GreenYes Archives

[GreenYes Home] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]


[greenyes] E-Waste/Way to go Texas Campaign for the Environment


EXCERPT
In January 2004, the combination of a market campaign by national
coalition of environmental groups and pressure from liberal shareholder
activists controlling hundreds of billions of dollars in assets - including
the pension funds of religious orders, government workers and labor unions -
forced Dell, one of the world's largest computer markers, to change its
recycling policy.
Environmentalists went door-to-door in Austin, Texas, where the company
is headquartered, explaining why they wanted Dell to do more to keep old
computers, which contain toxic chemicals, out of landfills. At a major
electronics show where Michael Dell, the company's founder, was the keynote
speaker, environmentalists showed up in black-and-white striped prison garb
and passed out literature criticizing Dell's practice of using prison labor
to crudely recycle computers.
"Dell had this image of themselves as being a positive force for change
and as being a clean company," said Robin Schneider of the Texas Campaign
for the Environment, one of the groups leading the protests. "Being shown as
a dirty industry ... that's not how they wanted to be seen."
After nearly two years of protests, Dell announced that it would recycle
a computer of any brand at no charge from customers who buy a new Dell
computer.
"We thought that was great," Schneider said. "They are not required to do
that by law ... We actually gave Michael Dell a certificate that said, 'Way
to recycle, Michael!' And he talked about how they don't want to do this
just in America, but that it should be a worldwide program."
Key to the success of the campaign was the ability of environmentalists
to show Dell that the company could make money by offering
computer-recycling services to big corporate customers concerned about
protecting the privacy of data on outdated machines.
"I think the campaign was certainly successful in getting our
attention," said Dell spokesman Bryant Hilton. "What got us really going was
that we found we can meet our business needs, we can meet our customers'
needs and we can do what the stakeholders are asking of us all at the same
time."


Scripps Howard News Service
Environmentalists bypass Washington to pressure corporations
By JOAN LOWY
Scripps Howard News Service
May 25, 2005
- After four and a half years of policy defeats at the hands of the Bush
administration, some green groups are finding they can achieve greater
success outside Washington by exerting pressure directly on corporations.
In recent years, environmental activists have successfully employed pressure
tactics ranging from shareholder resolutions to humorous ad campaigns to
street theater in an effort to force some of the world's largest
corporations to change their behavior on issues like logging in old-growth
forests, greenhouse gas emissions and computer recycling.
Currently, environmentalists are pressuring Ford Motor Co. to do something
that they have been unable to persuade the federal government to order
despite more than two decades of lobbying: significantly increase the fuel
economy of cars and trucks.
Since the campaign began in 2003, protesters have targeted more than 100
Ford dealerships around the country.
A local order of nuns met with the owner of a Ford dealership in Madison,
Wis. Actor Woody Harrelson transported activists to a Santa Fe, N.M., Ford
dealership in his bio-diesel bus. Organizers in Greeley, Colo., persuaded a
car dealer to write Ford headquarters asking for increases in fuel
efficiency.
Greenpeace activists recently forced the temporary shutdown of a Land Rover
factory owned by Ford in the United Kingdom by chaining themselves to plant
equipment.
"Our goal is to make it the largest corporate campaign on climate issues on
the planet by expanding the geographic scope and types of groups involved,"
said Michael Brune, executive director of the Rainforest Action Network, one
of the groups spearheading the "Jumpstart Ford" campaign.
Ford ranks last among the world's top six automakers in fleet-wide fuel
efficiency. Environmentalists are demanding Ford's fleet of vehicles achieve
an average fuel efficiency of 50 miles per gallon by 2010, which they say is
possible using current technology.
"We are doing the best we can to move fuel economy forward - that's on
everybody's mind," said Ford spokeswoman Chris Morrisroe. "If we could do
that now, we would. It's not like we're looking to have bad fuel economy
anywhere."
Called "market campaigns," the essential strategy is to publicly link one of
a company's chief assets - its brand name - with harmful environmental
practices.
"I think it's an enormously effective tactic, especially in a globalized
world where multinational corporations play an increasingly powerful role,"
said Idelisse Malave, executive director of the Tides Foundation, which
helps fund the Rainforest Action Network and other groups. "The focus of
achieving change cannot just be on government."
In January 2004, the combination of a market campaign by national coalition
of environmental groups and pressure from liberal shareholder activists
controlling hundreds of billions of dollars in assets - including the
pension funds of religious orders, government workers and labor unions -
forced Dell, one of the world's largest computer markers, to change its
recycling policy.
Environmentalists went door-to-door in Austin, Texas, where the company is
headquartered, explaining why they wanted Dell to do more to keep old
computers, which contain toxic chemicals, out of landfills. At a major
electronics show where Michael Dell, the company's founder, was the keynote
speaker, environmentalists showed up in black-and-white striped prison garb
and passed out literature criticizing Dell's practice of using prison labor
to crudely recycle computers.
"Dell had this image of themselves as being a positive force for change and
as being a clean company," said Robin Schneider of the Texas Campaign for
the Environment, one of the groups leading the protests. "Being shown as a
dirty industry ... that's not how they wanted to be seen."
After nearly two years of protests, Dell announced that it would recycle a
computer of any brand at no charge from customers who buy a new Dell
computer.
"We thought that was great," Schneider said. "They are not required to do
that by law ... We actually gave Michael Dell a certificate that said, 'Way
to recycle, Michael!' And he talked about how they don't want to do this
just in America, but that it should be a worldwide program."
Key to the success of the campaign was the ability of environmentalists to
show Dell that the company could make money by offering computer-recycling
services to big corporate customers concerned about protecting the privacy
of data on outdated machines.
"I think the campaign was certainly successful in getting our attention,"
said Dell spokesman Bryant Hilton. "What got us really going was that we
found we can meet our business needs, we can meet our customers' needs and
we can do what the stakeholders are asking of us all at the same time."
"The desire of corporations to be accepted by the marketplace and to be
personally liked has spawned an entire industry of activism and corporate
capitulation that I've never seen before - it's unprecedented," said Eric
Dezenhall, a Washington public-relations executive who defends corporate
clients under attack by environmentalists and other interest groups.
"I've seen situations where companies are simply being harassed so badly
that it pays to get out of a certain endeavor just to make the harassment
stop," Dezenhall said.
"...
"...
"...
"...

FOR FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=GREENCOMPANIES-05-25-05&cat=AN
_________________________
Peter Anderson, President
RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address
web: www.recycleworlds.net





[GreenYes Home] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]