2011 Awards

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Campaigns for responsible mineral extraction, fighting dirty coal, protecting workers, and others receive top marketplace activism prizes
Carrie Dann honored for Individual Achievement Award

Top corporate campaign activists were honored in October at the 2011 BENNY Awards, given by the Business Ethics Network (BEN) in conjunction with the Bioneers Conference. The No Dirty Gold campaign won the first place BENNY Award, the Campuses Beyond Coal campaign won the second place award, with “Nike: Just Pay It!” winning third place. Each campaign won a significant victory in corporate transformation in the last year. Carrie Dann was honored with the Individual Achievement Award for her decades of fighting on behalf of the people for the lands of the Western Shoshone.

“The American public is calling for corporate accountability and limits on corporate power,” said Business Ethics Network Executive Director Anne Pernick. “The activists in these campaigns are working to benefit us all, and they are winning incredible victories against powerful foes.”

The No Dirty Gold Campaign, led by Earthworks with support from change.org, is working to end irresponsible mining practices that harm communities and the environment. By getting Target, Sears/Kmart and other large buyers of gold and precious metals to sign the No Dirty Gold pledge and educating and engaging tens of thousands of consumers, the campaign is pushing the mining industry to make concrete on-the-ground changes in the way they produce metals, and to allow independent, third-party verification of their mining practices.

The Campuses Beyond Coal Campaign, by the Sierra Student Coalition and Sierra Club, has the goal of diminishing the power and influence of the coal industry by both reducing dependence on coal and by building a broad, visible base of young people who are actively challenging the coal industry. Campuses Beyond Coal moved several universities away from coal power, including Clemson University, Ohio University, Miami University (Ohio), and Purdue University.

The“Nike: Just Pay It!” Campaign, by United Students Against Sweatshops, forced Nike to take responsibility for its subcontracted workers in Honduras, and provide them with lost wages, priority rehiring, training, and additional benefits. The campaign also marked the first time that students successfully pressured a university – the University of Wisconsin, Madison – to sever a Nike contract in response to labor rights violations.

Carrie Dann received the Individual Achievement Award. Carrie Dann is a traditional Western Shoshone woman who, with her sister Mary (now deceased), has been the major leader in the Shoshone people’s battle to retain their ancestral lands. Since 1972, Carrie has fought to retain lands in Nevada, California, Idaho and Utah, and has squared off against international gold mining corporations, the nuclear industry and the U.S. government. The United Nations and the Organization of American States have supported her fight to protect Western Shoshone territory. For their courage and perseverance in asserting the rights of Indigenous peoples, Carrie and her sister have received numerous awards including the 1993 Right Livelihood Award, often known as the Alternative Nobel.

BEN organizes the BENNY 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. This year, BEN created a new Populist category, with the public voting for their favorite campaigns.

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, Rainforest Action Network, and the Teamsters.

Below are the winners in both the BENNY and Path to Victory categories.

2011 Award Winners:

Individual Achievement Award

Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone

BENNY Award Winners


No Dirty Gold Campaign

Lead Group: Earthworks


Campuses Beyond Coal

Lead Groups: Sierra Student Coalition, Sierra Club


Nike: Just Pay It!”

Lead Group: United Students Against Sweatshops

Path to Victory Award Winners

1st Place:
Campaign to Transform Fast Food Packaging

Lead Group: Dogwood Alliance

Kick Out Sodexo!

Lead Group: United Students Against Sweatshops

The Keystone XL Campaign

Lead Groups: Sierra Club, Corporate Ethics International, National Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Friends Of the Earth, Bold Nebraska, STOP

Populist Category Award Winners



No Dirty Gold

Lead Group: Earthworks


Restoring Scientific Integrity to Federal Policy Making

Lead Group: Union of Concerned Scientists

Path to Victory


Keystone XL Campaign

Lead Groups: Sierra Club, Corporate Ethics International, National Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Friends of the Earth, Bold Nebraska, STOP


Saving America’s Arctic Seas!

Lead Groups: Pacific Environment, Native Village of Point Hope, Alaska Wilderness League, Earthjustice

All Nominees can be viewed HERE