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« Game just changed again | Main | Two years later »
Monday
Mar212016

Corporate worms starting to turn

The corporate world has been misled by its public relations advisers for far too long. The softly, softly approach they have taken to attacks by environmentalists has not served them well, and in many areas business has ground to a halt. 

It's nice then to see a company that is willing to take a stand.

In 2013 [Canadian forestry business] Resolute sued Greenpeace for “defamation, malicious falsehood and intentional interference with economic relations” and sought $7 million Canadian in damages. The company has clearly been harmed by Greenpeace’s fact-challenged denunciations of logging in Canada’s vast boreal forest. As a result of the green media campaign, Resolute says it has lost U.S. customers including Best Buy. Greenpeace says in its court filings that its publications on Resolute “present fair comment based on true facts” and that the company is “engaged in destructive forest operations.”

As part of the court proceedings, Resolute is seeking Greenpeace correspondence, which should be lots of fun if it ever sees the light of day.

But Greenpeace may be forced to defend those comments. In January 2015 an Ontario court refused to consider an appeal of its motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Then last June Superior Court Justice F. B. Fitzpatrick rejected Greenpeace’s motion to strike part of the Resolute complaint that details the environmental group’s activities around the world.

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Reader Comments (103)

If this company is prepared to go the whole hog with this, bearing in mind that Gr€€np€a$ are likely to have far more resources for court action than many large companies, then there could be some very interesting Gr€€np€a$ dirty linen on display.

Mar 21, 2016 at 10:07 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

About time!

Maybe the chickens are coming home to roost at last.

Mar 21, 2016 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterivan

The corporate cowardice to date has been stunning. In my pre-retirement years we -
1. Sacked 1,000 unionist at an iron ore mine, then invited back those who would conduct no union business. The smaller number of better employees increased profitability and safety almost overnight.
2. Convinced a Federal Court here in Australia to tell the U.N.'s World Heritage people internationally that the plan to enlarge the WH size of Kakudu national park was off. The party planned that week in Paris would have to be called off.
3. Took several Federal Ministers to Court, to reverse decisions that they had made without due application of their requirement for diligent inspection of evidence leading to their decisions.
4. Took the Victorian EPA to Court, arguing that a plan they wished to enforce with regard to lead contamination at a former battery recycling site was not workable.

While we won all of these in the first instance, we knew that we would meet - and did meet - the army of more clever lawyers with hearts on their sleeves who knew how to pitch stories to the right Judges to get their way.
The whole system was, essentially, corrupt and far from impartial.

Clearly, the path to reform involved hammering point after point until it became clear that judicial reform was needed. I mean, when a Judge was a President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, do you really think he could find against the ACF preferences?

Unfortunately, companies these days seem better at having a whinge than trying to reform the system by example. Guts has gone to grease.

So, good on you, Resolute.

Mar 21, 2016 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

I can't recall hearing Greenpeace complaints about the forced conversion of Drax power station from coal to recently-living American forest burning. Joining the dots was never their strong point.

Mar 21, 2016 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Is there any profession other than lawyers employed by greenpiss anymore? Apart from the bottom echelon foot-soldiers/useful idiots willing to get their boots dirty for their beliefs.

Mar 21, 2016 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

“defamation, malicious falsehood and intentional interference with economic relations” go for it!

The Canadians denied GP charitable status before the present fashion ....

Now then ... when are the Dutch going to wake up?

Mar 21, 2016 at 11:21 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Reminds me of all the bleeding hearts who complain about the wilful destruction of pristine boreal forest (in all its primal majesty) in the Athabasca Tar Sands area of Alberta. This despite some of the most stringent land restoration requirements imposed by the Province or anywhere in the world. The fact that much of the noble forest is little more than by what might charitably be termed scrub forest (which never would be logged) also passes most objectors by. Not to mention the natural "pollution" of the Athabasca River as it cuts down through the tar sands. I have done geological mapping in immediately adjacent parts of Saskatchewan and the former Northwest Territories, so I know first hand whereof I speak.

Some (but not all) Canadian activists are, from my own experience, beyond the pale.

Hooray for for the well named Resolute.

