Readers, Target Green is being put on hiatus for time being. But do keep on sending tips and story ideas, as I’ll still be writing about green PR on our general blog, The Cycle. Thanks to everyone for following this blog and let’s keep engaging over at The Cycle.
While many PR agencies were beefing up their clean tech practices this year, 2009 might be a different story. NPR reports, “capital-intensive green-energy projects are scrambling to adapt to a harsh new reality of tight credit, cash-poor investors and falling oil prices.” The Economist also predicts some gloomy prospects for clean tech. Even so, NPR also reports a boom for some renewable energy jobs.
Exxon faces some branding in the upcoming Obama presidency
New book cites the best clean tech prospects
Green News for the week of 11.03.08
Last week’s Democratic takeover in the election left many environmentalists optimistic about the future of green movements. The Environmental News Service compiled statements from leading green organizations about their eco-hopes with an Obama administration. But the New York Times on the environmental challenges the new administration would face come January. Also Bloomberg speculates on the president-elect’s EPA appointments.
The Greenwash Brigade takes on eco-pesticides
Farmers worry California’s cage ban will spread to other states
Green news for the week of 10.20.08
Time reports on the role consumer electronics play in pollution. The piece spotlights “carbon neutral” initiatives at Dell, but also acknowledges that most consumers are still in the dark about the efficiency of their electronics. And when companies like Intel and Dell roll out efficient processors or PCs it probably has more to with saving money for the IT companies than broader green goals. “The total cost of powering a server over its lifetime is beginning to outpace the cost of the computer itself,” Tod Arbogast, Dell’s director of sustainability tells Time. “Customers are going to demand innovation on this — for the environment and for efficiency.”
Treehugger wonders whether Wal-Mart CEO, Lee Scott, called for less consumption at a recent speech
Plenty reports California’s green policies have resulted in a job surge
Economic woes mean more on tap water’s comeback, says The Press-Enterprise
Roundup: Gore’s Plenty interest debunked; new green blog launch; Wales discusses Wikia Green; and more
Green News for the week 9.22.08
After rumors surfaced last week that Al Gore was interested in buying (or at least becoming involved with) Plenty magazine, the EcoRazzi says that isn’t so. It reports, “Plenty founder Mark Spellun acknowledged there was a deal of some sort in the works but said it was ‘not correct’ to say that Gore was buying the company.” The reason? It’s not Gore interested in the magazine, but his partner for Live Earth, Kevin Wall. EcoRazzi reports, “’He is looking into a few different opportunities with Plenty,’ confirmed a spokeswoman for Wall speaking to Wired. ‘He’s not in a position to be speaking about what those are just yet.’”
Chrysler unveils three battery-operated cars on Thursday, making it an industry leader in the space, the Los Angeles Times.
The New York Times launches Green, Inc, a blog about “energy, the environment, and the bottom line.” The authors will discuss the mesh of business, politics, and sustainability. The newspaper also ran a special section called the Business of Green last week.
Jimmy Wales talks about Wikia Green with TreeHugger.
Portland sustains its eco-image, topping the sustainable city list - again.
Daniel Kessler, media officer at Greenpeace, recently answered some questions about Greenpeace’s media strategy via e-mail.
Target Green: As green issues become more mainstream, has Greenpeace seen an influx in media interest? How have you handled this?
Daniel Kessler: There is no doubt that green is in, which has increased interest in Greenpeace’s campaigns. The challenge now is to maintain the public’s interest in environmental issues, which is necessary to create real sustainable change. Without broad public support, it’s almost impossible to get decision-makers to do the right thing.
Target Green: What are the communications opportunities and challenges for Greenpeace now that more Americans are interested in climate change and other environmental issues?
Kessler: The challenge is to differentiate Greenpeace from other environmental groups. We stand out from others by emphasizing our principled positions on the most important issues facing the world and by being action-orientated. The opportunities during this period of heightened awareness include growing our organization and the movement.
Target Green: Do you think the eco-movement has a bad reputation in America? Is this something that Greenpeace addresses?
Kessler: No, our membership is up and the interest from the news media is also on the rise. People are learning that it’s environmental groups that are looking out for them and the planet- not the politicians or the corporations, broadly speaking.
Target Green: What are your thoughts about the way the media is handling green issues, especially in light of this being an election year?
Kessler: The media has done a poor job of covering environmental issues, which is partly why we’ve reached this precarious place so quickly. A good example is the coverage of global warming during the recent political conventions. A cursory examination shows that reporters are not asking the politicians what their plan is for the biggest environmental problem we’ve ever faced. The media must ask the hard questions, and if they don’t they’ve failed in the jobs. Such negligence is inexcusable.
Target Green: What is the primary message you try to convey about Greenpeace and its initiatives when working with the media?
Kessler: Greenpeace tries to show that we are a principled campaigning organization dedicated to achieving results. We work around the world and in your community to make sure that politicians and corporations are taking the right steps to make a a cleaner, greener world.
