Shell Oil – Greenwashing Dirty Energy

by Claudette

August 30, 2008

Investigations Brief
While Shell’s ads feature pristine wildernesses, happy fish, and flowering smoke stacks, Shell continues to poison the people that live near its operations, rapidly expand the most destructive oil extraction operations, and increase its greenhouse gas emissions.  Meanwhile, Shell is also trying to influence the climate policy debate, with targeted policy recommendations and thousands of dollars in lobby funding.

Royal Dutch Shell is a multinational oil company with British and Dutch origins. It is one of the largest private sector energy corporations in the world, with its main business being exploration for and production, distribution and marketing of oil and gas . With 104,000 employees in more than 110 countries, the company claims to play a key role in helping to meet the world’s gherowing demand for energy in economically, environmentally and socially responsible ways [1]. Last year Shell made over $31B in profits, which amounts to $85M in profits every day [2].

Campaign Details
Shell oil spends millions promoting an image of environmental responsibility and innovation.  Shell ads talk about cleaning the air and water, and use environmental images to promote its products.  The company is exaggerating its environmental claims, while diverting attention away from its dirty and destructive core business.

The Outcome
Shell continues to spend millions on green advertising messages, while also continuing to devastate the plant and lobby Congress and the White House.

[1] Shell website
[2] Royal Dutch Shell 2007 Annual Report

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