Monthly Archives: July 2014

Stern Criticism of Westpac – From A Surprising Quarter

DumpDennistonLogoCoalA recently published article contains a stern critique of Westpac over their continuing financial support of coal miners Bathurst Resources, who have now begun removing “overburden” (i.e. the ecosystem) from the Denniston Plateau in preparation for larger-scale coal mining when and if international coal prices rise. In the article, Kath Dewar says:

By contrast Westpac has been less savvy.  Heralded in 2011 as a leader of sustainability, since November 2013 the bank has been repeatedly embarrassed by media coverage of protests triggered by its lending practices.  Westpac’s loans to Bathurst, the company poised to open-cast mine the Denniston Plateau  conservation area for coal, despite significant environmental opposition, make the bank’s efforts to cut the climate footprint  climate impact of its office operations seem tokenistic. Such ‘green-wash’ is easily seen as hypocritical and 94% of NZers say they “get annoyed when products try to pass themselves off as greener than they really are” (source: Colmar Brunton, 2011).

Right on the point, you might think, but not a new criticism – until you discover that this article appeared in the blog of the Marketing Association of New Zealand. The article Scrubbing up grubby brands and clean slate competition is well worth reading, and it’s very noticeable that Westpac is now being called out for its greenwashing even within the business community.

If you’d like to increase the pressure on Westpac, please sign the CANA/350.org.nz  letter to Westpac CEO Peter Clare and get involved in the campaign for Westpac to divest from Bathurst Resources.

Advertisements

Jobs After Coal South Island Tour July 2014

UPDATE: Change of venue for Dunedin event on 29 July – now in Archway Lecture Theatre 2!

After the excellent reception given to CANA’s report Jobs After Coal at the Wellington launch in May, and a Christchurch event on 30 June which attracted at least 100 people, it’s time to take Jobs After Coal beyond the main centres – and we’re starting in the South Island in the final week of July. Check out the schedule below, get along if you can, and invite your friends and networks to hear Jeanette Fitzsimons explain how we can make a just transition away from coal mining while creating low carbon jobs and sustaining communities.

We’ll be creating Facebook events for each stop on the tour soon and we’ll link them here – watch out for them!

Download a copy of Jobs After Coal

Top of the South, 25-28 July

Blenheim, Friday 25 July: Marlborough Arts Society Gallery, High St, 7pm, contact Verena Maeder, verena_m@hotmail.com

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1428581224091256/

Motueka, Saturday 26 July:  St. Thomas Church, High St., Motueka, 7.30pm. Jeanette Fitzsimons speaks on Beyond Fossil Fuels: Transition to a New Economy. Contact Debs Martin, d.martin@forestandbird.org.nz

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1645936305631995/

Nelson, Sunday 27 July: NMIT Student Lounge, 6pm, contact Debs Martin, d.martin@forestandbird.org.nz – hosted by Forest & Bird.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/668361303246327/

Golden Bay: to be confirmed

Dunedin, Tuesday 29 July

(with Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rosemary Penwarden)

1pm, Archway Lecture Theatre 2 (*** note change in venue from Otago University Centre for Sustainability***), contact fatima.ibrahim-mckague@otago.ac.nz

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/251114788423387/

5.30pm, Otago Chamber of Commerce, “Reinvigorating the Economy: CleanTech Jobs and Low Carbon Opportunity”, contact blueskinenergy@gmail.com or events@otagochamber.co.nz

Invercargill, Wednesday 30 July, Federated Farmers Meeting Room, 70 Forth St

(with Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rosemary Penwarden)

6.30pm: Potluck tea
7.30pm: Networking
8.00pm: Presentation

Contact Jenny Campbell, jennycam@xtra.co.nz

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/590768507702648/