.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



IWC 2006: Greedy Greenpeace to cash in again

Despite previously ruling out harrassing the ICR research programme in the Antarctic this next austral summer, Greenpeace has now done an about face, in an apparent attempts to cash in on powerful anti-whaling propaganda campaigns.

A few days ago a revealing article into the the organisation of Greenpeace appeared in the Australian media. Particularly revealing bits highlighted in red:
"Leading the good fight"

What do you do when your brand is your best asset, your organisation needs money, but your 'customers' have very high standards? Peter Weekes reports.

Steve Shallhorn is sitting tightly on a potential pot of gold that other chief executives can only fantasise about - a brand recognition for his business of more than 90 per cent.

However, unlike other CEOs, Mr Shallhorn has no intention of leveraging his brand to generate a regular and stable source of income. "Greenpeace Approved" tinned tuna will not be on the supermarket shelves any time soon, says the recently appointed head of the Australian Pacific arm of the multi-national activist organisation.

"If we went down that road we would have to be absolutely sure that the product is what we say it is all the time," Mr Shallhorn argues. "We figure the monitoring it would take to make sure the product is what we say it is is not worth the risk of damage to the brand."

Over its 30-odd years, Greenpeace has created its household name by doing everything from chasing down Japanese whalers in Antarctica to abseiling down skyscrapers to hang protest banners. In the process they have frustrated, annoyed and generally earned the wrath of most governments around the world, and the applause of supporters.

The chief executive of global brand consultant Interbrand, Sam Osborn, argues that commercialisation would not necessarily harm Greenpeace's brand, and would have an important upside by moving away from society's fringe and broadening public support.

"You have to measure the objectives they set themselves and the change in views of the broader public. They can keep doing what they are doing and get the support of the minority, but to get greater support some of those behaviours might need to change," he says.

"Commercialisation is an opportunity for them to become less ideological and more approachable and accessible. Their extremism, which may be viewed as an expression of the their passion for what they believe in, also disenfranchises broader support."

Osborn cites Oxfam, which has shed its political edge and runs 16 shops nationally. "It's kinda cool to buy a pair of non-sweatshop sneakers from Oxfam. Even though you pay a little bit more but you know you are doing something good for society."

Indeed, Greenpeace is so concerned about reputational risk and perceived conflicts of interest that it will not accept donations from governments or corporations. This leaves only one source of income to keep the organisation afloat and punching above its weight - donations and bequests from Joe and Josephine Public.

However, times are changing and the environmental activist market is becoming more fragmented, meaning Greenpeace no longer has a monopoly on green donations.

It is a testing time for the 50-year-old Canadian activist, who was appointed chief executive six-months ago, but he believes Greenpeace still has the edge over his competitors in what he describes as "collaborate rivalry" with each group agreeing to focus on their own particular issue.

"We all realise that there is a certain amount of competition when it comes to fund-raising but we all have our niches. Greenpeace has some advantage as we tend to be more activist-oriented so we retain people better than other organisations," he says, adding that many young people are attracted by the spectacular protests.

Still, he concedes it is costing more money to raise money due to a high turnover of volunteers. "Return on investment on direct dialogue has been in decline for last five years and a big part of that is the competition," he says.

Mr Shallhorn has taken the reins at Greenpeace Australia, which has stemmed the tide of supporters deserting the organisation. Last year, it expanded its supporter base by 7000 to about 117,000, after it had shrunk 17,720 the previous three years.

The new boss puts this down to a concerted recruitment drive and high-profile campaigns such as the anti-whaling action in the Antarctic that received widespread international coverage.

Shallhorn says the organisation is starting to think afresh for a very different world to when he was first headhunted by Greenpeace to work as a disarmament campaigner straight out of college in 1987.

Like any new CEO, one of Mr Shallhorn's first jobs was to run a review of the Australian organisation that has just merged with Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and develop a strategic business plan.

He says over the past few years a view has emerged that television images and centimetres in newspapers that their protests created was no longer enough to win environmental campaigns.

"We have a very high brand recognition," he says. "In most countries it's over 90 per cent, but we felt there was a need to reinvent the organisation, to move with the times."

"There was a feeling shared by most of the staff that we needed to change our tactics, that just doing the same old, same old was not having the same effect and was starting to be ignored by the media and the public. We also needed to get more people involved."

As most CEOs attempting to shift a business' culture will testify, it can be a hard slog. But Mr Shallhorn says implementing the review's changes has not met "too much resistance".

Among other things, the review called for mass-marketing activities (fund-raising) to help fund its ongoing campaigns after it reduced its operating income reserves to what Mr Shallhorn says is "a more appropriate level" of 21/2 months.

"It is one thing to get people to sign a petition against whaling, it is another thing to get them to agree to give you $25 a month to stop whaling.

"When people are out on the street with clipboards, campaigning, they are talking to people directly about Greenpeace, which is giving us a profile, as well as building support for our campaign," he says.

Last year Greenpeace Australia Pacific raised $14.98 million, up from $13.28 million the previous year. Citing independence, it accepts no donations from government or corporations.

About 90 per cent of the funds come from supporters who have set up direct-debit accounts. This has sustained the Australian operation and finances other international campaigns.

