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Thread: The Green Monsters - Abt Big Corporates Hoodwinking us on their green ambitions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    03-12-08
    Location
    Hyderabad
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    168

    Default The Green Monsters - Abt Big Corporates Hoodwinking us on their green ambitions

    Nowadays, almost all petroleum giants are espousing their “green credentials”. The other day I was watching a commercial from our home grown Bharat Petroleum – for a moment I thought it wasn’t a campaign for petro retail giant at all! The other BP – British Petroleum has been busily engaged in a multi-million dollar green washing campaign since long. BP has doubled its spending on corporate advertising to $150 million this year to enhance its environmental credentials. The company adopted a new slogan, “Beyond Petroleum,” and began a “rebranding” effort to depict itself as an environmentally sensitive, green enterprise, epitomizing 21st century corporate social responsibility.

    It’s going to take more than shrewd ad campaign to wipe out the image of oil spreading across the Gulf Coast from BP’s offshore rig, and dead sea life washing up onto its beaches. Even as it magnanimously agreed to cover the costs of cleaning up the gargantuan spill, BP on Monday was still insisting that it wasn’t at fault for the accident that caused it. So much for green corporate social responsibility!!!

    I might be wrong, but personally I feel the green image that these petro giants are trying to cultivate is nothing but a scam. While making peanut investments in things like solar power, biofuels, and carbon fuel cells, these companies have continued to work relentlessly to expand its oil and gas operations. For example, BP has earmarked $8 billion over the next decade for green pursuits whereas its revenue for last year was $246 billion! So BP is investing 0.0032% of its revenue in its green initiative!

    Sadly these histrionics seem to be working. In 2001, BP was chosen as the greenest company.

    And what was going on at BP while it was supposed to be “becoming greener”?
    • In 2006, more than 260,000 gallons of crude poured onto the Arctic tundra from a BP pipeline—the worst onshore spill in Alaskan history.
    • In October 2007, the BP was fined for a series of violations related to a near-blowout at an offshore rig in 2002. The violations included inadequate training of BP workers who claimed to be in “well control.”
    • The massive offshore oil spill disaster that is happening RIGHT NOW.

    Conclusion:
    My dad, a doctor says - The worst diagnosis is a watered down diagnosis.

    In a similar vein, the big corporations etc who are making all these noise about going green are doing a very watered down adoption of green technologies. We are just slowing down an inevitable annihilation.

    What’s your say on the topic? Your views are most welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    06-07-09
    Location
    Coimbatore
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Ranbir,

    I completely agree your views.

    It is just a mask that these corporate wear to gain better social status. Not all but, most of them. There are exceptionally good companies who really cares for the environment.

    Many companies proclaim that they are green. But, they never try to do anything in a manner how things should be done.

    A petty example. tree planting events are conducted by corporates once in a year and you find piled up exotic saplings all around the campus...even those saplings are never nurtured well and they too perish. All for fun and pose..

    they often ignore that there are specialists in the field who should be consulted for green initiatives.

    IIT-Madras has done a good work by documenting the bio-diversity of the campus through the help of wildlife researchers and they have now very successfully controlled the invasive menace and the complete documenation is availalble.

    Corporates really keen in environment protection, should emulate IIT.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    24-11-08
    Location
    New Delhi
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    15,483

    Default

    I agree with Ranbir.

    One more example is Shell had earlier sponsored the BBC wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

    Even conservationists/researchers are known to have accepted hospitality and/or consultancy projects and then raising their voice in support of environmentally disastrous projects.

    Today corporates are looking at advertising or carrying out green ad campaigns to get mileage as they feel the Aircel campaign to save the tigers was very successful. However, not many are undertaking projects. Researchers are struggling to get projects. No company is coming forward to fund genuine researchers. Rather companies go to big NGOs and they inturn lead them into thoughtless projects on the pretext of helping communities.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    03-12-08
    Location
    Hyderabad
    Posts
    168

    Default

    That is an interesting point.

    The nexus between large corporations, NGOs and real projects is becoming more and more disturbing. I feel corporations and NGOs are cherry picking projects which have an emotive quotient and have high brand recall value. Case in point is the Aircel "save tiger" campaign.

    Today NGOs are more interested in the "awareness" campaigns. There is certainly nothing wrong in that. Unfortunately we have hit a literal plateau in our awareness drive. More active participation / partnership is the required.

    It would be great if large corps pump in fund and resources to the actual battle front - to the forest officers, rangers etc. That serves better purpose than spending millions in buying prime time advertisement slots on TV.

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