First “Public Eye Awards“ for Irresponsible Corporate Behaviour

Zurich and Basel, 11.01.2005 - On 26 January 2005, coinciding with the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Berne Declaration and Pro Natura – Friends of the Earth Switzerland are giving the first “Public Eye Awards“ for irresponsible corporate behaviour. Nominees include more than twenty global corporations that have failed in their responsibilities regarding human rights, labour rights, the environment or taxes. The sixth “Public Eye on Davos“ takes place on 26 and 27 January 2005 in Davos/Switzerland. The event will be opened by renowned economist and globalisation critic Noreena Hertz.

“Our Public Eye Awards are meant as a reminder to members of WEF and other large corporate groups that the public expects them to be responsible stewards of the environment; insists on their respect for human rights and labour rights; and does not tolerate tax avoidance“, says Matthias Herfeldt of the Berne Declaration. Sonja Ribi of Pro Natura argues: “We need an effective legally binding international framework for corporate accountability. The Global Compact and other voluntary initiatives are insufficient, since they neither provide rules for implementation, nor monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms”.
In autumn 2004, non-governmental organisations from across the world submitted nominations for the “Public Eye Awards“. Nominees include companies like Bayer, BP, Dow Chemical, KPMG, Monsanto, Nestlé, Shell, Stallion Garments, Syngenta, Total and Unocal, Wal-Mart and Vodafone. In each of the four categories human rights, labour rights, environment, and taxes the supporting NGOs of “The Public Eye on Davos” selected a winner that excels in irresponsible corporate behaviour. In addition, from 11 to 24 January 2005, the public is invited to vote online for the winner of the public’s award.