the advertising world up to its old tricks?
Edelmans, one of the major Ad firms promoting Fossil Fuel companies have published their own 'Trust Barometer'. Have a look here and ask yourself if Edelman have properly assessed their own contributions to Climate Chaos ?
Edelman's clients include: Shell, Exxon, chevron, Puget Sound Energy, American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers, National Mining Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, TransCanada, Task Force on Shale Gas, SABIC, American Petroleum Institute and Shell.
Read the Clean Creatives report here
sound too good to be true? then it probably is.
Remember this one? In the spring of 2019, a Hyundai car was described as “so beautifully clean” that it “purifies the air as it goes”. The Advertising Standards Authority didn't buy it. And now look like getting more powers to fine those companies making misleading claims about their environmental performance. ... Read the story here?
"Greenwashing firms face steep new uk fines for misleading claims" Legislation could see companies fined millions of pounds for making unproven environmental assertions to sell their products (Guardian)
And this would be a good place to start:. 'France introduced laws in January requiring firms claiming a product is carbon-neutral to report on all the greenhouse emissions of that product for its entire lifecycle.'
We've asked the question - are ESG funds real or greenwash?
Bloomberg reports that 'a Class-Action Wave is coming for ESG claims"'. They say 'The key reasons are the absence of clear environmental, social and governance metrics and requirements, and the heightened regulatory scrutiny on the importance of ESG.'. Read the story here
not really surprising when you realise up until now companies have been able to call investments 'green' or 'ESG' with no real evidence.
about time someone took steps to stop the greenwashing
carbon offsetting - is it greenwashing asks the guardian:
What they all said was that even if companies did use Offsetting it was imperative it was used alongside carbon reductions and not instead. In other words there is no way you should use offsetting while continuing to produce carbon emissions. Wonder what that means for offsetting flights?
The Guardian asked 3 climate scientists whether Offsetting was a good thing or not. All said it wasn't - but perhaps necessary in some way. Read the story here and make your own mind up.
How about the World Cup in qaTAR?
THE BBC SAYS: Qatar World Cup: Fifa's carbon neutrality claim 'misleading and incredibly dangerous'
Fifa's claim that the Qatar World Cup will be carbon neutral is "dangerous and misleading" and the tournament could have a carbon footprint three times higher than stated, environmentalists say.
Football's world governing body is also facing challenges across Europe, and an open letter asking for its sustainability policies to be scrapped.
Fifa says the Qatar World Cup will have a footprint of 3.6 million tonnes of equivalent carbon waste, which will be offset by a number of initiatives.
"We did a little digging into Fifa's carbon footprint estimate and we think it's way over 10 million tonnes - so three times that, at least," said Mike Berners-Lee of Lancaster University.
And climate scientist professor Kevin Anderson of Manchester University said Fifa's claim is "deeply misleading and incredibly dangerous".
Anderson said: "There will be a direct human cost to this tournament. This is a huge amount of emissions for one sporting event. It's these emissions that will have an impact around the world."
Berners-Lee also said: "'Carbon neutral' is a dodgy term. The offset scheme the World Cup has chosen doesn't remove carbon from the atmosphere, so it's a bogus term. It's very misleading to call this a carbon neutral World Cup. They're not even removing carbon to compensate."
blackROck - what about their ESG funds?
Reported in the FT (6 Dec) , Bluebell (who have a stake in Blackrock) contended that BlackRock had changed positions several times on investing in thermal coal production while failing to live up to Fink’s widely publicised sustainability commitments.
“The contradictions and apparent hypocrisy of BlackRock’s actions have . . . politicised the ESG debate,” they wrote. “The reputational damage of being dragged into this politically charged debate, in our view, is very significant because it calls into question the independency of BlackRock as an asset manager.” The Bluebell partners added that it had “direct experience . . . [with] BlackRock’s inconsistent approach”.
They said BlackRock failed to support Bluebell’s position on environmental shareholder resolutions at mining and commodities group Glencore and chemicals group Solvay.
And reported on Bloomberg a year ago : A story from a whistleblower on Blackrock:
"In the two years he spent running “sustainable investing” at BlackRock, the largest money manager in the world, Tariq Fancy was an evangelist for the idea that capitalism can help save the planet from global warming. Now he’s an apostate, convinced that one of the fastest growth areas in financing is a sham. “It’s clear to me now,” he writes in a recent three-part essay in Medium, that my work “only made matters worse by leading the world into a dangerous mirage, an oasis in the middle of the desert that is burning valuable time.” Blackrock here on Reuters
is this the greenwash of the year?
