And the winner is…Shell!

by Malo Herry

January 24, 2013

Today, within eyeshot of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Greenpeace and the Berne Declaration (BD) presented the Public Eye Awards, thus denouncing particularly glaring cases of companies’ greed for profit and environmental sins. The public award goes, with a large winning margin, to the oil corporation Shell, in accordance with the wishes of 41,800 online voters. The US bank Goldman Sachs receives this year’s jury award. The star guests at the media conference in Davos were the author, economist and former bank regulator Professor William K. Black and the renowned business ethicist Dr Ulrich Thielemann.

Greenpeace and the BD presented the Public Eye Awards 2013 to two corporations which serve as examples of WEF members and companies whose social and ecological misdeeds show the downside of purely profit-oriented globalisation:

“Shell has invested 4.5 billion dollars into a senseless, highly risky plan and only produces problems, says Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International. The Public Eye Awards vote shows that the public keeps an eye on Shell and that its pigheadedness will continue to be sanctioned by public opinion.”

The Public Eye Awards 2013: Shell wins naming and shaming award. Greenpeace.

Shell is always involved in particularly controversial, risky and dirty oil production projects. Thus, this Dutch-British corporation, chosen by online users for the public naming and shaming award, is also out in front in the highly risky search for fossil fuels in the fragile Arctic. This has been made possible by climate change and the disappearance of the Arctic ice cap, to which Shell has contributed. Every Arctic offshore oil project means new CO2 emissions. The Arctic’s oil reserves are enough for just three years. For this, Shell is jeopardising one of the Earth’s last natural paradises and endangering the living space of four million people, as well as unique fauna. In recent months, this corporation has gone through an alarming series of mishaps in the region, and it has not even started on the oil wells yet. Shells safety measures defy description. Experts are certain that an oil catastrophe could occur at any time and would be almost uncontainable under the conditions which prevail in the Arctic. Help stop Shell and protect the Arctic by signing on at

This award proves that Arctic oil drilling is a major concern, and that the companies behind it will be held accountable for their reckless behavior, says Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace Canada Arctic campaigner. Companies pursuing Arctic drilling are under close scrutiny and will be challenged every step of the way.

Watch the video that launched the Artic campaign, narrated by Jude Law and accompanied with music by Radiohead.

Goldman Sachs Ad spoof.

Goldman Sachs receives the jury award. This US banking firm is a key player in financially driven globalisation, which pays for the profits of a few with exploding inequality and the impoverishment of broad strata.

“Not only is Goldman Sachs one of the main winners of the financial crisis, this bank is also a key player in the raw materials casino: it has tapped into these markets as a new source of income and destabilised raw material prices, says Michael Baumgartner, chairman of the Public Eye Awards jury. When food prices break all records, like in 2008, millions of people are plunged into hunger and hardship.”

“Ruthless competition on the backs of human rights and environmental standards via non-regulation and the race to the bottom in standards of good corporate conduct must come to an end, says Ulrich Thielemann, director of the Berlin think tank Denkfabrik fr Wirtschaftsethik, and former vice-director of the University of St. Gallen’s Institute for Business Ethics. Truly responsible corporations would applaud this step (regulation), as it would free them from the dirty competition of corporate wrongdoers.”

Alongside Goldman Sachs and Shell, the five companies Alstom (FR), Coal India (IN), G4S (UK), Lonmin (ZA) and Repower (CH) were also nominated for the two naming and shaming awards.

To learn more about the Public Eye Awards and to meet the other participants, go to:


We Need Your Voice. Join Us!

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.