This article discusses how Shell Greenwashed its Image as Internal Documents Warned of Fossil Fuels’ Contribution to Climate Change.
Shell knew about the relationship between burning fossil fuels and climate change as early as the 1980s. So what did the company decide to do about it? Stop burning fossil fuels?
No. It changed its advertising strategy.
A tranche of documents uncovered last week by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent published on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center, revealed that Shell knew about the danger its products posed to the climate decades ago. The company has continued to double-down on fossil fuel investment since the turn of the century despite this knowledge.
But in the wake of a bribery scandal in Nigeria that resulted in two dozen employees being fired, the company was concerned enough about its dirty image to work out a new PR strategy.
That strategy was presented in a document from 1999 entitled ‘Listening and Responding: The Profits and Principles Advertising Campaign’. The dossier shows the origins of Shell’s PR strategy to clean up its image, enacted over the past two decades.