We seem to have uncovered what's being called the "Greenwash of the Year." BNP Paribas and ADM Capital sold $95 million of "green" bonds to global investors to finance an "eco-friendly" rubber plantation in Sumatra. What they didn't reveal to investors was that the monoculture rubber plantation was replacing thousands of hectares of tiger, elephant and orangutan habitat that had just been bulldozed by Michelin's local partner RLU. In other words, the investors were duped into providing millions of dollars of "green finance" to support planting on recently deforested land in one of the most biodiverse hotspots on the planet.
COMPLICIT: AN investigation into deforestation at Michelin's Royal Lestari Utama Project in Sumatra, Indonesia
got a bad reputation?
Then change your name ...
During this year’s London Mines and Money conference (29 November – 1 December) the Australian-listed Rafaella Resources (RFR) will be rebranding itself as Pivotal Metals, in an attempt to greenwash its destructive environmental record in the Santa Comba and San Finx mines it owns in Galicia (NW Spain).
The mine has a long history of heavy metals pollution, affecting nearby streams and wetlands. It reopened in 2011 lacking environmental impact assessment and leaving abandoned tailings dams and surface works without restoration. Criminal and administrative proceedings are ongoing on charges of pollution and corruption.
GREENWASHING ON GOOGLE:
How Google Profits By Cleaning Big Oil’s Reputation
An entire industry of enablers has helped Big Oil profiteer and deny, deflect and delay the moment that meaningful change happens. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, criticized PR agencies “raking in billions” for gaslighting the world about Big Oil’s detrimental impact on the climate. But among those enablers, CCDH has discovered that social media firms are the newest weapon of choice. And chief among them is Google
For the first time, the Center for Countering Digital Hate comprehensively details how Google enables Big Oil’s greenwashing. We reveal that nearly half of the $23.7 million spent on Google search ads by oil and gas companies in the last two years have targeted search terms on environmental sustainability. The five companies studied in this report, ExxonMobil, British Petroleum (BP), Chevron, Shell, and Aramco, have polluted our search results while Google raked in their dirty money.
need some money? then how about getting it from the biggest polluter on the planet?Doesn't really matter if your business is sport / health etc .... now that cigarette sponsorship is unacceptable let's all go to the oil companies ....
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a deal with integrated energy and chemicals company, Aramco. The firm will sponsor all major men’s and women’s ICC events scheduled until the end of 2023. This includes the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, the ICC World Test Championship Final in the UK and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. ICC Chief Executive, Geoff Allardice, noted: “We are delighted to welcome Aramco into the family of ICC global partners.
another word for it: sportswashing
So what have Armco done to deserve this platform ? how about this ....
For example, Aramco recycling machines will be installed across all seven match venues in Australia for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this month, and plastic waste from these machines will be converted into clothing for future events.
That's all good then. Carry on with the oil and gas and recycle some plastic bottles. Good work Saudi Armco.
The MCC recently came under attack for having JP Morgan as one of their main sponsors. JPMorgan are by some considerable distance the biggest source of funding for the expansion of fossil fuel extraction.
when you're told you can recycle but ....
‘It’s greenwash’: most home compostable plastics don’t work, says study
Materials put into domestic compost are failing to disintegrate after six months – the only solution is to use less
An estimated 10% of people can effectively compost at home, but for the remaining 90% of the population the best place to dispose of compostable plastics is in landfill, where they slowly break down, releasing methane, researchers say. If compostable plastic ends up among food waste, it contaminates it and blocks the recycling process, the study finds. The only solution is to use less plastic.
hsbc at it again
HSBC climate change adverts banned by uk watchdog
The UK's advertising regulator has banned two HSBC advertisements for being "misleading" about the company's work to tackle climate change.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the banking giant can no longer run the ads which promoted its plans to reduce harmful emissions.
The watchdog said that the posters "omitted material information" about HSBC's activities.
It marks the ASA's first action against a bank for so-called "greenwashing".
An HSBC spokesperson told the BBC that "The financial sector has a responsibility to communicate its role in the low carbon transition to raise public awareness and engage its customers."
"We will consider how best to do this as we deliver our ambitious net zero commitments," they added.
Greenwashing - branding something as eco-friendly, green or sustainable when this is not the case - misleads consumers into thinking they are helping the planet by choosing those goods or services.
In East Africa, an engineering company is preparing to start work on the construction of an environmentally devastating oil pipeline that threatens to derail vital targets set out in the Paris Agreement. And in the north of India, one of the world's largest cement companies - which last year emitted more CO2 than Greece - has applied to clear a large swathe of forest less than a kilometre away from a wildlife sanctuary.