A true "company man", before arriving in Australia, Mr Shallhorn had a short stint as head of Greenpeace Japan. In 1993, he was involved in action that led to a significant global treaty banning the dumping of nuclear waste at sea, and more recently he fought against illegal logging of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia in his native Canada.

"I have the benefit of my skills and experience as a Greenpeace activist to bring to senior management. I have been in all sorts of campaign situations in many different countries. This allows me to anticipate campaign needs and ensure that the organisation is in the best position to support campaigns," he says.

Shallhorn himself is a veteran campaigner. He vividly recalls being held by a squad of Soviet soldiers who boarded his boat during a Greenpeace action he was leading against secret nuclear tests near the islands of Novaya Zemlya in the Soviet High Arctic during the Cold War in 1990.

The soldiers used a battering ram to break down the door of the radio room where Mr Shallhorn and a couple of others were hiding. Unknown to the Soviets at the time, it was broadcast live around the world and became the last time the Soviets tested the devices.

Mr Shallhorn laughs good-heartedly when asked how you manage a not-for-profit activist multimillion-dollar operation made up of necessarily overtly opinionated staff and volunteers - something not often encountered in the for-profit sector.

"I am a very firm believer in participatory management, but, yes, I am the boss and at the end of the day, Greenpeace is a hierarchical organisation, not a democratic organisation. I am responsible for all aspects of the organisation.

"The participatory management is: I go and ask people or my senior managers go and ask people who are actually doing the work. Sometimes that can take a little bit longer but I make better decisions."

Mr Shallhorn says he will measure the success of his time in the job on three criteria: the number of supporters, fund-raising success and political change.
What business does a non-democractically elected, heirarchical organisation have attempting to achieve political change?

And why is whether conservation objectives achieved or not, not a measure of his time in the job?

The IWC will do well to revoke Greenpeace's observer status this Tuesday in St Kitts.

Very interesting, that article, David.

If only people could realize that Greenpeace have much interests in spreading misleading informations about whaling and other so-called conservation issues.

Environmentalism has well become a prolific business. That's sure.
It is clearly : "Give money to Greenpeace, and you'll be in peace with your consciousness about the environment".

I wonder how much money Shallhorn is making a month...We'll certainly never know, but he's no volunteer, that's for sure.
Yes, it really confirms everything we hear about Greenpeace.

Their interests in misleading people are clearly exposed, by their own leader.

By the way, have you read Eugene Lapointe's book "Embracing the Earth's Wild Resources"? If you are interested in more information about the "environmental" confidence scam that Greenpeace represents, it should be an interesting read :-)

You can order it from http://www.iwmc.org

See you later!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Your post is deleted because you are posting verifiable lies.

I will no longer tolerate such nonsense.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
From Lamna Nasus:
"Readers who do not agree with censorship and wish to read the deleted post may do so at my blog -


Readers are welcome to visit Lamna Nasus' page.

But I don't have time to repeatedly debunk the same lies over and over, and you have repeatedly shown that you have no credibility.

I've already taken up the lies you posted with Ann previously, as she made the same statements herself originally (perhaps that is where you got it from). Ann agreed with me that it was a mistake. Maybe Ann will visit your homepage and confirm to you that you were regurgitating lies.

Thus, if you want to continue to post nonsense anyway, you rightly should make like Paul Watson and do it on your own page, so I congratulate you. I have no problems in permitting the above link to your page for readers who have LOTS of free time on their hands.

I will continue to delete any objectionable parts of your posts at my own descretion until you acknowledge the lie that you posted here.

It is simply not acceptable to attribute positions to people that are clearly inaccurate.

That lowers the level of the type of debate that I wish to foster here. Drop your ad hominems and participate like a grown-up instead of a troll and you may find your comments are let stand as they were posted.

I should note that I've never had to delete any of Ann's posts.
Hi Lamna,

I'd like to note that I just visited your blog - couldn't find the lies you said you would repeat (perhaps you thought better of it), but I did see this choice comment:

"I will edit offensive material,
moderator's judgement is final! :-)"

Interesting that you criticise me for editing your lies-ridden post, yet are more than happy to do so at your own blog.

Your presence is not welcome here, but I'm glad it is so easy to show that you have no integrity at all.
That comment was from
by the way.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Deleted again.

> Which fact about the IWMC did you believe inaccurate and why? -

Read what you wrote again (it's at your blog). Then justify every single one of those "facts" you stated about the IWMC with evidence.

You will not be able to do so, because your post included verifiably false information. Ann and I discussed the lies for which your post was deleted. When I showed counter-evidence to Ann previously, she agreed that her attribution of the position in question was not correct. You have either failed to see this exchange, or you ignored it.

You are welcome to search the comments on my blog (on your own time) to find it.

I simply refuse to deal with such nonsense more than once. If you would grow up and actually not post verifiable lies, you'll not find your posts getting deleted. Behave like an adult - simple as that. I'm looking for discussion here, not endless tirades of nonsensical abuse.

In the meantime, until you show that you have some integrity by acknowledging the verifiable lies that you have posted with regards to IWMC, you are banned indefinitely, and you are also banned without further response. I simply don't have time to waste on you, if this is the way you intend to behave. My time is better spent on people with integrity. It is not my goal to communicate with those people who demonstrate that they have no integrity.
Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   January 2010   February 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   February 2011   March 2011   May 2013   June 2013  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?