| GroenFront! GreenWashes Corporations |
vvGroenFront! - 31.08.2002 10:02
n the night of August 30-31, radical environmentalists of GroenFront! have, as a courtesy service, used paintbombs to ‘greenwash’ outlets of a dozen corporations in Amsterdam. GroenFront! is certain these transnational corporations will appreciate the gesture; they surely need some help, as their own ‘voluntary action’ on behalf of sustainable development hasn't done the job very well.
No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth!
August 31, 2002
This morning, GroenFront! / EarthFirst! Netherlands Support Group received the following statement to the public:
Corporations Greenwashed in
Amsterdam High Streets
In the night of August 30-31, radical environmentalists of GroenFront! have, as a courtesy service, used paintbombs to ‘greenwash’ outlets of a dozen corporations in Amsterdam. GroenFront! is certain these transnational corporations will appreciate the gesture; they surely need some help, as their own ‘voluntary action’ on behalf of sustainable development hasn't done the job very well.
We are proud to present a service record that includes: Jodenbreestraat: AHOLD/Albert Heijn (“EKO Uitverkoop [sellout]”), ABN AMRO (“De Greenwash”), Kalverstraat: Hennes & Mauritz (4x, “Child Labor”, “Sexy Sexism”), VENDEX/Vroom en Dreesman, HEMA (“Groene Worst 50% af”), Blokker (“Stop Racism”), Adidas, Mexx, Rabobank, McDonalds (“Veggieburgers 1 euro”) , and other corporations.
Companies greenwash themselves when they make a minor effort in the name of sustainability to improve their image, not just to improve sales but also to relieve pressure from a critical civil society. With a new and improved green image, obscure corporate influence at, for example, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg), can be increased. That way, binding regulations can be avoided in favour of ‘voluntary action’ or profitable market mechanisms such as CO2-trading.
“We are most amused that corporate lobby groups such as the BASD [Business Action for Sustainable Development] are copying from the environmental and antiglobalisation movements. We found it quite hilarious when we noticed their slogan was ‘people, planet, profit’. Indeed, it’s been obvious for centuries that both planet and people need to be exploited to make a decent profit,” says GroenFront! greenwasher ‘Anton’.
“Anyone who believes that profit making, that is, economic growth, and sustainable development can go together is very naive. It seems a lot of naive people are now in Johannesburg. In fact, sustainability can only mean downscaling production and consumption. But I believe that will actually give us more time to enjoy the pleasant things in life that are intrinsically important,” states an optimistic Anton.
Postscript from GroenFront! / EarthFirst! NL Support Group
GroenFront!, the Dutch branch of EarthFirst!, is not a cohesive group, but rather a convenient banner for nonviolent direct action. GroenFront! has taken up action against roads (A4, A12, A2, A28), airport (Schiphol) , bridges (Panama, Tweede Lek), freight-railway (Betuwelijn), port (Afrikahaven), as well as genetic engineering, nuclear waste transports, climate change and globalisation.
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