Public Eye Awards

Irresponsible business practices in the spotlight!

Over 60,000 people have cast their vote and we have a clear winner: The Public Eye Lifetime Award for corporate irresponsibility goes to Chevron.

And the Public Eye Lifetime Award goes to…

In 2006, Chevron won the Public Eye Jury Award in the category Environment for polluting large areas of pristine rain forest in northern Ecuador. Up until this day, the company rejects any responsibility for what is effectively one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet. After over 20 years of litigation, the impunity continues for Chevron. The case of Chevron shows how transnational companies not only threaten people’s struggles for their rights, but also undermine the right to a remedy for the very people who have suffered corporate human rights violations.

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Public Eye Lifetime Award

For over 15 years, the Public Eye has shed a critical light on business practices and has provided a platform to civil society organizations to publicly criticize cases of human and labor rights violations, environmental destruction and corruption.

After 15 years and 10 award ceremonies, it was time to take stock. In 2015, the naming & shaming award will be given out in the ultimate category: The Public Eye Lifetime Award. The jury selected the shortlist for the last online voting from the Hall of Shame where all the past Public Eye Award winners are immortalized. Between 19 November 2014 and 22 January 2015, over 60,000 people cast their vote online and decided upon the winner of the notorious award of shame.

Media Conference and Closing Event

On Friday, 23 January 2015, the Public Eye Lifetime Award Media Conference and Closing Event were held in Davos. Over 100 people from the media, NGOs and the general public found their way to the Hotel Montana to witness the award ceremony and the Public Eye’s farewell from Davos. The legendary US activists «The Yes Men» performed their world exclusive «Requiem for the World Economic Forum». German member of the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, then summarized the anti-globalization movement of the past 15 years. Subsequently, the keynote speakers discussed the link between the Davos protests and the politically hot topic of corporate accountability with Adrian Monck, Head of Public Engagement at the WEF, Anannya Bhattacharjee, Indian labor rights activist and former organizer of the World Social Forum, and Andreas Missbach, Joint Managing Director of the Berne Declaration.

 

More details on the event are available here

What’s next?

The aim of the Public Eye Awards was to contribute to the overarching goal of social and ecological justice and demonstrate the necessity of effective and legally binding measures for greater corporate accountability. This goal is now being pursued on all political levels. The Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice (SCCJ) is planning to launch a popular initiative, the aim of which will be to require Swiss companies to respect human rights and environmental standards abroad as well as at home. The widely supported association which includes both the Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland comprises some 50 charities, women’s rights, human rights, environmental and church organizations, as well as trade unions and shareholders’ associations.

These were the nominees for the Public Eye Lifetime Award…

Chevron

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In 2006, Chevron won the Public Eye Jury Award in the category Environment for polluting large areas of pristine rain forest in northern Ecuador.

Glencore

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In 2008, Glencore received the Public Eye Jury Award for its irresponsible and intransparent business practices in Colombia.

Walmart

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In 2005, Walmart received the Public Eye Jury Award in the category Labor Law for lack of respect for human and labor rights along its supply chain in places such as Lesotho, Kenya, and Thailand.

Dow Chemical

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In 2005, Dow Chemical received the Public Eye Jury Award in the category Human Rights for using every loophole in the book to avoid its responsibility for the Bhopal disaster, the world’s largest chemical catastrophe in human history.

Gazprom

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In 2014, Gazprom won the Public Eye People’s Award for its plans to drill for oil in the offshore Arctic.

Goldman Sachs

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In 2013, Goldman Sachs received the Public Eye Jury Award for its share of responsibility in the Eurozone crisis.