2013 Awards

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2013 BEN Individual Achievement Award (IAA)

Rebecca Tarbotton, In Memoriam

Rebecca Tarbotton, known to friends as Becky, was a profound thinker and leader. She was dedicated to merging environmental and social justice movements, and building campaigns that inspire transformational changes in forest protection, climate change and human rights. A self-proclaimed “pragmatic idealist,” Becky was deeply admired by a whole movement of activists for her boldness and clarity of vision. The RAN staff, her friends and family remember a “force of nature” with an infectious laugh, adventurous spirit, and a heart bursting with love.

Under her leadership, RAN achieved tremendous victories in preserving endangered rainforests and the rights of their indigenous inhabitants. Most recently, Becky helped to architect the most significant agreement in the history of the organization: a landmark policy by entertainment giant Disney, that is set to transform everything about the way the company purchases and uses paper. In addition to Becky’s Individual Achievement Award, the Disney Rainforest-Free Campaign was voted third place BENNY Award Winner in 2013.

Becky spent much of her time thinking about how to inspire masses of people to work for transformational social and environmental change, and how to push the country’s biggest corporate polluters to reform their ways. As she said during a keynote address in October 2012: “We need to remember that the work of our time is bigger than climate change. We need to be setting our sights higher and deeper. What we’re really talking about, if we’re honest with ourselves, is transforming everything about the way we live on this planet…We don’t always know exactly what it is that creates social change. It takes everything from science all the way to faith, and it’s that fertile place right in the middle where really exceptional campaigning happens–and that is where I strive to be.”

Becky died unexpectedly in December 2012 while vacationing in Mexico with her husband and close friends. BEN and all the campaigning community deeply mourns her loss.

To read more about Becky and her life, including photos and video, visit http://ran.org/becky#ixzz2mMJrmQUk

 

BENNY AWARD WINNERS (Decided by Awards Committee)

1. Dogwood Alliance’s Paper Campaign

Lead Group(s): Dogwood Alliance

Support Group(s): N/A.

Brief Description of the Victory May 2012 – May 2013: After 10 year of campaigning Dogwood Alliance reached agreement with International Paper, world’s biggest paper producer, to advance forest conservation in the southern U.S., the world’s largest paper producing region.

2. Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE) Free Seafood

Lead Group(s): Friends of the Earth

Support Group(s): Food & Water Watch, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Alliance for Natural Health USA, American Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Welfare Institute, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, The Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America, Food Democracy Now, Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, Food Democracy Now, Gloucester fishermen’s Wives Association, Go Wild Campaign, Healthy Child Healthy World, Humane Society of the United States, Veterinary Medical Association, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Institute for Responsible Technology, Mangrove Action Project, Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, National Family Farm Coalition, National Organic Coalition Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Organic Consumers Association, Sierra Club, Waikiki Hawaiian Civic Club, Wild Salmon First.

Brief Description of the Victory May 2012 – May 2013:

Since March 2013, 59 retailers representing 4,662 grocery stores including Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Aldi, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, H-E-B, Marsh, and Meijer committed to not sell genetically engineered seafood.

3. Disney Rainforest-Free Paper Campaign
Lead Group(s):
Rainforest Action Network

Support Group(s): N/A.
Brief Description of the Victory May 2012 – May 2013: Disney announced a global paper policy that maximizes its use of environmentally superior papers and eliminates paper connected to rainforest destruction and the violation of forest dependent communities’ rights.

 

PATH TO VICTORY AWARD WINNERS (Decided by Awards Committee)

1. Beyond Coal

Lead Group(s): Sierra Club

Support Group(s): Many local environmental, conservation and civil rights groups..

Brief Description of the Achievement(s) May 2012-2013: Between 5/1/2012 and 5/1/2013, the campaign retired 33 coal plants (11,751 megawatts of coal). Approximately 20% of the campaign’s coal plant retirements to date took place during this period.

2. Transparency in Corporate Political Spending

Lead Group(s): U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Public Citizen, Common Cause

Support Group(s): The Brennan Center for Justice, Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending, Demos, Center for Political Accountability.

