone XL pipeline was written by oil industry consultants, say activist groups. The report, which was commissioned by the State Department and published two weeks ago, downplays the environmental impact of the pipeline and has been seen as key to potential approval.
The California Supreme Court delivered a stiff warning to businesses Thursday, ruling that a San Francisco man can sue Nike Inc. for false advertising for allegedly lying about working conditions at Asian factories where its athletic shoes and clothes are made.
Members of the Alliance for a Corporate-Free UN, a grouping of non-governmental groups from around the world, send letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan outlining major proposed changes to the Global Compact.
In 2000 British Petroleum launched an expensive ad campaign, re-branding its corporate image into the eco-friendly "BP: Beyond Petroleum." We said it then. When a company spends more on advertising its environmental friendliness than on environmental actions, that's greenwash. Three long weeks into the BP oil disaster roiling the Gulf of Mexico, CorpWatch's December 2000 skewering of its new image sadly, bears repeating.
At the occassion of the start of PrepCom IV (Bali, 27 May -- 7 June 2002) we herewith send you the Girona Declaration. The Bali event is last preparatory conference before the UN's World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Rio+10. The declaration -- signed by over 30 groups from around the world -- is a result of the strategy session ''Rio+10 and Beyond: Strategies Against the Greenwash of Corporate Globalisation'', held March 18-20 2002 in Girona, Spain.
108 heads of state from 172 countries were busy saving the planet at the earth summit Rio. It is difficult to say how the earth summit has improved the environment and helped those most in need. But it is much easier to say that in 1992, the web was a toddler in contrast to the speeding giant of mass communications it now is, giving a voice to all who can get online.
While the world's biggest CEOs and politicians gather in Davos, Switzerland to network and negotiate, activists and NGO-workers meet halfway around the world in Porto Alegre, Brazil to imagine other, more humanity-focused possibilities.
The world's leading ozone destroyer takes credit for leadership in ozone protection. A major agrichemical manufacturer trades in a pesticide so hazardous it has been banned in many countries, while implying it is helping feed the hungry.
This paper, ''Partnerships for Development or Privatization of the Multilateral System?'' was presented at a seminar organised by the North-South Coalition in Oslo, Norway.