Roundup: Subaru factory goes green; Friedman calls for an American-led green revolution; Virgin Atlantic gets green props; and more
Green News for the week 09.11.08
The Subaru factory in Lafayette, IN is the first auto assembly plant in North America to become completely waste-free. According to Wired :
“Last year, 100 percent of the waste steel, plastic and other materials coming out of the plant were reused or recycled. Paint sludge that used to be thrown away, for example, is now dried to a powder and shipped to a plastics manufacturer, ending up eventually as parking lot bumpers and guardrails. What can’t be reused — about 3 percent of the plant’s trash — is shipped off to Indianapolis and incinerated to generate electricity.”
The Inspired Economist also covered the story.
Thomas Friedman’s new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded calls on Americans to start a green revolution. Is it possible? Click links for NPR review and New York Times .
Virgin Atlantic gets kudos from TreeHugger for teaming with Worn Again to recycle its seat covers into bags.
Supposedly-leaked photos of GM Volt show the car is more traditional than people expected.
Time takes on what environmentalists have been saying: meat contributes to global warming.
Roundup: Questioning the effectiveness of the We Campaign; Nitrogen takes on carbon; Bill Nye’s eco-comeback; and more
Green News for the week 09.03.08
Time wonders whether the messaging behind the We Campaign has been effective. First the campaign (which is funded by Al Gore’s nonprofit Alliance For Climate Protection) featured ads with unlikely bedfellows Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton and now shows other Americans coming together to solve climate change.
The piece commends the organization for not using scare tactics or bearing down readers with science.
If Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was meant to diagnose climate change for a country that at the time was still widely skeptical, the We Campaign is meant to find a cure…Too often greens have relied on shocking the public with the threat of catastrophic climate change. That was necessary until recently — breaking through the barrier of denial built by climate change skeptics required all the subtlety of a hammer.
Even so, Time questions whether the tactic has worked. For example, in a year when climate change was expected to headline the presidential discourse it has taken a backseat to sky-high gas prices and off-shore drilling. Any thoughts?
Conservation groups against off-shore drilling advocate for oil companies that want to do just that, the Los Angeles Times.
Bill Nye The Science Guy talks to Ecorazzi about his new show for Planet Green.
The New York Times if we should we be treating nitrogen as being as dangerous as carbon.
Green News for the week 08.27.08
Some groups claim that BayerCropScience knew one of its best-selling pesticides has killed millions of honeybees, reports the News & Observer. “A German prosecutor is investigating Werner Wenning, Bayer’s chairman, and Friedrich Berschauer, the head of Bayer CropScience, after critics alleged that they knowingly polluted the environment,” according to the N&O.
German beekeepers and consumer protection advocates filed the compliant that accuses Bayer of using Clothianidin even while knowing it may have hurt millions of honeybees. So far, Bayer CropScience has blamed the deaths on defective seed corn batches.
The Inspired Economist’s Chris Milton posts Sustainable Business’ top 20 sustainable businesses (which includes IBM and Chipotle Mexican Grill). Then he asks readers, “Are lists of companies like this helpful in promoting sustainable business practices, or do they simply show which companies have the slickest PR departments?” Also Sarah Lozanova investigates Bank of American’s green claims.
TreeHugger profiles Patagonia’s green business philosophy
College students have the same, or possibly less, access to sustainability-related education than they did in 2001, reports Time.
Denver radio hosts help convey the DNC’s green message.
Fiji Water is fighting back against Erica Schuetz’s Food & Water Watch blog post that cited a BBC program claiming that one-third of local Fijians have no access to clean drinking water (which I referenced in this week’s roundup).
Grace Kang, an associate in corporate communications at Fiji Water, sent me an e-mail yesterday saying that many of those claims were untrue.
“Reliable access to clean, safe drinking water is common throughout much of Fiji, but there are still some remote villages where infrastructure is lacking,” Kang said. “We’re currently funding projects through the Fiji Water Foundation to ensure that these communities are provided with a safe water supply.”
Among those she listed:
- Providing water access to the villages that surround the company’s water source in the Yaqara Valley.
- Fiji Water has partnered with the Rotary Club to fund the Pacific Water for Life Trust, which will provide the infrastructure, expertise and skills necessary to deliver sustainable water to more than 100 additional communities, schools, health centers and nursing stations throughout Fiji over the next two years.
- Fiji Water provides thousands cases of water a year to local villages in Fiji who have been hit by cyclones or flash flooding to provide immediate access to clean, safe water.
- She said the water Fiji bottles and ships is sourced from an isolated underground aquifer unsuitable for public use, so is unrelated to the cited problem.
“If we didn’t bottle the water the underground flow would simply run into the ocean and fewer people in Fiji would benefit from access to clean, safe water,” Kang added. “Rather than ‘exploiting the environment and people’ as Erica Schuetz claims, protecting the ecosystem of Fiji – which is our greatest resource – and supporting the local economy is very important to us. Fiji benefits from making its water available for export.”
Readers, any thoughts on this response?
For past PRWeek coverage on Fiji Water click here.
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