Greenwash & Public Relations

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan called here on Sunday for more corporations to get serious about environmental protection, human rights and labor standards -- and lobbied them to come on board the UN's Global Compact for corporate responsibility.
In Canada's British Columbia, ExxonMobil, Talisman, Shell, and other energy giants are racing to tap the region's "sour gas". But the potential toxicity of the gas is being ignored.
The first Greenwash Award goes to Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI)/Zeneca**, for its full page advertisement ''Paraquat and Nature Working in Perfect Harmony.''
NEW YORK -- CorpWatch warned today that the newly formed Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD), an industry grouping organized to influence the Earth Summit in 2002 will be scrutinized and monitored by NGOs concerned with excessive corporate influence at the UN.
A $50 billion plan by a Hong Kong based developer to cut a canal through Nicaragua to allow ocean going cargo ships cross back and forth from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean has suffered major setbacks after fierce opposition by environmentalists and local communities.
Since Aventis signed on to the Global Compact in July 2000, their genetically engineered StarLinkTM corn has illegally contaminated the food supply and seed stock. A look at the company's behavior regarding StarLink shows that before, during and after signing the Compact, Aventis violated Global Compact's Principle 7, which is drawn from the Rio Declaration and supports ''a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.''
In the months following the discovery and expose of Unilever's polluting practices in Kodaikanal, many of the responses and statements by the company have been contrary to facts. The time line below outlines a few. (Emphasis is the author's.)
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.