The Greenwash Brigade

Shell gets a greenwash smackdown

Jim Nicolow May 9, 2008

GreenBiz.com reports that greenwash complaints in the U.K. quadrupled last year.

The Guardian reported last week that complaints against Shell Oil Company’s advertisements depicting pretty flowers, rather than toxic pollution, spewing from refinery stacks were upheld by the UK’s Advertising Standards Association.

That same ad campaign earned Shell 4th place honors in the 2007 Worst EU Greenwash Awards.

Shell was edged out by another oil company, ExxonMobil, who took 3rd place for advertisements with the message that Exxon is “working to reduce emissions” when in actuality (by their own accounting), their emissions are increasing.

Oil companies, showing they haven’t forgotten how to greenwash.

Not to be outdone by the oil industry, the coal industry is running an equally ridiculous campaign about ‘clean coal’. The campaign earned Rainforest Action Network’s “Greenwash of the Week”.

Nice work, fellas.

If you’re interested in more information on alternatives, the American Solar Energy Society’s report, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S. outlines the promise offered by renewable energy and energy efficiency. And their Green Collar Jobs report explains how renewable energy and energy efficiency offer not just environmentally preferable alternatives to fossil fuels, but a way to do well by doing good.

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