Greenwash & Public Relations

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.
Activists, businessmen and government leaders met on Tuesday in the shadow of the U.N. Millennium Summit, agonizing over the future of economic globalization following the disruption of the WTO in Seattle and how to narrow the widening gap between rich and poor.
Some 50 multinationals joined 12 labor associations and watchdog groups to sign a ''global compact'' that commits them to support human rights, eliminate child labor, allow free trade unions and refrain from polluting the environment wherever they do business.
Rendon Group Wins Hearts and Minds in Business, Politics and War The Rendon Group is a consulting firm whose services range from creating "a favorable environment before privatization begins" to helping justify war. Rick Rendon, a founding partner talks to CorpWatch about his latest project, "Empowering Peace."
BOSTON -- In a letter sent to Bill and Melinda Gates today, the national corporate accountability organization Infact urged the couple to help end Philip Morris's involvement in the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Today, the Gates Foundation is announcing the launch of the new alliance, which includes Kraft Foods as well as UN agencies, to increase access to nutrient-fortified foods in developing countries. Kraft is a subsidiary of Philip Morris, the world's largest and most profitable tobacco corporation. The tobacco giant has been exposed for using its Kraft Foods division in efforts to undermine the World Health Organization-initiated Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global treaty. Infact is one of dozens of NGOs around the world working to ensure a strong and enforceable FCTC.
Partnership programs are proliferating in the UN system, often before guidelines can be put in place, and before the implications of the partnerships are understood.
Media attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are being housed in apartments constructed by workers "in conditions analogous to slavery" by Cyrela, the largest real estate company in Brazil. The local community has also complained that the construction has ruined the water supply and destroyed forested areas.
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.
Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant, is in hot water after CEO Marijn Dekkers told a Financial Times conference that the company designed medicines "for western patients who can afford it" not for the "Indian market." The company has been critical of the Indian governments efforts to make cheap generic drugs available locally.