We are Watching You

Sometimes we can only chose between bad and worse. This is one of these cases.

Yesterday, voting for this year’s Public Eye award started. But stop, don’t click away because you think: yet another publicity prize. It is one indeed, but believe me, it’s bad publicity.

If you’re not ready to go to Davos and put up your Igloo to protest against the WEF meeting in person, this might be a good alternative. Naomi Klein called the project the “folks which keep an eagle eye on on Davos”. Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration are making Public Eye possible.

Walt Disney has had the honour, and so did Novartis and Shell. They have won a Public Eye Award. “Public Eye reminds the corporate world that social and environmental misdeeds have consequences – for the affected people and territory, but also for the reputation of the offender.” The nominees are published at the forefront of the World Economic Forum (WEF) with the aim to “shine an international spotlight on corporate scandals and thereby help focused NGO campaigns succeed.”

Two awards will be granted: one chosen by a panel of experts, and the other is up to you! The People’s award is decided on the website.

Let’s have a look at who are this year’s nominees:

ValeWe transform rainforests into dams, no matter what. Vale is a big mining company in Brazil. “The corporation’s 60-year history is tarnished by repeated human rights abuses, inhumane working conditions and the ruthless exploitation of nature. Vale is currently taking part in the construction of the Belo Monte Dam in the Amazon.”

TEPCOWe could not handle what we created. Tepco is Japan’s largest energy company and behind the Fukushima catastrophe. It “grossly neglected the structural safety of ist nuclear power plants in order to cut costs.”

Syngenta Selling elsewhere what can’t be sold at home. Syngenta is from Switzerland and is the world’s largest agrochimical company. “It sells numerous acutely toxic products that harm people and the environment. Thousands of farmers have suffered severe acute and chronic effects from occupational use.”

SamsungImagine the production. The high-tech company from South Korea is nominated for its ways of producing. It “uses banned and highly-toxic substances in its factories, without informing and/or protecting its workers. As a result at least 140 workers were diagnosed with cancer, of which at least 50 young workers have died.”

Freeport McMoranA common thread to indigenous people and the environment. The copper mining company is based in Arizona, US. They have exploited “the world’s largest gold and copper mine in West Papua, for 45 years without regard for nature and people.”

BarclaysBanking on Hunger. Barclays is based in the US. The company “effectively bets on hunger by speculating on food prices, contributing to sharp rises and falls that cause hunger and poverty.”

Now it’s time to start voting or find out more about the nominees. Please visit the nomination page to do so. Your vote counts.

Do you want to know who has won this prestigious prize in the last couple of years? In 2011 we have Neste Oil (Finland) and Anglogold Ashanti (South Africa), in 2010 the Royal Bank of Canada and Roche (Switzerland), in 2009 Newmont (USA) and BKW (Switzerland). Find the whole Hall of Shame here.

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5 thoughts on “We are Watching You

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