Forty six prominent international human rights and environmental award winners from 30 countries have written to 2015 UN Champion of the Earth awardee and Unilever CEO Paul Polman reminding him that the award brings with it an “onerous responsibility.” The signatories include Dr. Vandana Shiva, 2011 UN Champion of the Earth awardee Dr. Olga Speranskaya, and Indian winners of Goldman Award like Bhopal activists Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, Chattisgarh-based Ramesh Agrawal, and Magsaysay winner Sandeep Pandey.
Pointing to the inconsistencies between Unilever’s professed commitment to environmental sustainability and fair treatment of workers, the awardees have urged Polman “to personally intervene to ensure that an honourable settlement is offered to workers, and that the contaminated environment is cleaned up to international standards that are protective of the sensitive ecosystems that surround the factory site.”
“We are aware of your commitment to fairness and equal treatment of all people regardless of nationality or race. But Hindustan Unilever’s proposal is a clear case of environmental double standards,” the letter states. “At a time when the United Nations is trying to build global confidence to tackle the Minamata Convention on reduction and elimination on sources of mercury emissions, the actions of your company come under added scrutiny,” it adds.
For more information, contact:
Nityanand Jayaraman – 9444082401
The letter to Unilever CEO Paul Polman is attached down below (Download).
Chennai Solidarity Group, No. 92, 3rd Cross, Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Besant Nagar, Chennai 600090