PARIS (FRANCE) – As the leaders of the world’s richest nations gather in Evian, France, for the G8 Summit [1] of June 1-3, Friends of the Earth International today published a new briefing* highlighting the gap between the rhetoric of ‘corporate social responsibility’ and the reality experienced by the victims of corporate bad practice.

The briefing published today, ‘Corporate G8’, focuses on case studies showing the damage some well-known multinational companies from G8 countries are causing to local communities. The ‘Corporate G8’ briefing highlights cases of US, UK, German, Italian, Canadian, French and Russian companies that have been at the heart of recent controversies.

The G8’s promise to prioritise ‘corporate social responsibility’ is in disarray after a French plan for concrete action was dropped from the agenda [2].

Many communities have learned the hard away about the failures of corporate voluntarism.

Helene Ballande, from Friends of the Earth France, said:

“The G8 countries are the most powerful economies and are home to the most powerful multinationals. Yet despite being the most responsible, they are not prepared to take the least action to halt corporate bad practice. As a result communities around the world are suffering and their environment is being degraded.”

“Instead of spending their time pushing for new rights for big business under the World Trade Organisation, Bush, Chirac, Blair and the other G8 leaders should be pushing for international rights for affected communities so they can secure justice in the face of corporate crimes,” Ballande added.

From today until June 1st, civil society representatives assemble at a G8‘counter summit’ close to Evian, in Annemasse, to debate alternatives to corporate globalisation.


[1] : The Group of Eight, or G8, is the powerful group of eight countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) that meet each year to discuss broad economic and foreign policies.

[2] : ‘G8 drops plan for business standards, fails developing nations‘ May 16 press release


Friends of the Earth (IN FRENCH): Helene Ballande: + 33-6-77107125
Friends of the Earth (IN ENGLISH): Matt Phillips: +44 7817314 706