Pinocchio Awards 2013: cast your vote

15 October 2013

Friends of the Earth France today opened the voting for their annual Pinocchio awards. The public can vote for the companies whose environmental and social impacts do not match their public claims about their commitment to sustainable development.

The awards highlight specific examples of social and environmental rights violations committed by multinational corporations. They allow citizens to clearly see the gap between a company's words on sustainability and social responsibility and their actual activities in the communities and areas affected.

Fanny Gallois, campaign manager at Peuples Solidaires said "From the exploitation of workers to the appropriation of populations' natural resources, in addition to environmental damages, the activities of multinationals sometimes have catastrophic consequences. The Pinocchio Awards are here to question their responsibility and to remind the elected officials and the government that it is time to regulate the activities of these companies."

The awards, organised in partnership with CRID (Centre de Recherche et d'Information pour le Développement /Research and Information Centre for Development) and Peuples Solidaires– Action Aid France, are now in their sixth year.
There are nine companies nominated across three categories:

  • Greener than green: awarded to the company which has led the most abusive and misleading communication campaign in regard to its actual activities
    • Areva and its mining museum Urêka
    • Air France and carbon offsetting in Madagascar
    • BNP Paribas and research against climate change
  • Dirty hands, full wallet: awarded to the company which has the most opaque policy at the financial level (tax avoidance, etc), in terms of lobbying or in its supply chain
    • Auchan and the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh
    • Apple and the Bangka tin mine in Indonesia
    • Alstom and the big dams of Belo Monte and Rio Madeira in Brazil
  • One for all and all for me! : awarded to the company which has the most aggressive policy in terms of appropriation, exploitation or destruction of natural resources
    • Total and shale gas in Argentina
    • Veolia and the privatization of water in India
    • Société Générale and the coal mine Alpha Coal in Australia

There will be twice-weekly focus on an individual company to highlight why they are nominated in their categories.

Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth) France is calling for the creation of a binding legal framework at international level to force companies to be accountable for their actions– current Corporate Social Responsibility commitments are not legally binding.

Juliette Renaud, corporate accountability campaigner at Les Amis de la Terre France, concludes: "Current French government ministers have admitted the need to recognize the legal responsibility of the multinational parent companies regarding the damages caused by their subsidiaries and sub-contractors. Action now has to be taken by setting up a binding legal framework and putting an end to their impunity. Citizens from every continent are affected by the nominated companies for the Pinocchio Awards and they should all be able to enjoy the same rights and access to justice."

Online voting opened today at www.prix-pinocchio.org and the award ceremony will take place in Paris on 19th of November.


*****

The 2013 Sustainable Development Pinocchio Awards  are organized in partnership with Basta (www.bastamag.net), the Multinational Observatory (www.multinationales.org) and Real World Radio (www.radiomundoreal.fm/en)

France