Ciba, Syngenta got green-bashed

Several Greenpeace activists exercised their climbing skills last week when they scaled several towers inside Ciba’s chemical complex in Basel and put up banners demanding Ciba and another Swiss chemical firm Syngenta to pay towards toxic waste spill clean-ups in the region.

Greenpeace wants Ciba to pay CHF 400m (Euro 245m, $400m) and Syngenta CHF 200m for the clean-up. Ciba’s former parent company, Novartis, already paid a one-time full payment of CHF 590m last year for its environmental responsibilities, according to Greenpeace.

In a statement, Ciba said it would defend itself from the allegations, calling the group’s protest as a wrong way to engage in a constructive dialogue.

The company refused to pay the sum to an independent foundation as demanded by Greenpeace although Ciba said it has a reserve of CHF 426m in total for any environmental liabilities including possible remediation costs for any discharges in Basel.

Syngenta also reportedly said that they put aside $450m for its global environmental responsibilities.

If you want to see Greenpeace’s blog and an audio about their chimney stack climbing escapade (in Swiss German), just click here.

I think these guys are enjoying themselves too much…all for a good cause of course…

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