Paris, the 13 November 2012 - Les Amis de la Terre in partnership with the The Research and Information Centre for Development (CRID) and Peuples Solidaires awarded the Pinocchio Prizes for sustainable development at La Java this evening. This year more than 17 000 internet users voted for the prize winners amongst the nominated companies with Lesieur, Bolera et Areva being the overall winners for 2012.
Lesieur received the “Greener than Green” award with 38 % of the votes for their publicity campaign “Let’s Help Africa: a bottle of oil bought; a bottle of oil sent” illustrating this French group’s commitment to help African populations stricken by famine. However, Lesieur, through its parent company Sofiprotéol, is one of the most important producers and promoters of bio-fuels qualified as a "crime against humanity" by Jean Ziegler, the former spokesman for the United Nations Right to Food committee. Between 2002 and 2008, nearly 75% of higher food prices were due to speculative financial movements using policies of support for bio-fuels in the European Union and the United States.
Bolera Minera, a joint venture formed by the French groups Bolloré and Eramet, won the “One for all, all for me” category with 35 % of the votes. In 2010 the company obtained a licence for exploration for lithium in Argentina in a region in which 33 indigenous communities live. Believing themselves to have been deprived of their right to be consulted about their own development, as written in Argentinean law, these communities took action; a complaint was filed in the Argentine Supreme Court against the local government which was supposed to ensure that the rights of these communities were observed, as well as with the Special Committee of the United Nations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which put out a report in July 2012 denouncing the social impact of the exploitation of lithium in the region of Salinas Grandes.
With 45 % of the votes, Areva won the Pinocchio prize for the category “Dirty hands, full pockets”. Refusing to recognise its responsibility for the degradation of living conditions for the population living close to their uranium mines in Africa and for the death of a former employee who died from lung cancer, this French nuclear group is also implicated in a massive and contentious financial setup aimed at cornering the market for the construction of nuclear energy reactors in South Africa
Winner last year in the category “Greener than Green”, and nominated again this year, Vinci couldn’t be exempted from the winners list. Romain Porcheron, in charge of the event at Les Amis de la Terre, France said « Les Amis de la Terre denounce the actions of the public authorities towards citizens fighting against useless big projects for which Vinci has the concession; in Russia (a motorway construction project through the heart of the Khimki forest) and in France (an airport construction project at Notre Dame des Landes). Les Amis de la Terre have therefore decided to award a special Pinocchio prize jointly to Vinci as the constructor of these projects which have been denounced for many years by the local populations, and to the French and Russian decision makers who instigated them”
Since 2008, the Pinocchio Prizes have been an opportunity to denounce the lies of 33 French multinational companies unmasking the reality of the practices of these large economic groups happily jumping on the bandwagon of durable development in order to increase their profits. The ever increasing number of votes for the Pinocchio Prizes proves the extent to which support is gaining ground for the fight against the impunity with which these French multinationals act without thought for the social and environmental impact of their activities, a battle led by Les Amis de la Terre, the CRID and Peuples Solidaires for a long time.
Contact presse :
Caroline Prak, Les Amis de la Terre – 01 48 51 18 96 / 06 86 41 53 43
Complete ranking of Pinocchio Prizes:
Category “Greener than Green”
Category "One for all, all for me!”
Category "Dirty hands, full pockets"