Corporate Social Responsibility
E. Bruce Harrison, who began his PR career by helping the pesticide industry attack Rachel Carson and her classic 1962 environmental book "Silent Spring," now proclaims that the era of corporate greenwashing is almost over. In an opinion column, he writes that greenwashing in the 1990's "meant the company was painting over bad stuff with good words.
In the last few weeks we have fielded inquiries from journalists around the world seeking recent local examples of greenwashing. Given that the article on greenwashing has ranked up amongst the top 50 articles in terms of the number of readers over the last few months, we figure it is time to add some recent case studies. So, if you have an example that springs to mind, here's your chance to add it to our collection.
In yet another example of the government-industry revolving door, "Peabody Energy, the world's largest private sector coal company, has hired Dick Gephardt's firm to spearhead its drive to defeat efforts by Democrats to put caps on carbon emissions in a bid to combat global warming," reports O'Dwyer's.
The food company Chiquita Brands International, Inc. has pleaded guilty to funding a Colombian paramilitary group designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization. According to U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors, the company's Colombian subsidiary, Banadex, paid approximately $1.7 million to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) between 1997 and 2004.