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For Immediate Release: August 23rd, 2002
Contact:  Oscar Green (+27-82) 370-0579
1310Chris Albertyn (+27-82) 804-9287


Greenwash Academy Awards Announced at Earth Summit

We laughed! We cried! And the winners are?

Winners hold up their Greenwash Oscar awards. Photo: Chris Albertyn/groundWork

Johannesburg -- Oil majors Shell, BP and ExxonMobil dominated todays World Summit Greenwash Academy Awards, beating Biotech giants Monsanto, Novartis and Aventis in a glittering award ceremony in Johannesburg. Local South African underdog Sasol edged out Eskom for Best Picture.

Other winners were Enron for Best Makeup, Arthur Andersen for Best Documentary Destruction, and an unprecedented joint award to Total, Unocal and Premier Oil for Best Foreign Direct Investment.

The ceremony was disrupted briefly by Ronald McDonald, who demanded an Award for McDonalds partnership with UNICEF. The Academy spontaneously decided to give a special Type II McPartnership Award for the McUNICEF collaboration.

Ten years ago in Rio, global business promised to deliver sustainable development. They have broken that promise, but they have delivered a mother lode of Greenwash, said Oscar Green, the ceremonys host.

Oil companies are presenting themselves as solar companies, and companies that promote giant agribusiness and oppose consumer information are claiming to be the solution to world hunger, said Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth, a member of the Greenwash Academy. We are delighted to recognize these companies for what they are: hypocrites.

These polluting companies are posing as friends of the environment and leaders in the struggle to eradicate poverty, said Kenny Bruno of CorpWatch, another member of the Academy. But often they spend more advertising their green projects than on the projects themselves. Thats Greenwash!

With acting like this, its no wonder the UN is rushing to partner with corporations that do so much damage to our societies, said Bobby Peek of groundWork, an Academy member. But the rest of us are not fooled added Peek whose group is based in South Africa where the ceremony was held.

Full list of Greenwash Academy Awards, or Green Oscars

Best Greenwash: 1ST Place: BP for their Beyond Petroleum rebranding campaign. Runner up: Mining corporations Newmont, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo-American and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Best Bluewash: 1st Place: Nestle gets this human rights award for overcoming one of the worst corporate reputations out there and daring to show its face at the United Nations Runners Up: Novartis and Aventis for leaping at the chance to lead the UN Global Compact.

Best Supporting Government: United States of America for representing corporate interests in environmental treaty negotiations.

Best Supporting UN Agency: 1st Place: The Office of the Global Compact for allowing corporations to ally with the UN without committing to following its principles. Runner up: United Nations Environment Programme for co-hosting -- with the International Chamber of Commerce -- the World Summit Awards for Sustainable Partnerships in Johannesburg.

Best Documentary Destruction: Arthur Anderson for excellence in shredding

Best Foreign Direct Investment: The Academy made a special joint award to Unocal, Total and Premier Oil for pipeline projects in Burma.

Best Make Up 1st Place: Enron for, well, you know? Runner up: Asia Pacific Resources Limited (APRIL) for clear cutting Indonesian rainforest while making claims about sustainability.

Best Picture: 1st Place: Sasol for putting as much into the community as they do into petrol. Runner up: Eskom for being a key member of Business Action for Sustainable Development while generating electricity from coal and nukes.

Best Director: Lee Raymond of ExxonMobil for deep greenwash (lobbying and bullying behind the scenes while pretending to care for public interest).

Booby Prize: Philip Morris and British American Tobacco for not convincing anybody despite spending hundreds of millions on PR.

Lifetime Acheivement Award: 1st Place: Shell for outstanding achievement over a decade. Runner up: Monsanto for tireless promotion of Roundup Ready GM crops as a solution to world hunger.

Special McPartnership Award: UNICEF for its partnership with McDonalds.

The Academys definitions of Greenwash and Bluewash

[1] Green*wash: (gren-wash) ?washers, ?washing, -washed 1) The phenomenon of socially and environmentally destructive corporations attempting to preserve and expand their markets by posing as friends of the environment and leaders in the struggle to eradicate poverty. 2) Environmental whitewash. 3) Hogwash.

[2] Blue*wash (n): 1. Allowing some of the largest and richest corporations to wrap themselves in the United Nations? blue flag without requiring them to do anything new (New York Times). 2. Efforts by corporations to be perceived as part of the world humanitarian community through voluntary association with the United Nations, without provisions for accountability.