Responding to an in-depth Washington Post expose, The Nature Conservancy has hired Edelman PR Worldwide for damage control. The Post's multi-part article portrayed the environmental non-profit, which has $3 billion in assets, as a willing dealmaker for the benefit of its corporate supporters and trustees. According to O'Dwyer's PR Daily, the Arlington, Va.-based group is desperate to avoid Congressional inquiry into its activities.
"Conspicuously missing from the ubiquitous Iraq war critique was the subtle agenda of water rights in the parched Middle East region," writes Leah C. Wells. "The dialogue about access to clean water is commonplace in peace talks throughout the Middle East, but Western diplomats rarely broach the topic. An anonymous U.S. State Department official quoted in National Geographic said, 'people outside the region tend not to hear about the issue (of water).
The trade organization Professional Lawn Care Association of America wants "to create a positive message about the benefits of a well-maintained landscape." Landscape Management, a landscape and lawn care trade publication, writes that PLCAA is sponsoring a meeting next month to address "threatening issues" faced by the "Green Industry. ... These include issues pertaining to pesticide and
"Media have been quick to declare the U.S. war against Iraq a success, but
in-depth investigative reporting about the war's likely health and
environmental consequences has been scarce," media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting writes. "Two important issues getting
shortchanged in the press are the U.S.'s controversial use of cluster
In the last of its investigative series the Washington Post reports on how a multi-billion dollar environmental charity takes care of its own. For example, "on New York's Shelter Island, the Nature Conservancy three years ago bought an undeveloped, 10-acre tract overlooking its Mashomack Preserve ... just a stone's skip from the exclusive Hamptons. Cost to the charity: $2.1 million.
The second part of the Post's examination of a multi-billion dollar tax exempt corporation: "Eight years ago, Mobil Oil gave the Nature Conservancy what was one of the group's largest corporate donations, a patch of prairie that encompassed the last native breeding ground of a highly endangered bird. ... The Conservancy ... started acting like an oil company. The Conservancy sank a well under the bird's nesting ground. Drilling in sensitive areas is opposed as destructive by most environmentalists.
In the first of three articles the Washington Post takes a long look at the Nature Conservancy, "the world's richest environmental group, amassing $3 billion in assets by pledging to save precious places. ... Yet the Conservancy has logged forests, engineered a $64 million deal paving the way for opulent houses on fragile grasslands and drilled for natural gas under the last breeding ground of an endangered bird species. ...
"Earth Day, which began 33 years ago today as a nationwide rally to clean up the planet, has become the latest victim of the corporate takeover. From Houston to Hong Kong, companies are seeking to polish their green image by sponsoring Earth Day events, which grass-roots groups and cities struggle to fund. This year, garbage haulers, coffee companies and even missile manufacturers are underwriting Earth Day festivities, a public relations strategy that has divided environmentalists and led to protests of Earth Day itself. ... Houston Earth Day 2003, held this past Saturday ...
"As the Ford Motor Company scaled back expectations this week for its first hybrid-powered vehicle and backpedaled on a pledge to improve the fuel economy of its sport utility vehicles, Toyota was introducing its latest Prius, which will get about 55 miles a gallon and be the first midsize vehicle with hybrid technology. For environmentalists, the contrasting developments
reinforced the sense that only foreign carmakers care about
"Chemical industry trade association the American Chemistry Council said it selected WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and its public relations unit Ogilvy PR for its $50 million advertising account," Advertising Age writes. "The trade group is looking to its agency to develop a more positive image for the chemical industry, which is battling negative views that have been stoked in part by war talk of chemical weapons and bioterrorism. The council wants the ad campaign to improve the public's perception of the contribution of chemicals to improve consumers everyday lives."