Mar 21, 2016 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Actually, not the first time Resolute has resorted to its Learned Friends in an attempt to bully its critics into silence :-


Resolute Forest Products, the largest industrial logging company in Canada, suffered a major setback this week when the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) revoked three certifications for the forestry giant. According to Greenpeace, the company lost its certification in Quebec and Ontario due to several problems, including a lack of consent from the Crees nations and failure to safeguard high priority conservation areas.

The loss of certification, which occurred after an audit by the Rainforest Alliance, an FSC partner, impacts Resolute’s operations in boreal forests in the regions of Lac St-Jean (Quebec) and Black Spruce-Dog River Matawin (Ontario). In all, Resolute’s operations in these regions cover 6.7 million hectares, an area larger than Sri Lanka. Beginning January 1st, Resolute will no longer be able to label their products from these forests with the FSC logo.

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/12/canadas-biggest-logger-loses-eco-certification

On May 6, 2014, Resolute Forest Products Canada Inc. issued a Notice of Action in Ontario against the Rainforest Alliance in connection with Resolute’s Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certificates for the Caribou and Black Spruce Dog River-Matawin Forests. The next day, Resolute sought and obtained a court order prohibiting us from releasing or discussing the contents of our most recent audit reports in connection with these certificates. This injunction was granted on extremely short notice and in the absence of Rainforest Alliance or our legal counsel. The Rainforest Alliance has never before been sued by an FSC certificate holder. We are disappointed that Resolute has resorted to these measures.

http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/statement/resolute-forest-products


The FSC certification was reinstated at the end of last year after Resolute were forced to take corrective action, a win for the RFA, the local people and the forests.

Mar 21, 2016 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Slightly OT:
Surprisingly the latest Scandi-drama on British screens, Follow the Money, revolves around a Danish self-proclaimed eco energy company which knowingly has dangerous working conditions on its wind farms and is run by an entirely cynical **** who runs the outfit like Enron. He and his wind "power" rivals are open about hoovering up as much subsidy as possible and the fact that they would be out of business without them.

It's being shown on BBC4 but I'm sure that this wouldn't get past being instantly binned if it was submitted to the BBC as a script set in the UK.

Mar 21, 2016 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

@artwest

Saw that and its the BBC FFS! Danish production.

BBC Drama not connected to BBC (bad mouth) News?

Both energy swindles and mis treatment of workers..Ukranian?

Mar 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Phil Clarke; FSC derive their income from the sale of certificates. Their action may be something of an own goal.

http://business.financialpost.com/news/agriculture/resolute-forest-says-fsc-certificate-reinstated-for-northern-ontario-forest

Green peace seem determine to shut down the entire Canadian logging industry, which, with the current political regime, is very possible. Tomorrow the world and curtains for "biomass" as a renewable energy source. Still, at least it will save CO2 emissions between now and decarbonisation in 2050.

Mar 21, 2016 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Phil Clarke, not the first time that Greenpeace action has led to destruction of lives and livelihoods, using dubious evidence and claims.

Mar 21, 2016 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil Clarke

What's your take on the wood pellet scam at Drax, then?

Mar 21, 2016 at 1:21 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Don't you just love it when the greens**t starts to hit the fan...

Mar 21, 2016 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

In the internet age, does anyone know whether Greenpeace correspondence to and from the UK could be included in the information being sought via correct Legal processes?

Mar 21, 2016 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

So when a corporation seeks protection from the courts - and allows the courts to arbitrate - it's called bullying. When Greenpeace go to court to force BP to break up Brent Spar at great cost it's called......what?

Mar 21, 2016 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

http://www.drax.com/biomass/biomass-faqs/

Mar 21, 2016 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

So when a corporation seeks protection from the courts - and allows the courts to arbitrate - it's called bullying. When Greenpeace go to court to force BP to break up Brent Spar at great cost it's called......what?

Fiction.

Mar 21, 2016 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

We remember all the hassle Greenpeace caused at the time, and their later sidestep apology.
Phil is just trying to rewite history
sad he sees that as his job. Alinksy Rules again i suppose

Mar 21, 2016 at 2:47 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Following a high profile action by Greenpeace and public pressure, the global oil and gas company Shell reverses its decision to dump the Brent Spar oil platform in the Atlantic Ocean.

Fiction, Mr Clarke? Considering this is a link from GP themselves.....But the bullies had to apologise later. But then, this is form for you.

Mar 21, 2016 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Phil

I asked what your take was on Drax – not theirs!

