Greenwash & Public Relations
Rio Tinto has been named as early front-runner for the Greenwash Gold award for the worst Olympic sponsor, with BP in second place and Dow Chemical third. The three corporations have paid millions to stick their names all over Olympic promotional material and activities.
The world's largest private mining company, Rio Tinto, has long been criticized for gross human rights violations dating back to its support of apartheid in Southern Africa. Despite its abysmal record, Rio Tinto has recently been accepted, and even courted, by intergovernmental institutions such as the United Nations and the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (the Asia Pacific Forum).
Earnest shareholder resolutions presented at company annual general meetings on everything from human rights to executive compensation are routinely shot down in flames. But shareholder resolutions may have an effect, even in defeat.
Trans-national corporations perpetrating human rights and environmental abuses will answer for their actions - wherever they are. Politicians that ignore or enable these abuses will be exposed.
Companies worldwide have signed on to voluntary codes of conduct in a bid to mitigate globalization's harmful aspects. Activists and executives agree the firms are falling short but disagree on the reasons and remedies.
In the face of criticism over its controversial construction projects, Bechtel has taken media manipulation to the next level, employing a three-pronged approach to weaving a rosy story for the public and investors.
This month's winner is the Chlorine Chemistry Council (CCC). The CCC is a U.S.-based lobby group representing a chlorine subcommittee of another U.S. industry group, the Chemical Manufacturers Association. Amidst the groundswell of evidence that chlorine chemicals and their accidental byproducts are slowly destroying life on earth, the CCC is responding with gigantic public relations campaigns and contributions to Washington politicians.
PORTO ALEGRE -- With UN Secretary General Kofi Annan preparing to renew his call for a 'Global Compact' between the UN and big business at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a global alliance of human rights and environmental organizations is calling for a suspension of this messy entaglement between the UN and big business.