Greenwash & Public Relations
Some 500 Angolan fisherfolk have demanded compensation from Chevron after an oil spill polluted the Mandarin and Mpuela shoreline in Cabinda last month, close to the California company's drilling operations. Under government orders, all fishing activity was banned for almost two weeks.
The U.S. multinational Dow Chemical Company -- the new owner of Union Carbide of Bhopal notoriety -- is in Johannesburg to talk sustainable development. Also, in Johannesburg are representatives and supporters of the victims of Union Carbide's gas disaster in Bhopal. Since July 17, 2002, survivors of the world's worst industrial disaster and their supporters have been on a worldwide relay hunger strike. More than 700 people have fasted till date to protest against Dow-Carbide's refusal to acknowledge the pending liabilities in Bhopal, and against the Indian Government's betrayal of the victims merely to protect the interests of the U.S. multinational.
BP, the British oil company, is attempting to blame "blue collar workers" for the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, alleges the U.S. government. Federal lawyers say the company is trying to divert attention from management failures of "gross negligence."
ATLANTA (March 30) -- Just in time for April Fool's Day, Earth Day 2000, the consumer clearinghouse for the environmental decade, released ''Don't Be Fooled,'' its annual report highlighting the top 10 greenwashers of the previous year.
The latest victim of Enronitis may be ABB, the Zurich-based engineering giant whose founder and former CEO Percy Barnevik was once considered to be the Jack Welch of Europe. Beset by several quarters of disappointing performance, problems seem to be piling up at ABB amid investor fears of unrevealed woes at a company that had prided itself on using U.S.-style multinationalism and savage cost-cutting to become a model European business.
Over a year after a torrent of liquid mud at an Indonesian oil exploration site inundated four villages, killing almost 100 people, the local community is still awaiting clean-up and proper compensation. This is despite the fact that the drilling company is owned by the family of a senior Indonesian minister.
Thousands of low-wage Asian laborers are traveling to Iraq to work for U.S. military contractors like First Kuwaiti and Prime Projects International in the hope of sending money home to their families. Trapped and exploited under inhuman conditions, many of them are now fleeing the country to save their lives.
Along with environmentalists and community activists, big business has descended upon Johannesburg, South Africa, to tout its own "green" growth strategies in the summit on Earth-friendly development. But if the environmental record of one key corporate player is any indication, the overtures are pure "greenwash."