Mar 21, 2016 at 4:02 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Not taking sides but it's ironic that many, if not most, manmade structures that end up in the sea end up as havens for ocean life. It is now a deliberate enviro policy to use manmade structures to promote regrowth of corals that have been destroyed by trawlers.

Mar 21, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Poor Phil, unable to get off his carefully memorized script.

Mar 21, 2016 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

JamesG
And kicking and screaming all the way, the likes of Greenpeace have just about come round to accepting that.
One day somebody is going to get their PR as well-organised as the greenies and the lies they have all been telling us for the last half century will be exposed.
The trouble is that after that nobody will any longer believe a word they say and the real chancers in industry will be able to get away with murder. Probably literally in some cases.
If only they had been concerned with genuine environmental (and human) improvements and buried their own over-sized egos occasionally they could be among the most respected people on the planet instead of on a par with journalists and estate agents.
I was going to say 'politicians' but that is what they all are, in effect, anyway.

Mar 21, 2016 at 5:16 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

GC

"Greenpeace action has led to destruction of lives and livelihoods"

But that's just people, so it's OK.

Mar 21, 2016 at 5:23 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Brent Spar proved beyond all doubt that for Greenpeace the message is more important than facts - they admitted as much afterwards.

Mar 21, 2016 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

JamesG
USS USS Oriskany and U.S.S. Arthur W. Radford two which cost the US tax payer a lot to make suitable for sinking as sub-aqua tourist attractions.

Mar 21, 2016 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Interesting that Phil Clarke fails to see the mote in GP's eye (evidence Brent Spar) and thinks all pro-sceptic lawyers are "bullies" - but then, he's probably head-down in the HSI right now (as-if) so hasn't the time to catch up on the doings of GP in 1995 - let alone in 2016.

Mar 21, 2016 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Hmmm

So, raiding a backup mail server at UEA and publishing the contents is fine in the interests of openness, a fishing expedition into Greenpeace's records ditto, and a gagging order against the Rainforest Alliance, preventing them from disclosing their findings, also fine.

Hmmmm.

Mar 21, 2016 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Greenpeace is essentially a legal firm, funded by mostly well-meaning amateurs.

There is no way that standing up to them can be "bullying".

They'll always have more lawyers than you, more sympathetic judiciary, more sympathetic media and pretty much nothing else to do but try to destroy or hinder your business.


Whereas even fighting the smallest attack from Greenpeace is a huge drain and distraction and therefore a victory for them even if they lose the case.

Mar 21, 2016 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Hmmm… you are clutching at straws, now, Phil. Prepare yourself for an onslaught.

Hmmm...

Mar 21, 2016 at 10:49 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Why is it that the likes of Phil Clarke are so genuinely ignorant. He says that what Greenpeace did with Brent Spar was fiction?

And yet those of us that have been around a bit remember it - WE WERE THERE ALIVE WHEN IT WAS ALL OVER THE NEWS!!!!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/greenpeaces-brent-spar-apology-1599647.html

As this event took place in 1995 - can it be possible that "Phil Clarke" is coming up to age 21 and is incapable of contemplating that the world existed prior to his existence? :0)

Mar 21, 2016 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

"So, raiding a backup mail server at UEA..."

Mar 21, 2016 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

"Why is it that the likes of Phil Clarke are so genuinely ignorant"

Because (like Bob Ward) they couldn't do their jobs if they weren't.

Mar 21, 2016 at 11:19 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Phil Clarke, do you know more about the Climategate release of E-Mails than the Police?

Anyway, the thread was about Greenpeace lies, is that why you wanted to change the subject?

Mar 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

ForestEthics shakedown.

"Therefore [...] no longer considers Resolute subject to the benefits and protections of the agreement"

http://www.scribd.com/doc/272215549/Resolute-Forest-Products-Company

Resolute response

"This attempt at extortion is unacceptable"

http://www.scribd.com/doc/272215547/To-Mr-Todd-Paglia

Mar 22, 2016 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Phil Clarke, do you know more about the Climategate release of E-Mails than the Police?

Mar 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Everyone knows it was Tallbloke who dunnit

Mar 22, 2016 at 12:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Phil Clarke seems to have achieved the previously anatomically impossibility of inserting both of his feet into his ar$e and mouth at the same time, bless.

Mar 22, 2016 at 12:57 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Clipe did Tallbloke become the chief suspect because the server was on the top
shelf, and no one else could have reached it?

