The Sustainable Development Pinocchio Awards, organized by Friends of the Earth (Les Amis de la Terre) - France, in partnership with Peuples Solidaires - Action Aid France and CRID, aims at denouncing some multinational companies on the social or environmental impacts of their activities, in complete contradiction with the sustainable development concept they claim to respect.
Since the emergence on the international scale of the concept of Companies’ Social and Environmental Accountability, and especially since the Earth Summit of Johannesburg in 2002, the principle of voluntary adherence has predominated: the UN Global Compact, the Equator Principles for the banks, the OECD guidelines for multinational companies, ethical charts, etc…
Those commitments are legally non-binding, thus inefficient: while companies benefit from the positive image they project to their shareholders, clients and citizens, they only undertake some broad principles sparsely operational, and are not accountable for their actions if they do not respect their non-binding commitments. Although supported on a high level by some governments (which usually privilege multinationals’ competitiveness more than the protection of human rights and environment), those voluntary-based approaches have today largely proved their inefficiency.
On the international scale, multinationals take advantage of legal loopholes to conduct their activities by jeopardizing social, societal and environmental rights in Southern countries.
Some politicians and many actors from the civil society including Friends of the Earth France, now require the setting up of a binding legal framework on the international scale that would constrain companies to take their responsibilities and to be accountable. This demand of a stricter legal framework on the European level, and in France, is already a necessary step.
Choose your Pinocchios from three categories!
To publicly denounce the gap between the companies’ speeches and their acts, Friends of the Earth France will award three Pinocchio Awards in tribute to the famous wooden puppet and its very personal conception of the truth:
- Category “Greener than green”: awarded to the company which has led the most abusive and misleading communication campaign in regard to its actual activities. Companies like to surf on the wave of sustainable development to legitimize their activities. But reality is often a lot less green!
- Category “One for all, all for me!”: awarded to the company which has the most aggressive policy in terms of appropriation, exploitation or destruction of natural resources. 1 planet/7 billions of human beings, the equation seems simple. Yet, some companies take an excessive piece of the cake and devour others’ as well. Their goal? Gorge a minority at the expense of the majority.
- Category “Dirty hands, full wallet”: awarded to the company which has the most opaque policy at the financial level (tax evasion, corruption, etc), in terms of lobbying or in its supply chain. Some companies have a lot of imagination when it comes to weakened or circumvent environmental and social norms. Their aim? Always gain more profit, at the expense of environment and human rights.
These awards will be given by the internet users, who will have to choose between three nominees in each category. There will be a public award ceremony on Tuesday, the 19th of November 2013 at La Java 105 rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75011 Paris. For more information, click here.
Would you like to attend the Award ceremony? Please register here.
You are a journalist and you wish to attend the Award ceremony? Please send an email with your name, address and telephone number to Caroline Prak: firstname.lastname@example.org / (00) 22.214.171.124.53.43