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Shell Greenwash Record Revealed in News Headlines

Environmental Leader: Shell Catches Flak Over Green Ad, Releases Sustainability Report: 8 May 2007

New York Times: Shell and ‘Flower Power’: 31 May 2007

The Independent: Inside Story: Advertising environmentalism – Is it just greenwash?: 31 March 2008 (GREENWASH)


They say: Shell’s “Don’t throw anything away – there is no away” campaign features an ad with a cartoon oil refinery emitting flowers, accompanied by the claim that Shell uses its waste CO2 to grow flowers, and waste sulphur to make concrete.

Behind the greenwash: It turned out that Shell only recycled 0.325 per cent of its CO2 emissions in this way, and barely more of its waste sulphur. In November, the ASA welcomed Shell’s assurance that the ad would no longer be used. Shell is less keen to tell us all about its project to extract oil from the Canadian tar – just about the most climate-wrecking form of fossil fuel extraction one could imagine. Record complaints over ‘greenwashing‘: 25 April 2008

Environmental Leader: Advertising Watchdog Sees Big Jump In Green Ad Complaints: 5 May 2008

Daily Telegraph: Shell adverts ‘misled’ consumers over environmental claims: 12 August 2008

Calgary Herald: WWF targets oilsands after court rules Shell ad is misleading: 13 August 2008

Campaign Magazine (BRAND REPUBLIC): Shell ad banned over ‘greenwashing’ claims: 13 August 2008

Financial Times: Complaint upheld over Shell advert: 13 August 2008

The ASA will announce today that it has upheld a complaint against Shell by WWF, the environmental charity, about the oil company’s claims that oil sands in Canada were a “sustainable” energy source.

The Guardian: Shell rapped by ASA for ‘greenwash’ advert: 13 August 2008

Oil company’s claim that its work in Alberta’s tar sands was ‘sustainable’ is branded ‘misleading’ by Advertising Standards Authority.

The Guardian: WWF advert attacks Shell’s claims: 13 August 2008

The Independent: Shell rebuked for ‘greenwash’ over ad for polluting oil project: 13 August 2008

Environmental Leader: ASA: Shell Environmental Claims Violate Advertising Rules: 14 August 2008

The Independent: Time for multi-dimensional communication with oil companies: 15August 2008

For the second time in the last couple of years the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has found itself at the heart of the debate about greenwash in advertising. In 2007 Shell ads suggested rather bizarrely that it had been using its waste CO2 emissions to grow flowers: the ad was condemned by the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). One year later another Shell ad has been banned. This time for suggesting that the company’s Canadian oil sand extraction operation was sustainable. Shell does not appear to have learnt its lesson.

Financial Post (Canada): Sustaina-bull: 16 August 2008

This week, petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell had its knuckles rapped by the U. K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over claims that its Canadian oil sands operations were “sustainable.” There is a certain rich irony in Shell being hoist by its own environmental petard. The company’s former CEO, Sir Philip Watts, once claimed that Shell’s commitment to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility were what elevated it above its rivals. That was before he was thrown out of the company for cooking the books.

Blogger News Network: The origins of Shell’s “Greenwash” were back in 1997: 16 August 2008

The Guardian: Climate controls: The chairman of the ASA on the problems of greenwash…: 18 August 2008

EnvironmentalLeader: Shell Criticized for Manipulating Environmental Audit Report: 2 September 2008

Calgard Herald: Shell to pull ‘greenwash’ ad on Canadian oilsands projects: 24 September 2008

The ASA upheld a high-profile complaint against Royal Dutch Shell for an ad that ran, just once, in the Financial Times in February, claiming that oil sands in Canada’s wilderness were a “sustainable” energy source.

The Guardian: The great green swindle: 23 October 2008

The Guardian: It will take more than goodwill and greenwash to save the biosphere: 6 January 2009

AlterNet: Monbiot Grills Shell Oil CEO: Is There Any Investment You Would Not Make on Ethical Grounds?: 8 January 2009

The Wall Street Journal: Shell’s Green Ads Take New Tack: 2 February 2009

The Times: Advertising regulators get tough over “greenwash”: 3 February 2009

Environmental Leader: Shell Accused of Greenwashing, Again: 4 February 2009

Convenience Store News: Green Shell Ads Stress Innovations to Increase Oil Supply: 4 February 2009

Financial Times: Emissions disclosure study puts Shell bottom of the big oil class: 16 March 2009

The Guardian: Shell dumps wind, solar and hydro power in favour of biofuels: 17 March 2009

Reuters: Shell goes cold on wind, solar, hydrogen energy: 17 March 2009

The Guardian: Shell’s subtle switch from renewables to the murky world of ‘alternative’ energy: 18 March 2009

The Times: Anger as Shell reduces renewables investment: 18 March 2009

The Guardian: Shoppers need clear labels to put a stop to ‘greenwash’: 23 March 2009

Financial Times: Clampdown on greenwash: 25 March 2009

The Guardian: Greenwash: Shell betrays ‘new energy future’ promises: 26 March 2009

GREENWASH – The drama and the reality: By Paddy Briggs: 2 April 2009

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