EU firms accused of 'greenwashing' economy

Environmentalists have questioned the green credentials of European businesses.

At the opening of the sixth European business summit in Brussels, entitled 'Greening the economy', Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory and Transnational Institute accused firms taking part of 'greenwashing' practices.

Campaigners questioned the corporate behaviour of firms at the summit with respect to the environment and local communities worldwide.

Paul de Clerck, corporate campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "If the organisers of the European Business Summit seriously want to discuss a greener economy, why do they invite the most polluting companies and sectors?

"That an event titled 'Greening the economy' is dominated by dirty laggards instead of green leaders is hypocritical."

He went on to say that at events like EBS, bosses have direct access to decision-makers to 'manipulate perceptions'.

"Instead of spending millions on PR campaigns designed to paint themselves green, the companies should make real efforts to improve their environmental performance," he said.

The summit is organised by the Brussels-based BusinessEurope, the lobby body of EU firms.

FoE is highlighting the poor environmental record of firms taking part in the summit such as BMW and Volvo, E.on, Fortis, Gazprom, Lufthansa and KLM and Shell.

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