Greenwash & Public Relations

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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. Read More
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The United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil concluded this past weekend with no new government pledges. On the other hand, multinationals scored a public relations victory by claiming that they will implement $50 billion of sustainable changes to help save the environment. Read More
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Aubrey McClendon, the founder and CEO of Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy, who championed natural gas to the extent of paying environmental groups to oppose coal, is facing angry shareholders for his profligate ways. Chesapeake is one of the leading users of fracking - an environmentally questionable method of extracting natural gas. Read More
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President Barack Obama personally helped Shell obtain authorization to drill for oil in Alaska, according to a new article in the New York Times. This comes a day afer activists launched two reports on the environemental impact of the drilling plans at the company's annual meeting in the Hague. Read More
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Protestors have rallied this week outside annual meetings of Barclays bank in London, Citibank in Dallas, Credit Suisse in Zurich and Wells Fargo in San Francisco. A surprising number of shareholders have rallied to their side to vote down excessive executive compensation, in an unexpected victory for the Occupy movement. Read More
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Should lobbyists for biotech and food companies make the rules on what kind of food you have in your kitchen? Meet Mella Frewen, Suzy Renckens and Harry Kuiper: Three examples of how the industries take advantage of the European Food Safety Agency(EFSA) failure to properly regulate conflicts of interest. Read More
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Is Walmart going green? Mike Duke, the company's CEO, says in a new 126 page report that the company is becoming more sustainable and responsible while "building meaningful, long-term change." Activists disagree. Walmart's "environmental impact has only grown over the last seven years" they say in a counter-report. Read More
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Two controversial multinational projects in Orissa, an eastern Indian state, face high level decisions in the next few weeks: a bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri hills planned by Vedanta of the UK and an iron and steel refinery in Jagatsinghpur being developed by POSCO of South Korea. Read More
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Puerto Rican citizen groups are protesting two renewable energy projects: a 30 megawatt solar energy project in Yabucoa by Western Wind Energy corporation from Vancouver and a 75 megawatt windmill array in Santa Isabel by Pattern Energy of San Francisco. The reason: these projects will threaten scarce farm land on the food dependent island. Read More
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The Hindu
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An advertisement flooding airwaves across India would have you believe that a company called Vedanta is a creating a product called happiness. But London-based Vedanta Resources has attracted the ire of environmental activists and human rights groups like Amnesty International who have accused the company of exploiting indigenous communities - such as the Dongria Kondhs of Niyamgiri in Odisha - without due process. Read More
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