BP and makers of iPod in line for 'shame' awards

Swiss environmentalists hope this week's prizes will force 'rogue' companies to mend their ways

A A A

The award for what environmentalists regard as the world's "most evil corporation of the year" will be presented this week to a reluctant winner, with finalists ranging from the manufacturer of your iPod to the troubled oil giant BP.

Six companies face the dubious distinction of winning a Public Eye Award for "the worst corporate offences against human rights and the environment", according to the organisers, Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration, a Swiss economic justice campaign group.

The list of shame includes the Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn, which makes iPads, iPhones and iPods for Apple. It is shortlisted for brutal working conditions that reportedly drove at least 18 employees to commit or attempt suicide in 2010.

The Finnish energy company Neste Oil stands accused of biofuel production processes that result in the destruction of vast swaths of rain forest, while South African mining company, AngloGold Ashanti, makes the shortlist over allegations that it contaminates land with poisons, as well claims that people have been tortured in company buildings in Ghana.

Another contender is Axpo, a Swiss energy company nominated for buying uranium from Russia's Mayak reprocessing plant – one of the most radioactively contaminated places on earth – and keeping it secret for years. It is joined by the US tobacco giant Philip Morris, shortlisted for allegedly undermining anti-smoking laws in Uruguay by weakening regulations to have health warnings on cigarette packs.

Completing the "rogue's gallery of corporate villainy" is BP, which is cited over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that "will cause the long term death of large swaths of the ocean".

The companies "have committed 'crimes' in regards to human rights and/or the environment, and in most of the cases it's both", commented Bruno Heinzer, of Greenpeace Switzerland. "We are not just naming and shaming them, we will try to put pressure on the award winners to change their ways," he added.

Tens of thousands of people have voted for the People's Award at publiceye.ch – a website featuring spoof adverts mocking nominated companies. The winners of this and the Global Award (chosen by the organisers) will be revealed this Friday in the street where the World Economic Forum is holding its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Neste Oil dismissed the "misconceptions and false information" yesterday. A spokesman said: "The company strongly opposes any destruction of rainforests and irresponsible use of land, as well as mistreatment of indigenous people" and described the company as following a "very advanced sustainability policy".

AngloGold Ashanti said: "The company seeks always to operate in a socially and environmentally sensitive manner befitting a responsible corporate citizen." It added that the company "has committed to playing its part" in addressing "social and economic legacies" in Ghana.

A Foxconn spokesman said the company is committed to giving its "nearly one million employees in China and around the world a safe and positive einvironment". She added: "We are not perfect but we are committed to doing everything possible to make improvements every day."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
TV Review: Sabotage, a meltdown and, of course, plenty of sauce
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100'Geography can be tough'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
sport
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Development Manager (Electricity and Gas)

£50000 Per Annum excellent benefits package including company car: The Green R...

Nursery Teacher - Grimsby

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Job opportunity for Nursery Suppl...

Year 1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are recruiting...

PPA Cover Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are recruiting...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?