"After looking at the dark side of industry in the film Plastic Planet, it’s time to show that there are also corporate groups focused on environmentally sustantainable, fair manufacturing processes.” That’s the concept film producer Markus Pauser approached me with in spring 2011. At that point neither of us knew we were jumping into an abyss.

Our research first lead us to companies which enjoyed stellar public reputations. I talked to Fairtrade and other reputable associations and organisations and learned that products do not have to be one hundred percent sustainable if they carry "green" slogans on their packaging. These labels often refer only to particular ingredients in the products and even within these select ingredients only small parts actually need to be environmentally sustainable in order to win approval for these slogans, which dupe consumers. Over time and with lots of research I was convinced that not a single enterprise could meet the high benchmark set to truly be called “sustainable”. On the contrary! - I learned how easy it is to get an ecological “stamp of approval”, when at an event in Berlin a representative of a well-known German test and certification body offered to certify my film as "carbon neutral" for a payment of € 3.000,-. It became evident to me that this film was going to be an important one.

"Can we live environmentally friendly?" This pivotal question was discussed in the legendary Austrian television late night programme CLUB 2, which took place in October 2011, motivated by my film Plastic Planet. Alongside representatives of global manufacturing companies, and me, Kathrin Hartmann was also a guest on the show. The German writer and expert for “greenwashing” eloquently disproved the industry’s deceitful statements and capably revealed that most corporate groups are destroying the environment primarily for financial profit.

At this time I was already thinking about trying something new; making a documentary with a female counterpart. Traditional documentary film almost always include the filmmaker's thoughts though voice-over, but discussing these thoughts live in front of the camera and in the middle of an event seemed straighter and more appealing to me. Kathrin Hartmann agreed, so we decided to uncover green lies together for this new film.

During our detailed investigations in myriad segments and categories it became apparent just how extensive (and consistent) the industry's "green lies" really are. The individual cases we present in the film are, unfortunately, representative of industry in general because, at least in our research, the methods and practices of  corporate titans were remarkably similar.

That’s why it became important for us to offer answers and possible solutions to these widespread problems. The fact that the solution might entail or even require a complete rethinking  of our current economic system only became clear during the process of making the film.

There are millions of people and hundreds of organizations who agree with and support the conclusions in our film and are focused on bringing green lies to light. Our view is that if more and more people understand the destructive nature of unchecked capitalism, we will maybe some day succeed in creating a system that no longer needs green lies to cover its tracks. In the 16th century, citizens calling for a parliamentary democracy were dismissed as dreamers. Democracy is now the primary form of government worldwide. Today, if we’re serious about protecting what we need the most - human rights and the rights of nature -  we have to dream of a truly democratic economic system for the whole world. 


Werner Boote




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