Campaigns for protecting ancient forests, empowering garment workers, preventing an increase in oil refinery pollution, and others receive top marketplace activism prizes
Dolores Huerta honored for individual achievement
Awards recognize victories and significant achievements in corporate reform.
Top corporate campaign activists were honored in October at the 2010 BENNY Awards, given by the Business Ethics Network (BEN) in teleconference-connected ceremonies on both coasts. The Kleercut Campaign and the Rein in Russell campaign tied for the first place BENNY Award, and the No Chevron Dirty Crude Refinery Expansion in Richmond campaign won the second place BENNY Award. Special Recognition was given to the Bring the Salmon Home campaign, as well as to the Global Finance Campaign. Each campaign won a significant victory in corporate transformation in the last year. Dolores Huerta was honored for her decades of successful advocacy for workers, women, families, and communities.
“These campaigns and campaigners stood up to the most powerful corporations and made them change for the better,” said BEN Executive Director Michael Marx. “They show the innovation of the corporate campaign movement, and the movement’s ability to transform the marketplace.”
The Kleercut Campaign, by the trio of Greenpeace offices of Canada, USA and International, launched in 2004 with a focus on connecting the demand for disposable products and the destruction on the ground in Canada’s Boreal forest. Kimberly-Clark was directly supporting and driving destruction of ancient forests, including Canada’s Boreal Forest, with pulp from these forests used to manufacture tissue products sold worldwide. With the campaign win, Kimberley-Clark announced an agreement with Greenpeace in August 2009 and released a best in class, historic procurement policy that will ensure greater protection and sustainable management of ancient forests, as well as providing a model for forest-products companies worldwide.
The Rein in Russell campaign by the United Students Against Sweatshops was the largest collegiate boycott of an apparel company in history, with over 100 universities and colleges boycotting the company in the US, Canada and the UK. Additionally, two large retailers, JC Penny and Sports Authority, stopped selling Russell Athletic products. The CGT, USAS’s partner union in Honduras, negotiated the unprecedented agreement to reopen the Jerzees factory in Choloma and set guidelines for freedom of association in all of Russell/Fruit’s production facilities in Honduras. USAS’ victory against Russell Athletic puts all apparel brands on notice that they can’t use times of economic crisis as opportunities to close unionized garment factories.
No Chevron Dirty Crude Refinery Expansion in Richmond is a campaign led by the coalition of Communities for a Better Environment, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, West County Toxics Coalition, and EarthJustice, and supported by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, SEIU Local 1021 and Movement for Climate Justice. After years of building grassroots community pressure and repeated attempts at negotiation with Chevron, the coalition filed and won a lawsuit against Chevron over the potential health and greenhouse gas impacts of processing dirty crude oil within one mile of Richmond.
Chevron Richmond Refinery had disguised a refinery expansion to process dirty crude as an “upgrade” to the refinery. Dirtier crude puts the community at further risk of spills, fires, explosions and health effects such as asthma and cancers. This victory will help protect public health, improve air quality, reduce global warming, and further push the community to build a greener economy.
The Global Finance Campaign and the Bring the Salmon Home campaign received Special Recognition at this year’s awards. In April 2010, the US EPA issued new guidance that, if strictly enforced, will make the continuation of mountaintop removal impossible under the Clean Water Act.
After years of campaigning by Tribes, local activists, and commercial fishermen to protect Klamath River salmon, Warren Buffett owned PacifiCorp signed an agreement that will effect the largest dam removal and river restoration effort in US history.
Dolores Huerta received the Individual Achievement Award in recognition of her ongoing transformative activism on behalf of the poor, women, and children, and her dedication to training people to advocate effectively for themselves, their families, and their communities. Dolores is President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (http://www.doloreshuerta.org/). She co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar E. Chavez and holds the emeritus positions in the UFW of Secretary Treasurer and First Vice President. She is also a board member of the organization Feminist Majority. Dolores was instrumental in passing historic legislation, including disability insurance for farm workers, making voting and driver’s license exam information available in multiple languages, the legalization for one million farm workers under the Immigration Reform Act of l984-85, and the end of the infamous “bracero” program. As the main negotiator for the United Farm Workers, she gained many “firsts” that had been denied to farm workers, including cold drinking water in the fields, the Robert F. Kennedy medical plan that covered farmworker families, the Juan de la Cruz pension fund (paid for by employers), and protections from pesticides in union contracts.
BEN organizes the awards to celebrate the victories and achievements of corporate campaign activists. Activists who are Members of BEN nominate campaigns for the BENNY and Path to Victory Awards. The BEN Awards Committee votes on the winners of both categories. BEN Advisory Committee and staff choose recipients of the Individual Achievement Award.
BEN, a project of Corporate Ethics International, is the largest network of non-profit, marketplace advocacy activists and organizations in the U.S. and includes activists from such notable organizations as ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Healthcare without Harm, the Humane Society of the United States, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, and the Teamsters.
Below are the winners in both the BENNY and Path to Victory categories.
2010 Award Winners
Individual Achievement Award
BENNY Award Winners
Tie for 1st Place:
Lead Groups: Greenpeace Canada, Greenpeace USA
Tie for 1st Place:
Rein in Russell
Lead Group: United Students Against Sweatshops
No Chevron Dirty Crude Refinery Expansion in Richmond!
Lead Groups: Communities for a Better Environment, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, West County
Toxics Coalition, and EarthJustice
Path to Victory Award Winners
Stop Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry
Lead Group: International Labor Rights Forum
Lead Groups: As You Sow, Green Century Capital Management
What the Cluck? Stop the KFC/Komen Partnership
Lead Group: Breast Cancer Action