A body called The Green Organisation http://www.thegreenorganisation.info/ is promoting its “Green Apple Environment Awards” to companies (and local authorities) which pay a fee to The Green Organisation. In exchange they get the chance to get some good publicity about what they have done.
Even for a small business of under 50 employees, the membership fee is £400 to £800 per year, so the Green Organisation knows how to get the money in. http://www.greenorg.livewirecms.com/GO_Membership_FormV6.pdf
Now a variety of unlikely recipients of any award for environmental achievements have been given these “Green Apple Environment Awards”. Southend Council has been awarded one, and East Midlands airport say they have received one for the past five years.
You can see a list of previous winners of the Green Apple award. These include BAE systems, Gatwick Airport, Tesco, Jaguar, Ford, e-on, BP, Honda, N-power … and so on.
It is very praiseworthy for these companies and councils to be cutting down on their carbon emissions, but to pay to be given an award, most of the purpose of which is to get some good PR sounds dodgy ….
Southend Borough Council has just been awarded one.
30th November 2011,
In response, Friends of the Earth Southend wrote to The Green Organisation saying:
We areastonished to see that your group had awarded the council a Green Apple Award.
Very many local residents will have been equally surprised to have seen the press coverage given to this award. Those I have spoken to found the notion hilarious. While I can understand some amusement, I am afraid it did not have that impact upon me. I was annoyed by what I saw as blatant “Greenwash” – a very dangerous commodity indeed.
Are you aware of the scale of public outrage at the decision of the local council to expand operations at the local airport? The plans aim to achieve the release of an additional 2 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Are you aware that the council has vigorously promoted out of town and edge of town development and continues to do so? It has moved one of its largest employers out of town to an edge of town location, it has moved its main swimming pool from the town centre to an edge of town facility and it plans to move the town’s football club away from a town railway station to an out of town location that can only be accessed by the car.
Are you aware that the local Friends of the Earth group has fought long and hard to secure council interest in development of eco-tourism around the Thames and Crouch estuaries but that all efforts have been ignored?
Are you aware that public transport campaigners have fought long and hard to secure the construction of bus lanes in the town but the council not only ignores these, it pumps as much money as it can into road widening schemes to encourage people to continue to use their cars?
In the light of this can you please explain to me why you awarded the Green Apple to this of all councils? I understand that we all need to congratulate Southend council when it occasionally does good things, for example improving recycling rates; but to give the impression that it deserves an award when it is clearly and willfully doing so much harm is grossly irresponsible.
East Midlands airport have received these awards, apparently for 5 consecutive several years, though their name cannot be located among the winners:
GREEN APPLE AWARDS WINNERS 2011
East Midlands Airport (EMA Press Office)
Green Apple Award for Gatwick
In a national campaign to find Britain’s greenest companies, councils and communities, Bio-Productions, in partnership with OCS, have won a Green Apple Environment Award for helping to reduce the environmental impacts of cleaning Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport. The Green Apple Awards are run by The Green Organisation to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world.
The awards will be presented to winners at a ceremony in the House of Commons on November 14, 2011. They are invited to have their winning paper published in The Green Book, the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, and will also be considered to represent their country in the European Business Awards for the Environment.
The introduction of Bio-Productions biological cleaning products at Gatwick has resulted in a recognised improvement in washroom air quality, as well as the airport’s environmental impacts being reduced in a number of ways. A reduction in chemical use has led to fewer deliveries and less on-site stock movement, with an anticipated saving of approximately 100 truck miles a year. Bio-Productions biological urinal blocks have been introduced in all the washrooms, bringing an annual reduction in water usage of around 100,000 litres per annum as well as energy savings on pumping and moving water to the airport’s effluent treatment plant. The cleaning products are also stored in a smaller area resulting
in lower energy consumption.
Adrian Shuker, Sustainability Director for OCS who provide cleaning services in the airport’s public areas, commented: “It has been one of our top priorities to enhance the passenger experience, especially in the washroom, and to add value for the client through environmental efficiencies. Our partnership with Bio-Productions has helped us achieve this goal.”
The Green Organisation’s website says:
All Green Apple Award winners are entitled to use this distinctive logo on their letterheads and promotional material