All these companies' operations have not only been facilitated by HSBC - which claims it is "helping to lead the transition to a more sustainable world" - but have benefitted from deals that the bank has labelled sustainable finance.
HSBC has committed to contribute up to $1trillion in sustainable financing and investment by 2030. However, the Bureau can reveal that billions of dollars being counted towards this target are in fact helping to fuel the climate crisis.
the F-list 2022
Clean Creatives issued a new report today, “The F-List 2022” that documents 90 Ad and PR agencies working with fossil fuel corporations that are responsible for climate change and compares holding company pledges for climate action with their work to greenwash their clients’ image and spread climate misinformation.
Read all about it here.
the annual advertising and pr awards
an alternative award to those companies working to spread 'good' stories about the oil and gas companies.
Last night (13 Oct) Extinction Rebellion disrupted the prestigious 2022 PR Week Awards, holding a colourful alternative ceremony at the venue and attacking the hypocrisy and ghastly greenwashing activities of PR companies who hide their links working with some of the world’s worst polluters and their funders.
Protests at the awards
The protest targeted global communicators such as Edelmann, IPG and WPP and the work they do greenwashing the most dangerous companies in the world – including Shell and Saudi Aramco. The event underlined how PR agencies are complicit in accelerating climate breakdown.
Much of this work is even hidden from staff within agencies, so protesters had conversations with as many attendees as possible, many of whom were surprised by their agency’s client list.
what has google been up to? Flying isn't as bad as you thought ......
'The way Google calculates the climate impact of your flight has changed, the BBC has discovered"
"Flights now appear to have much less impact on the environment than before. That's because the world's biggest search engine has taken a key driver of global warming out of its online carbon flight calculator."
"Google has airbrushed a huge chiunk of the aviation industry's climate impacts from its pages" says Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist of Greenpeace. With Google hosting nine out of every 10 online searches, this could have wide repercussions for people's travel decisions. The company said it made the change following consultations with its "industry partners". It affects the carbon calculator embedded in the company's "Google Flights" search tool. (BBC)
another sports related story:
British cycling is being sponsored by shell
“We remain fully committed to the delivery of our ‘Lead our sport, inspire our communities’ strategy, as we continue our work to support and grow our sport and wider activities, and provide our Great Britain Cycling Team riders with the best possible platform for success,” the British Cycling chair, Frank Slevin, said.
Meanwhile we guess Shell is fully committed to the expansion of its Oil and Gas businesses -
The article in the Guardian goes on to say: "The governing body claimed the agreement would “help our organisation and sport take important steps towards net zero”, but Greenpeace was among those to offer swift condemnation. “The idea of Shell helping British Cycling reach net zero is as absurd as beef farmers advising lettuce farmers on how to go vegan,” the campaign group’s UK policy director, Dr Doug Parr, said."
The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, backed by 65 companies including Exxon and Shell, is doing an amazing job at, well, not doing anything about ending plastic waste. Its what greenwashing on steroids looks like.
Cricket must rethink sponsorship deals amid ongoing climate crisis (Guardian)
And they're still doing it.
Oil and Gas - the tobacco of today. Read about it here
In 1962 the London Royal College of Physicians published an in-depth and groundbreaking report on the dangers of smoking to human health. Ten years later the Benson & Hedges Cup was born – a sponsorship deal between a tobacco company and cricket that lasted 30 years.
The Sunday League knockabout was sponsored by John Player between 1969 and 1986, ciggies given out willy-nilly in dressing rooms from Headingley to Hove, 1980s all-rounders battled it out for the Silk Cut Challenge, while the 1992 and 1996 Cricket World Cups were sponsored by B&H and Wills cigarettes. So it went on, in as many sports as you could mention, until a ban on tobacco sponsorship and sport kicked in UK-wide in 2002. Read the story in the Guardian here
BAnks leading climate destruction
"Unilever's advert for one of its laundry detergents, Persil, has been banned for being misleading about its environmental benefits." (BBC)
The Television advert said Persil was "kinder o our planet", and featured children picking up litter on a beach. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the advert's claim was unsubstantiated. Unilever, which owns brands including Hellman's and Dove, sai.d it was disappointed with the result. It follows a crackdown by the ASA on greenwashing - claims made by firms branding products as eco-friendly, green or sustainable." (BBC)
"Anybody who has undertaken a beach clean-up or seen pictures of the seas filled with plastic waste can tell you that Coca-Cola product packaging is ever present in areas where they are likely to break down into microplastics and pollute our water, soil and food chains for thousands of years to come." (Read the story here)
Now a report by the Changing Markets Foundation has slammed the company, along with many others, for greenwashing its packaging in a bid to persuade consumers that progress is being made in addressing is critical problem.
