or governmental public relations
practice by which the relevant institution makes itself appear to be "environmentally conscious" while actually continuing to ravage the earth
Otherwise known as "sham environmentalism".
CorpWatch.org bestows its Greenwash Awards bimonthly on "corporations that put more money, time and energy into slick PR campaigns aimed at promoting their eco-friendly images than they do to actually protecting the environment."
Recent recipients of the award include:
American Chemistry Council This is an industry PR group which touts the many benefits of industrial chemicals in modern society. ACC claimed to be partnered with Environmental Defense, which demanded a retraction of the statement, and continues to associate itself with public health legislation that it lobbied heavily against.
Phillip Morris The largest tobacco corporation in the U.S. The Greenwash Award was specifically given for PM's "Working to Make a Difference" TV ad campaign. These ads usually highlight PM's contributions to charities that benefit women (major targets of cigarette advertising), minorities (major targets of cigarette advertising) and children (major targets of cigarette advertising).
In 1999, Phillip Morris contributed $115 million to charities, and spent $142 million advertising the fact that they had done so. How generous.
BP Until this recent greenwash campaign, BP stood for British Petroleum. It has now been re-branded to stand for Beyond Petroleum. BP claims that their recent re-focus on natural gas is a major step toward reducing carbon dioxide emissions and a cleaner earth. Ha. Ha ha. They also claim to be the "largest producer of solar energy in the world", a title they won by buying the Solarex corporation for $45 million. BP bought out ARCO, a rival petroleum company, for $26.5 billion.
Shell Oil Shell has won twice. Once for its ridiculous "Clear the Air" ad campaign questioning the role the burning of fossil fuels plays in global warming, and once for its "Profit or Principles?" pamphlet which touts Shell's spending of $100 million per year (less than 1% of it's budget) on environmental causes.