Earnest shareholder resolutions presented at company annual general meetings on everything from human rights to executive compensation are routinely shot down in flames. But shareholder resolutions may have an effect, even in defeat.
The best known, most prestigious, and largest keiretsu, is the Mitsubishi Group of companies. Given the size and reach of its diverse activities, and due to the fact that it is more heavily focused in polluting industrial sectors than other keiretsu, the Mitsubishi Group may well be the single most environmentally destructive corporate force on Earth.
CorpWatch's Pratap Chatterjee is quoted in an article about the Union Carbide gas leak in India, on the 21st anniversary of that event.
Protestors have forced Sichuan Hongda to cancel plans to build a $1.6 billion copper alloy plant in Shifang city in southwestern China, because of pollution concerns. The halt has been hailed as a major victory by environmental activists against corporate and government power.
On the night of December 2-3, 1984, the Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India leaked poisonous methyl iso cyanate into its densely populated neighborhood, killing 8,000 people in the immediate aftermath. 25 years later, Dow Chemical (which purchased Union Carbide in 2001) still refuses to clean up the site. But a new generation of Bhopal survivors is taking on the fight.
Victims will receive compensation after seeking legal action in Britain against Trafigura oil company. Waste from a ship the company chartered was illegally dumped in Abidjan, killing 17 people and causing more than 100,000 to seek medical help in 2006.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has canceled a public meeting to brief local residents on its investigation of an August 2008 explosion that killed two Bayer Institute plant workers. Chemical plant security activists expressed shock; the meeting was also to discuss concerns about a methyl isocyanate tank located near the site of the deadly blast.
Long before a government report confirmed it, villagers living along the banks of the Thi Vai river in the Mekong Delta knew full well that the waterway was dead. They had complained for years that industrial waste discharged into the Thi Vai had poisoned their wells, killed all the fish and was making them sick. Yet it wasn't until cargo companies refused to dock at the river's main port - saying that the toxic brew was eating through the ships' hulls - that Vietnam officials were willing to get tough on polluters.
Residents of Bhopal, India continue to suffer from Union Carbide's toxic legacy, this time in the form of toxic waste that still languishes inside a shoddy warehouse on the old factory grounds. Ailments such as cleft palates and mental retardation are appearing in numbers of Bhopali children, raising questions about contaminated soil and groundwater, clean-up, and liability.