Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletJune 17, 2019

Earth Concerns News

Green America Succeeds in Getting Major Companies to Consider Earth by Sister Clare Pelkey

We would like to interrupt the regularly scheduled theme to bring you this information which was recently posted on the web. We want to share the GOOD NEWS with you regarding what people can do when they take online action. Thanks to supporters, 2014 has been the best year ever at Green America! With your support, Green America had huge successes in getting major companies to protect people and the planet. Hershey, General Mills and Apple are only three of the corporations that recognized the power of over 200,000 Green Americans who have been calling for social justice and environmental responsibility. We give thanks for our work together in effecting the following:

--Hershey is adopting cocoa certified free of child labor ahead of schedule, protecting children throughout West Africa from horrible labor conditions;
--General Mills removed GMOs from original Cheerios; the action was followed quickly by Post which removed GMOs from Grape Nuts;
--Apple banned benzene and n-hexane, two of the most toxic chemicals, from its final assembly factories.
--National Geographic adopted recycled fiber paper for its flagship publication, saving forests and reducing climate emissions;
--Chobani announced three new lines of organic yogurt and is working to get non-GMO feed for all the cows whose milk goes into making the yogurt; hired a sustainability director and promised to use renewable energy for the company’s massive servers;
--Four major banks stopped issuing predatory payday-lending loans which trap American consumers in a cycle of debt;
--Green America won a prestigious Business Ethics Network (BENNY) Award for its Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign to combat child labor in the production of cocoa.

On another front, Natural Resources Defense Council, a 1.4 million-member group, in which we as a province have a membership, recently reported a huge legal victory over the SHELL Oil Company when the Ninth District Federal Appeals Court threw out a lawsuit Shell brought against NRDC and its environmental and Alaska Native partners. Seeking a declaration that its Arctic drilling permits complied with all laws, Shell had hauled the three groups into court, in effect asserting it could force NRDC to litigate any aspect of its permits in a court–and at a time of Shell’s choosing. The action was a radical new legal tactic that would give other big corporations a frightening weapon for intimidating public interest groups, tie NRDC up in court, divert its resources and make it harder to defend the public interest by focusing on smart fights. The Ninth Circuit Court unanimously ruled that Shell’s lawsuit did not meet basic constitutional standards, thus upholding NRDC’s (as well as individual) constitutional rights to petition the government on development proposals. 

All these victories provide the incentive for us to keep on advocating for justice for our Mother Earth!

(For more “victory” stories, go to; the article is adapted from NRDC’s Newsletter “Nature’s Voice,” Winter 2015)