Who are the Greenwashers?

September 22, 2021
Public Relations

Who are the Greenwashers?

Green policies aren’t well regulated. There are no real rules regarding those green certification programs many companies boast about.

Any company can use terms like “eco-friendly” and “biodegradable” with no need to back up those claims.

The deceptive practice of greenwashing allows companies to fool others into thinking they are much more conscientious than they truly are.

As an example, shipping industry executives are heavily marketing their green endeavors. It doesn’t matter if these initiatives are good for the environment. It doesn’t even matter if the company is committed to completing them. All that matters is that the initiative and the company by association is perceived favorably by the public. Actually accomplishing green endeavors is no easy feat but many in the maritime sector have found “success” in sustainability through careful marketing ploys.

Talk, they have learned, is cheap!

The cruise line industry:  Cruise lines are notorious for their crimes against nature. Many have deliberately dumped oil and garbage into the oceans, only stopping once they get caught. The irony is that cruise lines are often the first to talk about their commitment to sustainability. With the push to decarbonize the shipping sector, zero emissions has become the conversation of choice. It would be hard to find a cruise line not currently boasting about their future zero emissions ships or net-zero emissions goals. Adding to the irony though, is that the vast majority of these cruise lines are using scrubbers to comply with the IMO’s sulfur cap. Remember the recent ICCT study that found that scrubbers are not equivalently effective as low sulfur fuels? Particulate matter emissions were found to be almost 70% higher with scrubbers compared to low sulfur fuel. For black carbon emissions there was an 81% increase associated with the use of scrubbers over the use of low sulfur fuel. Yet, the cruise lines are marketing scrubbers to make it seem as if they are the key to success in decarbonization. Carnival Corporation markets their scrubbers as “Advanced Air Quality Systems” and Royal Caribbean uses the term “Advanced Emission Purification” in reference to their scrubbers. Norwegian Cruise Line went so far as to make scrubbers a part of their Eco-Smart Cruising program. The effort these companies take to make scrubbers seem good for the environment is unreal. It is a textbook case of greenwashing.

The culprits:    Carnival Corporation, Arnold W. Donald,  Email: adonald@carnival.com  ;   Royal Caribbean International, Michael Bayley , Email: mbayley@rccl.com  ; Norwegian Cruise Line, Frank J. Del Rio  Email: fdelrio@ncl.com

Elected officials that regulate the industry/environment: Emails of Elected Officials:  GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com LtGovernorJeanette.Nunez@eog.myflorida.com  diaz.manny@flsenate.gov  info@mariodiazbalart.com Michael.Grieco@myfloridahouse.gov  Garcia.Ileana@flsenate.gov

The container shipping industry: Container lines are making similar claims about their decarbonization efforts. Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, Cosco, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd and many others share in great detail their efforts to reduce emissions. But as with the cruise lines, their reliance on scrubbers tells a different tale.This year, orders for new container ships reached record highs. Sadly, the majority of these new builds will be scrubber fitted. BIMCO reported that of the 168 container ships ordered so far this year, 117 will be delivered with a scrubber. These container lines like to say that they are working towards zero-emissions but at the same time, continue to propagate the scrubber agenda. No matter what they would like to believe, the two could never co-exist.

The culprits:  Maersk, Søren Skou   Email: soren.skou@maersk.com ;  MSC, Diego Aponte Email: diego.aponte@msc.com ;  Cosco, Yang Zhijian Email:cs.hq@coscon.com;  Hapag-Lloyd, Rolf Habben Jansen  Email: r.habbenjansen@hlag.com

Emails of Elected Officials for Maersk: stm@stm.dk miljoeministeren@mim.dk  kefm@kefm.dk min@em.dk momwe@mfvm.dk  sf@sf.dk

Emails of Elected Officials for MSC:  simonetta.sommaruga@gs-ejpd.admin.ch info@gs-uvek.admin.ch gruene@gruene.ch

Email of Elected Officials for COSCO: Zhuoz@mee.gov.cn

Emails of Elected Officials for Hapag-Lloyd : ministerbuero@bmu.bund.de Stephan.Contius@bmu.bund.de info@gruene.de michael.bloss@europarl.europa.eu

Please email these “leaders” of industry and ask them to clarify their [hypocrite] position.

  1. Ask them to explain how their “green” goals align with continued environmental abuse.
  2. Ask them how they will work towards decarbonization while investing in technologies that won’t help us get there.
  3. Ask them to justify their use of scrubbers when there is so much evidence indicating that they are a major risk.
  4. Ask them to defend all the time wasted on marketing schemes and campaigns that only serve to give the impression of sustainability.
  5. Ask them why their actions don’t match their words.

Perhaps by challenging these corporations they may actually change to care about our environment.

IMPORTANT:  Please copy the elected officials in the areas where these companies operate (pollute) in or even contact them separately. We desperately need to bring this issue to their attention. We need government officials to be aware of how prevalent greenwashing has become in the shipping industry. We need them to know that it is impeding progress towards decarbonization and in many cases, concealing actions that hurt the environment. Elected officials may be our only means to force changes on the companies that would otherwise outright refuse to act sustainably.

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