Russian Actions against Greenpeace International Part of a Familiar Trend

Last week, the CGP blog commented on the state of the CSO sector in Russia amidst the oncoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the country. The highly controversial interactions between the environmental group Greenpeace International and the Russian government in the past weeks align with the past grievances we reported on:

A Russian coastguard official points a knife at a Greenpeace International activist who tried to scale an oil platform owned by state-owned energy giant Gazprom (Source: Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace).

30 people from 18 countries detained on the Greenpeace International ship “Arctic Sunrise” are awaiting trial on piracy charges and face up to 15 years in prison if convicted related to a September 18th  incident in which some of the activists tried to scale an oil rig in the Pechora Sea owned by the national oil-giant Gazprom. The activists may spend up to two months in pre-trial detention in a Murmansk jail awaiting the decision of Russian prosecutors. Greenpeace International director Kumi Naidoo called the seizure of the vessel and the arrest of its crew the worst “assault” on the environmental activist organization since one of its ships was bombed in 1985. The detained activists are reportedly being kept in “solitary confinement for 23 hours a day,” while others are held in “extremely cold cells.” Russian officials have called the protest “pure provocation” and an “encroachment on the sovereignty” of Russia.

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Private Sector and Nonprofit Partnerships (Part II) – Coca-Cola and WWF are Just Two Lost Souls Swimming in a Fish Bowl… Year After Year

We have come a long way since 1970. The year is often recognized as the birth of the environmental movement, marked by the first annual Earth Day. It is also the year that Nobel Prize winner in economic sciences, Milton Friedman, wrote that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”, in a seminal New York Times Magazine article.

34 years later, top leaders of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) convened to draft the Manifesto for Growth, with the objective of transforming the company. Following the death of its CEO, TCCC saw a record dip in business performance. This strategic blueprint laid out a roadmap based on what TCCC calls the “5 P’s” of sustainable growth:

  1. Portfolio – the design of their 500+ brands across the world
  2. Partners – constructive engagement with stakeholders
  3. Planet – health of the business is directly related to the health of the planet
  4. People – fair and dignified treatment of all people working for the company
  5. Profit – maximize shareholder value in conjunction with environmental and social value

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