Friday, October 16, 2009

Shell, Nestle and Motorola's dirty secret

Greenpeace has a new report out this week about big companies, including Nestle, Samsung, Motorola, Shell and Kraft Foods, that are failing to comply with China's environmental disclosure regulations. What's great about the report (called "Silent Giants") is that it only asks if companies (both foreign and Chinese) are complying with Chinese regulations - it's not demanding they adhere to a higher international standard. In particular, Greenpeace investigated companies' compliance with a 2008 regulation that said companies blacklisted by local governments in China for spewing pollutants into the environment must disclose precisely what they are spewing. What Greenpeace found was "[n]one of the 25 factories belonging to the 18 companies that were required to disclose environmental information for exceeding discharge standards disclosed information within the stipulated time limit." Interestingly, all of the eight multinationals cited in the report regularly disclose information about emissions at their plants OUTSIDE China. What do you think?