Is it us, or has everyone gone green?
That's how it seemed during last month's Earth Day, which saw companies big and small hitch their buggies to the environmental bandwagon. But watchdog group Corporate Watch was hearing nothing of it, and handed out Earth Day Greenwash Awards in order to distinguish the sincere from the cynical.
Ford won the grand prize (a bicycle for chairman Bill Ford Jr.'s commute) for its 'massive new green image campaign,' which reportedly cost the company as much as the rollout of a new car line. Also receiving citations were Chevron, Unocal, the World Bank and Royal Dutch Shell.
Special honors went to ExxonMobil for 'not even bothering to cover up its role in global warming.' ExxonMobil chairman Lee Raymond was awarded a subscription to PRWatch so that he could 'study his competitors' techniques in co-opting environmental messages.'
Alas, it's not easy being green.