Unfortunately, you can't buy all the rhetoric. For every company taking very real steps towards sustainability, there's another one stepping directly backwards, but trying to convince you otherwise. These greenwashers topped Earth Day 2000's list…
Mobil. Its “Helping the Earth Breathe Easier” ads in The New York Times divert attention from its steadfast membership in the Global Climate Coalition, an industry-funded group that continues to lobby against global warming policies in Congress.
Chevron. Hides its 49 Superfund sites, and millions of dollars in fines for environmental infractions, behind its “People Do” ads, which highlight projects like artificial reefs of gasoline tanks in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP Amoco. Assures it will “fill you up by sunshine,” referring to solar panels it plans to install on top of gas stations (which, in fact, fill you up with gasoline). For every $16 BP Amoco spent on solar energy, it spent $10,000 more on oil exploration and development.
Monsanto. Advocates widespread acceptance of genetically engineered foods, proclaiming profound environmental benefits for crop yields, soil health and ecosystem function despite multiple scientific studies that indicate otherwise.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Adamantly declares on its web site that “nothing gets dumped overboard,” while pleading guilty to 21 felony counts for pouring waste oil and hazardous chemicals into U.S. waters, and later falsifying logbooks to cover it up.
Pacific Gas & Electric. In the wake of the spring blockbuster, Erin Brockovich, PG&E is still trying to smooth over the real-life disaster caused by contaminated water supplies with ads that praise “technology that respects Mother Nature.”
Coca Cola Company. Sponsor of a national America Recycles Day that urges Americans to buy recycled, Coke doesn't follow its own advice. The 20 million plastic soda bottles it sells every day, over eight billion a year, are completely virgin plastic.
Weyerhaeuser. Although the company is indeed “replacing natural resources” as its ads suggest, the 40 million seedlings the world's largest lumber producer planted in past years hardly compensates for the four million acres clearcut since 1990.
DuPont. According to its “To Do List For the Planet,” will perform “miracles of science” like converting ocean water into drinking water, even as it continues to emit a million pounds of toxins per day, and sell leaded gasoline overseas.