Johannesburg, South Africa, August 30, 2002 – The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is pulling off the most outrageous green-wash stunt in history, according to Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) by presenting here the ‘World Summit Business Awards for Sustainable Development Partnerships’ [1] on Aug 31.

“The great irony is that the ICC is presenting itself as a paragon of sustainable development through giving out these awards. This is the worst kind of greenwash, because Governments and the public will be tempted to assume the ICC is really working for sustainability, when its record is far from green,” said Ricardo Narvarro, Friends of the Earth International Chair.

“Of course, everyone wants to support good action from companies. But whether the companies who receive them deserve recognition or not, the ICC’s role undermines the credibility of these awards and represents the biggest attempt at greenwashing ever mounted,” added Navarro.

What is the ICC record?
• The ICC lobbied heavily against the world’s major environmental treaties, including the Kyoto Protocol, the Biodiversity Convention and the Basel Convention against trade in toxic waste, in direct contradiction to the Global Compact’s Principles 7 (supporting a precautionary approach to environmental challenges) and 8 (promoting greater environmental responsibility);

• The ICC previously presented an award to the Tokyo Electric Power Company for “taking its fight against global climate change and environmental degradation onto the world stage”. This involved Japan’s largest nuclear energy producer turning 3,000 hectares of native forests on Tasmania into a eucalyptus plantation in order to earn carbon credits;

• The ICC resists the inclusion of binding corporate accountability measures in the Johannesburg Earth Summit, calling them “one-size fits all” and “not workable.” [3]

• The ICC pulled out of the UN’s multistakeholder review of voluntary business initiatives preferring that their resources “be allocated to greater effect in other current initiatives we are undertaking with the United Nations”;

The ICC includes membership of Enron, Monsanto, Exxon and a host of other corporations not known for their leadership on sustainability. Enron has been at the heart of the US’s biggest corporate scandal for a decade, Exxon is presently the subject of an international boycott over its opposition to the Kyoto Protocol and Monsanto’s attempts to force GM products on the world resulted in a massive public reaction.

As an alternative to the ICC awards, Friends of the Earth is part of the Greenwash Academy which itself is presenting awards to corporations which are greenwashing their bad social and environmental practices. FoEI has exposed the real story of big business bad practices around the World in its report Clashes with Corporate Giants.

Friends of the Earth International is calling on governments to introduce legally binding international measures to secure corporate accountability (including full liability) based on rights for citizens and communities.

[1] The ICC’s awards will be presented at the Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg on 31 August. Details can be found at:

Contact in Johannesburg:
Ricardo Navarro, Friends of the Earth Chair +27 72 4015392
Daniel Mittler, Friends of the Earth Summit coordinator +27 72 4015394
David Waskow, Friends of the Earth corporates specialist +27 82 8588586
Craig Bennett, Greenwash Academy specialist +27 72 4064748