Shell's Greenwash Stunt: Driving Around (Some of) the World

Ken Saro-Wiwa
Nigerian author and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa

"In a bid to underline its 'green' credentials, Shell is currently sending a fleet of Volkswagen Golfs in [Around the World in 80 Days' protagonist Phileas] Fogg's footsteps, on an expedition 'around the world in 50 fill-ups'," reports The Independent. The goal is "to win a place in the Guinness Book of Records for circumnavigating the globe in the most fuel-efficient manner possible," using "Shell's specially customized vehicles." However, unlike Fogg, Shell's journey will avoid Africa. Guy Adams writes, "Shell has a - shall we say? - dodgy record in those parts, as a result of its ongoing operations in Nigeria." Environmental, social and human rights concerns - including the 1995 murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa - have resulted in Shell boycotts. Shell spokespeople have called Nigeria the company's "worst public relations nightmare," according to the Multinational Monitor. But the company insists that its "strange itinerary" is simply due to "difficulties taking all the cars through customs" in Africa.