What, no Amazon?
Public Eye Awards 2014 shortlist announced
Corporate behemoth and arch tax avoider Amazon is astonishingly missing from this year's corporate eye awards shortlist.
Voting has now begun for the prize, awarded annually to the worst cases of corporate offences against the environment and human rights, with Amazon a notable emission from the nominees.
Despite avoiding millions in tax by routing profits through their subsidiary in Luxembourg and being the target of workers' rights campaigns over the pay and conditions in their warehouses Amazon has failed to make the final cut.
Tim Hunt from Ethical Consumer said, “We're really surprised that Amazon hasn't been included. Their tax avoidance is truly egregious. It's a real problem for the UK economy and our public services, but also other countries in which Amazon operates. This week Margaret Hodge and 7 fellow MPs signed up to our Amazon Boycott campaign which shows the seriousness of the problem and that the will to solve it is growing among law makers.”
He continued, “Only this week we've seen yet another report about the poor working conditions at its warehouses. The manufacture of its Kindle device is still shrouded in secrecy and they continually fail to produce any corporate social responsibility data.”
The Berne Declaration (BD) and Greenpeace create the shortlist which this year includes:
Eskom, FIFA, Gap, Gazprom, Glencore Xstrata, HSBC, Marine Harvest and Syngenta / Bayer / BASF.
A release from the organisers said “They have all, in different ways, substantially violated human rights with heir business activities or committed environmental destruction and have therefore failed to discharge their corporate responsibility.”
Online voting is now open until the beginning of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on 23rd January 2014.
Who's who in the Public Eye nominees hall of shame:
Eskom - owns 18 coal-fired power stations in South Africa and is refusing to comply with local standards put in place to protect people's health and their environment.
Syngenta, Bayer & BASF (“the bee-killers”) produce and sell highly toxic pesticides which are mass-killing bees and other pollinators essential for the environment, agriculture and global food production. They are currently suing the European Commission for having imposed a ban on their products.
Gazprom’s plans to extract the first Arctic oil in December 2013 have been heavily criticized due to the serious risks to the environment. Gazprom has to date refused to make its oil spill mitigation plan public.
Glencore Xstrata’s mining activities are forcing local communities and indigenous groups from their homes. It has been accused of polluting or destroying land and water; found to be working with corrupt intermediaries and evading taxes. Regardless of pending legal cases and state-ordered sanctions against the company, Glencore Xstrata has systematically denied any responsibility for this deplorable state of affairs.
HSBC Group continues to provide financial assistance to two major palm oil companies Sime Darby and Wilmar International, both of which are known for their terrible human rights records. Despite research exposing the destructive effects of these companies, HSBC continues not only to provide loans to, but also to hold shares in these companies.
Marine Harvest Group is the world's largest salmon farming company. In its home country of Norway, Marine Harvest presents itself as a green and transparent firm. In Chile, however, the company’s irresponsible business practices in combination with weak legislation have resulted in environmental catastrophes and social injustice.
The FIFA World Cup in 2014 will be hosted in Brazil where hundreds of thousand of people in the 12 host cities have been forcibly evicted and have lost their homes and livelihood. Moreover, FIFA has no intentions of allowing small and family businesses to benefit from the emerging opportunities during the Cup.
After the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,100 workers, over 100 global apparel brands have taken responsibility for safety in their supply chain by signing the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. But fashion giant Gap, one of the top purchasers of Bangladeshi-made clothes, has refused to sign this binding agreement with unions. Instead, it is actively undermining serious reform by promoting a non-binding corporate-controlled program that’s completely unaccountable to workers.
Find out more about our tax justice campaign including our boycott of Amazon.
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