We Are Not That Bad, Really!

Companies don’t like when you mess with their image. That’s why five of the six nominees for the Public Eye Award reacted on it.

Let’s see how they try to legitimize their behaviour. To wrap up quickly, the six companies were nominated as the worst cases of contempt for the environment and human rights.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre “invited the companies to respond to this press release detailing the reasons for their nominations”. I’ll give you some excerpts of the companies’ attempts to wash their image clean:

Barclays: “Barclays conducts a variety of activites globally to help our clients across a range of asset including commodities. We act as an intermediary for our clients globally. A considerable number of studies have demonstrated that financial flows have little or no impact on commodities prices. The factors influencing food prices are complex.” –-> So, it’s really all the clients’ fault and the story is complex?

Freeport – McMoran: “We mine and process ore to supply metals that connect and sustain the world’s infrastructure. Copper is the metal most closely tied to economic growth, as it is a key component of state-of- the-art energy, transportation, and telecommunications systems. …Freeport-McMoRan condemns human rights violations of any form.” –> The text is praising the company over 2 pages, but that doesn’t make their human rights violations go away.

Samsung: “Samsung Electronics is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility. We take the wellbeing of our employees very seriously … .” –> Even though they speak of false claims, I still hope they’ll take this claim of theirs more seriously in the future.

Syngenta: “We train growers all over the world to use our products safely and effectively, focusing on those most at risk … Without the availability of pesticides to control pests and diseases, food shortages and high prices would be considerably more prevelant today.” –> Hey, or mabye it’s the other way around? But you’re right, probably those who die just didn’t handle your products right, is that what you are saying?

These are really beautiful examples which can be used as case studies for Communication Science students, don’t you think? You can read Vale’s response yourself. Unfortunately, TEPCO did not reply, but then again it’s a bit hard to get out of the guilt for them.


5 thoughts on “We Are Not That Bad, Really!

  1. A corporation’s responsibility is to increase the wealth of its shareholders. This can be achieved with widely varying degrees of compassion, responsibility, and stewardship. Historically, corporations were a legal framework of project management. When the project was completed, the corporation dissolved. It wasn’t until someone conceived that a corporation could be perpetual (much as companies always had been) that our real problems began…

    • Yeah, we can see it all in “The Corporation”, luckily we also have a responsibility and it’s the one of holding companies accountable for what they do. It’s all about turning the game around.

  2. Pingback: And the Winners are… | Kosmos 9

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