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The Independent: Shell rapped for ‘green’ claims in advert

By David Prosser
Published: 08 November 2007

Environmental campaigners launched a stinging attack on Shell yesterday after advertising regulators upheld complaints about claims the oil giant had made about its green credentials.

The Advertising Standards Authority said Shell had been wrong to run adverts which claimed “We use our waste CO2 to grow flowers” under the headline “Don’t throw anything away”.

The ruling followed complaints from groups such as Friends of the Earth which argued that Shell in fact used just 0.325 per cent of their global carbon emissions on projects involving local greenhouse growers. The ASA said Shell’s adverts had implied that all of its emissions were used in this way.

It also upheld complaints made about Shell’s claims that it used waste sulphur in concrete production, for the same reason.

Hannah Griffiths, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Companies making false green claims do nothing but make the situation worse as they try to pull the wool over people’s eyes and lull them into a false sense of security – it’s a shame that the ASA does not have more teeth and that Shell wasn’t fined.”

Shell said it had not intended to mislead the public with its adverts and that it did not intend to use them again.

Meanwhile Shell’s chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, announced an initiative in Russia to build a “huge-scale long-term liquid gas and oil project”. The oil giant said it will work with local companies to develop resources on the Yamal peninsula, in Russia’s Arctic north. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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