It is obviously more robust cicumstantial evidence that climate science is based on.

Mar 22, 2016 at 3:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Why is it that the likes of Phil Clarke are so genuinely ignorant. He says that what Greenpeace did with Brent Spar was fiction?

You might want to respond to what was actually asserted. LOL.

Mar 22, 2016 at 7:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

@ jamesp

............

"Why is it that the likes of Phil Clarke are so genuinely ignorant"

Because (like Bob Ward) they couldn't do their jobs if they weren't.

Mar 21, 2016 at 11:19 PM | jamesp

...........

Many Many thanks - made my morning !

Mar 22, 2016 at 7:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

@ Phil Clarke

................

Why is it that the likes of Phil Clarke are so genuinely ignorant. He says that what Greenpeace did with Brent Spar was fiction?

You might want to respond to what was actually asserted. LOL.

Mar 22, 2016 at 7:53 AM | Phil Clarke

.............

Yeah right Phil - we believe you.....................................................

Mar 22, 2016 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsevents/newsstories/2012/july/ueadatabreachinvestigation.aspx

Mar 22, 2016 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Poor little Phil

................
http://www.norfolk.police.uk/newsevents/newsstories/2012/july/ueadatabreachinvestigation.aspx

Mar 22, 2016 at 8:06 AM | Phil Clarke

...............

Despite the appalling evidence of the ClimateGate data files and the shock waves that still rock the "AGW Team" - poor little Phil still wants to somehow ring fence the damage to his cause by inferring that the "Hack/Release" was illegal and so what was released "not quite cricket" (my description!!!)

All property (including intellectual) is theft Phil - You of all of us should know that ..................

Mar 22, 2016 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

little Phil still wants to somehow ring fence the damage to his cause 

No, I was observing the double standards between the gleeful rubbing of hands at the prospect of Greenpeace internal documents being made public in court, and no doubt shamelessly quote-mined as happened in the UEA illicitly-obtained mail faux scandal, and the tacit approval of Resolute slapping its opponents with SLAPP suits.

The passing of UK Climate Change Act by a massive majority and the Paris COP21 agreement unanamously would seem to indicate that the reality-based community saw ClimateGate for what it was.

Mar 22, 2016 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Oh dear!

Hell hath no fury like an apologist with a list of metaphors

I think "Reality Based Community" is the most chuckle worthy.

I'll give you this Phil - you are seriously good value for money.............

Mar 22, 2016 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

Re Phil Clarke,

So, raiding a backup mail server at UEA and publishing the contents is fine

Its open to debate whether it was a raid or a whistle blower.

a fishing expedition into Greenpeace's records ditto

It isn't a fishing expedition. Its a request for all records related to the action being taken, not a request for all records (which would be a fishing expedition).

a gagging order against the Rainforest Alliance, preventing them from disclosing their findings, also fine.

The gag order was granted because Resolute Forest Products was taking legal action against the Rainforest Alliance. Gag orders of this type are common in legal actions to prevent the jury pool being polluted and to prevent the case being fought in the media instead of the court.

The legal action was settled some time last year which means that the gag order no longer applies. The Rainforest Alliance are free to release their findings - unless, of course, they voluntarily agreed not to as part of the settlement.

Mar 22, 2016 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Its open to debate whether it was a raid or a whistle blower.

Not according to theNorfolk Constabulary, besides, releasing confidential correspondence without permission is always unethical. Moot now, of course, as investigation after investigation found no evidence of scientific malpractice, or any reason to change a single scientific conclusion.

The legal action was settled some time last year which means that the gag order no longer applies. The Rainforest Alliance are free to release their findings - unless, of course, they voluntarily agreed not to as part of the settlement.

Not much point, now, the audit in question has been superceded by a Corrective Action Verification Audit, demonstrating that Resolute has improved its previously non-compliant practices, in this area at least.

A desirable outcome , which could have been achieved without lawyerly involvement, seems to me.

Mar 22, 2016 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Oh well - If the Norfolk Constabulary says it was a hack then stand down the FBI, Interpol and Charlies Angels!!!!!!! - Norfolk Plod have spoken!

With all due respect to Norfolk Police!! - (face palm) - I ask you

Please Please Please Phil - get some perspective mate.

Mar 22, 2016 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

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