In a tongue-in-cheek reference to the famous wooden puppet and his very personal conception of truth, Friends of the Earth France awarded three Pinocchio awards denouncing 'greenwashing' by multinational corporations today. The awards were judged by internet voters and awarded to companies whose activities detriment social and environmental rights in countries in the Global South.
The winners were French construction giant Vinci for its project to construct a new airport for the city of Nantes and destroy exceptionally fertile agricultural land; agro-industrial group Tereos for its agreement to divert millions of hectares in Mozambique from growing food for local people to produce agrofuels for European cars; and bank Société Générale for funding three nuclear power plants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The winners were announced during a public ceremony organised by Friends of the Earth France. The awards illustrate and denounce the negative impacts of French companies who behave in total contradiction to the concepts of sustainable development they claim to uphold. The awards publicly denounce the discrepancy between the rhetoric, and the reality.
Friends of the Earth is calling for the creation of a binding legal framework at international level to force companies to be accountable – current Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments are not legally binding. We believe the establishment of a strict framework at the European Community level and in France is a necessary intermediate step.