Greenpeace activists hang banners from Procter & Gamble headquarters in Cincinnati to protest the company’s use of palm oil from a supplier that Greenpeace linked to forest destruction.
CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble Co. has tightened security at its Cincinnati headquarters after a breach that allowed an eye-catching protest by Greenpeace activists this week, a spokesman said Thursday.
Using zip lines, nine environmental activists unfurled huge banners from the 12th floor of P&G’s corporate offices on Tuesday, criticizing the consumer product company’s use of palm oil from a supplier that Greenpeace says it tied to tropical forest destruction in Indonesia. Authorities were stunned that the activists were able to carry out their protest from inside a company known for stringent security to protect its personnel and innovations in best-selling brands such as Tide detergent and Pampers diapers.
“Our global security team is crackerjack, and they have already taken steps to better secure the area,” spokesman Lisa Popyk said.
She declined to disclose the changes, and said she didn’t know whether anyone had been disciplined for the breach.
But she did provide new details on how the protesters gained entry. She said the company determined from its initial investigation that one activist claimed to have an appointment.
Dressed in unobtrusive business clothes, he then let in the others through another door, she said. They carried their protest materials, including a tiger costume, in what Ms. Popyk called “inconspicuous bags.”
“It was very clever, and well-planned,” she said.
Police arrested the activists on burglary and vandalism charges. They were released Wednesday on $50,000 bond each.
Cincinnati police called Thursday for a “security summit” of local businesses, saying the P&G breech was “a wake-up call.” Police chief Jeffrey Blackwell said he wants to convene the meeting soon to make sure corporations and hotels have solid security plans.