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The worst corporate offenders of 2006 December 30, 2006

Posted by Andreas in Environment, South Africa.

The Corpse Awards are presented annually to the dirtiest southern African companies by groundWork, one of my favourite environmental justice organisations.

Held on 10 November, the 11th anniversary of the state-sponsored murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight fellow Nigerian activists, the “ceremony sought to bring to the public’s attention the manner in which corporate power operates, the resulting destruction of peoples’ land and the death it reaps.”

groundWork director Bobby Peek emphasises that it’s not just companies that are crooked: “… it is clear that government is doing as little as possible to actually make a meaningful contribution to the ‘health and well-being’ of people. And I venture to say that at times they are complicit in the environmental injustices that companies bring to bear on communities!”

This year’s “winners” were:


AngloPlatinum – Grim Reaper Floating Trophy Award

Bayer Cropscience – Baying For Your Rice Award

South Africa’s Cement Industry – Do You Think We’re Stupid? Award

FFS Refiners – It Wasn’t Me! Award

Chevron Oil Refinery – Smoked Out at Last Award

Engen – Privatising Public Participation Award

Samancor Manganese – Mangling the Workers Award

Paladin Resources – Picking the Public Pocket Award

AngloGold Ashanti – Loot the Minerals & Bloodstain the Soil Award.

For a pdf file of the disgusting details, click here.


1. Nic Martens - December 31, 2006

So what….. NASA concluded in 1948 (Alternative 3) that even if all industrial pollution ceased at that time, it would have made no difference to the global consequences. We like to think that it is only recent industrial pollution that is causing climate change (or perhaps compounding it), forgetting the wonderful world of steam that started it all so many polluting years ago.
In 2007 the unpaid invoices will start clogging the global post box, and as our credit-lines have been exhausted, we have no currency with which to stem the tide. A very brief reality check should reveal that the only question has been, “What plans have I put in place for my own survival”. I assure you, the planet will survive us.

2. Andreas - January 1, 2007

I don’t think many people would argue that industrial pollution started yesterday, but to compare industrial civilisation’s impact on the planet today with its impact during the steam age is a bit like comparing the effect of a hand grenade to that of a daisy cutter.

Alternative 3 (considered by many to be a hoax anyway) not withstanding, I think we often don’t give the earth enough credit for its recuperative capacity. If we just stop what we’re doing, nature will in most situations reclaim much of the terrain previously butchered by humans. (On the subject of Alternative 3, have you read Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy? Brilliant!)

Sure, the “I’ll worry only about my own survival” approach is one possible response to the situation, but personally, I wouldn’t want to live in the dog-eat-dog/devil take the hindmost world that seems to imply…

3. Scarlett Peacock - January 14, 2007

Touché, Andreas.

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