Coca-Cola claims its new bottles are made using 25% marine plastics recovered from beaches in Spain and Portugal and from the Mediterranean Sea. At the same time failing to acknowledge its responsibility in creating the mess in the first place. Read the whole story here
SOMETHING YOU CAN DO:
Have you seen a BP or Shell advert recently? They love to talk up their green credentials and commitment to renewable energy - but behind the scenes, they're still ploughing money into opening up new fossil fuel projects.
We can't let them get away with this spin. That's why I have just signed a petition calling on YouTube to ban all greenwashing from fossil fuel companies on its platform. Will you help me show them they need to lead the way on this? Join me and sign the petition:
"Fossil Fuel companies like Shell and BP use their glossy ads to talk up their work on clean energy while behind the scenes they're ploughing their money into opening up new fossil fuel projects. Shell actually plans to increase its fossil fuel gas operations but that fact doesn;t make it into their glossy ads.
We need all media companies to ban this dangerous greenwashing. You tube has taken action against climate denial but is still accepting ads full of spin from fossil fuel giants. Let's show them they can lead the way by refusing to give them a platform." (Greenpeace)
And yet .... sport gives a perfect cover for companies who want to 'green up' their image. So we have decided to create our very own awards - SPORTSWASHER of the year. These companies spend a fortune to be able to plaster their names across all sorts of sports - presumably hoping people will be fooled into believing they are good, healthy organisations. Nothing wrong with sponsorship - except when it's by one of these oil producing, oil investing climate destroyers.
" .... event sponsorships are a way to build credibility and authority around your business. Essentially, you attach your business to worthy causes and high-profile events in order to nurture positive associations. Customers who attend are given strong reasons to believe you are reliable and trustworthy." Reference
And it's not just us. There's a nationwide competition to choose the worst of the worst. Badvertising and the Rapid Transition Alliance have got together to run this. Vote here.
How about these for a start:
HSBC official banking partner of Wimbledon tennis, rugby 7s, golf, badminton
Standard Chartered sponsoring Liverpool shirts
Emirates sponsoring 7 football teams including Arsenal, AC Milan ..
Ethihad airlines sponsoring Manchester City, Formula 1...
J P Morgan sponsoring the MCC, the US Open Tennis ...
Barclays official banking partner of the premier league
Ineos (oil & gas exploration) sponsoring cycling, football and the NZ rugby team
Greenwash from energy companies
Greenwash in meat production
Greenwash in aviation
Carbon offsetting is not warding off environmental collapse – it’s accelerating it
Wealthy companies are using the facade of ‘nature-based solutions’ to enact a great carbon land grab ....
Have a look at this article exploring the impossibility of Carbon Offsetting being any kind of solution
Watch this explanation - 'Carbon Offsets 101'
greenwash: mind your language
You've been hearing them all year, the way the government and big business talk about their progress in reducing emissions. Admittedly from time to time the stories are true, but are mostly exaggerated and are mostly just deceiptful. They want to tell us about all the great things they are doing but it's important to understand how they tell their stories and how in doing this how they mislead us all - into believing they're actually doing something positive. A recent article suggests we must be on alert all the time to spot Greenwash - "To survive this post-Cambridge Analytica world you must treat everything you encounter as if it might be a #sponsoredpost". Read the article here
The biggest myth of all is that we can look forward to infinite growth. In 1961 the UN produced statistics to show that the world population was living within what nature could support. Since then the estimated level of resources and ecosystem services required to support human activities today is just over 1.7 Earths, fast moving to becoming 2 Earths by 2030. (reference). If everyone on the planet lived like the population of the UK we would need 3 Earths. That's pretty simple to understand; what we urgently need to do is slow down, stop some of our destructive habits and help nature recover. We carry on, the truth manipulated, destructive behaviour continuing and denial all around. Companies and governments across the world making it look as if they are trying and doing something. Watch carefully.
In spite of the occasional bit of good news, most of the landscape is pretty bleak. Big corporations and governments around the world are finally starting to say the right things about the Climate And Ecological Emergency; it's only taken them 50 years since science showed unequivocally what a catastrophe we are heading towards. Unfortunately their fine words are often accompanied by lies, half truths and disinformation. We will be highlighting some of the most spectacular examples of this cynical behaviour and awarding them "Certified 100% Greenwash". If you have any examples of Greenwash you'd like to share or would like to get in touch, please use email@example.com