Brief Description of the Achievement(s) May 2012-2013: We’ve generated over 600,000 comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission asking it to promulgate a rule requiring public corporations to disclose their political spending.

3. TIE between Cruel Confinement of Farm Animals and Warehouse Workers United (WWU)

Cruel Confinement of Farm Animals
Lead Group(s): The Humane Society of the United States; Support Group(s): N/A.
Brief Description of the Achievement(s) May 2012-2013: The HSUS persuaded nearly 40 of the world’s largest food companies to announce they wanted gestation crates out of their supply chain, including Kroger, Safeway, Target, Kraft, Sodexo, and more.

Warehouse Workers United (WWU)
Lead Group(s): Warehouse Workers United, Change to Win

Support Group(s): N/A.
Brief Description of the Achievement(s) May 2012-2013: Warehouse workers struck to protest illegal retaliation. They won better working conditions and ultimately the state of California cited and fined the warehouse for multiple health and safety legal violations.

 

BENNY, Populist Category (online voting):

1. End Deathtraps Now: Campaign for Fire and Building Safety in the Bangladesh Garment Industry
Lead Group(s): Worker Rights Consortium

Support Group(s): United Students Against Sweatshops, International Labor Rights Forum, Clean Clothes Campaign (based in Europe), Maquila Solidarity Network (based in Canada), SumofUs.org, Avvaz.

Brief Description of the Victory May 2012 – May 2013: More than 50 brands and retailers, including H&M, PVH Corp. and Abercrombie & Fitch, have signed the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

2. Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE) Free Seafood
Lead Group(s): Friends of the Earth

Support Group(s): Food & Water Watch, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Alliance for Natural Health USA, American Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Welfare Institute, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, The Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America, Food Democracy Now, Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, Food Democracy Now, Gloucester fishermen’s Wives Association, Go Wild Campaign, Healthy Child Healthy World, Humane Society of the United States, Veterinary Medical Association, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Institute for Responsible Technology, Mangrove Action Project, Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, National Family Farm Coalition, National Organic Coalition Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Organic Consumers Association, Sierra Club, Waikiki Hawaiian Civic Club, Wild Salmon First.

Brief Description of the Victory May 2012 – May 2013: Since March 2013, 59 retailers representing 4,662 grocery stores including Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Aldi, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, H-E-B, Marsh, and Meijer committed to not sell genetically engineered seafood.

3. Whole Foods GMO Labeling – As You Sow and Trillium Asset Management
Lead Group(s): As You Sow, Trillium Asset Management

Support Group(s): ICCR, Center for Food Safety, Organic Consumers Association, Mercola.com, Institute for Responsible Technology.

Brief Description of the Victory May 2012 – May 2013: After a decade-long campaign creating shareholder and consumer pressure, Whole Foods announced that they will require GMO labels on all products sold in their stores by 2018.

 

Path to Victory, Populist Category (online voting):

1. Cruel Confinement of Farm Animals

Lead Group(s): The Humane Society of the United States

Support Group(s): N/A.
Brief Description of the Achievement(s) May 2012-2013: The HSUS persuaded nearly 40 of the world’s largest food companies to announce they wanted gestation crates out of their supply chain, including Kroger, Safeway, Target, Kraft, Sodexo, and more.

2. Child Labor and Forced Adult Labor in the Uzbek Cotton Industry

Lead Group(s): Responsible Sourcing Network.

Support Group(s): As You Sow, Human Rights Watch, International Labor Rights Forum.
Brief Description of the Achievement(s) May 2012-2013: After five years of economic and diplomatic pressure from RSN and Cotton Coalition partners, the government reduced forced cotton harvesting by children aged 7-11 for the first time in decades.

3. Beyond Coal

Lead Group(s): Sierra Club

Support Group(s): Many local environmental, conservation and civil rights groups..
Brief Description of the Achievement(s) May 2012-2013: Between 5/1/2012 and 5/1/2013, the campaign retired 33 coal plants (11,751 megawatts of coal). Approximately 20% of the campaign’s coal plant retirements to date took place during this period.