Changes in The Public Eye Awards in Davos

Zurich, 02.10.2012 - The nominating process of the 9th Public Eye Awards is underway. The Awards are now being aided by the University of St. Gallen and internationally-renowned experts in business ethics

The competiton for natural resources continues. Organizations that uncover human rights violations, environmental destruction, and ruthless business practices, and that confront the perpetrators, are needed now more than ever.Take the case of Trafigura: In 2006, the raw materials giant carelessly disposed of toxic waste in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, unnecessarily endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands. As a result, 100,000 people were directly affected and required medical attention. Amnesty International and Greenpeace are calling for legal action against those responsible (see “The Toxic Truth”).


Trafigura is just one of the possible winners of “worst corporation” honors at the 2013 Public Eye Awards, for which nominations are now being accepted at www.publiceye.ch. A glance at the nominations received so far shows environmental destruction and ruthlessness of staggering proportions, and it reveals once again the shadowy side of the global economy. The Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland have been organizing the annual Public Eye Awards for years, to advocate the creation of legal frameworks so that violations of human rights and the environment no longer go unpunished.The Institute for Business Ethics (IWE) at the University of St. Gallen is now aiding the nominating process of the Public Eye Awards. The IWE will examine the human rights, labor rights and environmental activities of the nominees from a business ethics perspective, and judge them against the backdrop of international accords and standards. This will give the nominations additional substance.

Substantiated nominations, together with the IWE’s assessments, will be presented to the Public Eye’s international jury. The jury will then select the most irresponsible corporation and produce a list of further offenders, on which the public will vote in January 2013.

Important changes have also taken place in the jury, having been expanded with additional international and independent experts from the field of business ethics. The jury is now composed as follows:

Cécile Bühlmann, former member of Swiss parliament, and president of the board of trustees of Greenpeace Switzerland since 2006.
Dr. Phil. Kumi Naidoo, former general secretary of Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), and executive director of Greenpeace International since 2009.
Andreas Cassee, MAS in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Zurich, doctoral candidate at the Center for Ethics at the University of Zurich since 2009, and board member of the Berne Declaration.
Dr. Andreas Missbach, head of the Banks and Finance group, and executive board member, of the Berne Declaration.
Prof. Emeritus Dr. Hans Ruh, former head of the Institute for Social Ethics at the University of Zurich, and chairman of BlueValue AG, Zurich.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Thielemann, deputy director of the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St. Gallen from 2001 to 2010, and founder and director of MeM – Denkfabrik für Wirtschaftsethik, Berlin.
Prof. Dr. Phil. Klaus Peter Rippe, director of the “Ethics in Discourse” Institute since 2002, and professor of Practical Philosophy at the Karlsruhe University of Education since 2008.
Prof. Dr. Guido Palazzo, professor of Business Ethics in the Department of Business and Economics at the University of Lausanne, and guest fellow at the Universities of Oxford and Nottingham, England.
As always, the most irresponsible international corporations will be presented to the public next year on the occasion of the WEF in Davos.