Olympics' Sponsors Launch Greenwashing Campaign
If you've been watching the Olympics over the last week, you've probably seen this commercial—Dow Chemical's latest attempt to achieve a heartwarming, green image.
In the spirit of Olympic integrity, London's preparation for the event with an eye on the environment has officially made it “the greenest Games ever.” Ironically, three of the Olympics' official sponsors, Dow Chemical, BP and Rio Tinto, are up to their neck in lawsuits over large-scale environmental harms.
Dow's faceless green man is particularly annoying environmentalists in the UK, who haven't forgotten about the company's role in the devastating 1984 gas leak at an Indian pesticide factory in Bhopal. Survivors of the tragedy are currently holding their own “Special Olympics” with the children suffering from birth defects from the incident.
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Bhopal activists say Dow owes them compensation for the industrial disaster and have aggressively campaigned to get the company dropped as a sponsor of the games.
UK's environmental watchdogs recently launched “Greenwash Gold 2012,” a campaign bringing attention to the environmental history of its sponsors. According to the group, the environmentally insensitive companies sponsoring the games are launching greenwashing campaigns to reverse their image. Using animated videos, the website gets its point across in asking “Who is covering up the most environmental destruction and devastating the most communities while pretending to be a good corporate citizen by sponsoring the Olympic games?”
BP is taking a considerable amount of the heat. Just last week, the company agreed to pay a $7.8 billion settlement for claims resulting from the Deepwater Horizon leak in 2010.
Rio Tinto, also in the running for the group's greenwashing metal, has been criticized for its operations in Mongolian mines, which have roused claims of environmental harm including air pollution. The company is also facing allegations of human rights abuses in mines of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
Although all three companies have defended their operations and the measures taken to ensure environmental safety, their recent history proves otherwise. For the sponsors of the “greenest Games ever,” it's about rebuilding an image following some very deep -seeded environmentally destructive pasts.
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.