Greenwash & Public Relations
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."
Greenpeace today accused Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever, owners of Lipton Tea and Dove soap, of double standards and shameful negligence for allowing its Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Lever, to dump several tonnes of highly toxic mercury waste in the densely populated tourist resort of Kodaikanal.
Rimbunan Hijau, a billion-dollar business owned by Malaysian tycoon Tiong Hiew King, has been engaging in illegal logging in South East Asia, while local governments turn a blind eye.
The stormy battle over globalization that brought protests to the streets of Seattle and Washington moves this week to the heart of the world's only truly global organization, the United Nations.
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.
Today CorpWatch is releasing the fourth 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.
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.
Conservative lobbyists in the US funded by Esso have urged President Bush to derail the Earth summit in Johannesburg because it is anti-freedom, anti-people, anti-globalization and anti-Western.