7 Of The World’s Most Irresponsible Companies

Money isn’t everything – or is it? To most corporations, making a profit is goal number one – but some of those companies take it way too far, sacrificing the health of the planet and its inhabitants for a bigger bank balance. Far too many corporations turn a blind eye to the consequences of their destructive, exploitative practices. The worst of them are committing atrocities that go beyond the realm of objectionable into criminal, dumping toxic chemicals without regard to public health and employing child labor.

What makes these seven companies extra evil is the fact that they’ve committed crimes that are BOTH environmentally and socially irresponsible

More than 40% of the world’s chocolate comes from Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) in Africa, where tens of thousands of children are estimated to be working in dangerous conditions on cocoa farms. Nestle uses cocoa harvested by slave labor, and only when Senator Thomas Harkin (D-Iowa) led an investigation and introduced legislation that would require chocolate sold in the US to be labeled “slave-free” did the company act. Nestle promised that by July 2005 they would find a way to certify chocolate as not having been produced by any underage, indentured, trafficked or coerced labor, but since then, they have achieved very little.

Nestle’s bottled water business is also a major cause for concern. Nestle controls one-third of the US market and sells 70 different brand names of bottled water including Arrowhead, Deer Park, Perrier and Poland Spring. The company buys up pristine springs in some of the most beautiful natural spaces in America and builds huge factories on the sites, releasing pollution into the air and drawing enormous amounts of water out of the springs.

And, while the company claims an environmentally friendly ethic, saying it would never harm an aquifer, that’s exactly what they have done in places like Mecosta County, Michigan, damaging the watershed with excessive withdrawals, reaping huge profits and leaving the locals to deal with the consequences.

Article here.

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One Response to “7 Of The World’s Most Irresponsible Companies”

  1. Jane Lazgin Says:

    Nestlé Waters North America agrees that water is a precious resource and we respect your concerns about how water is used and managed. As a company employee, it’s upsetting to be called “irresponsible,” since we hold ourselves to high standards for how we conduct our operations.

    Because our business depends on the health and longevity of natural water resources, we only seek sources that can be used and managed for long-term sustainability. We either purchase water from public suppliers as a customer, or own or lease land and its associated water rights. We follow requirements for local and state permits, regulations and laws that determine how much and where our company can use water, and once we’re operating, we continue to monitor water levels, aquatic and plant life in the area to ensure the ecology remains stable.

    Such is the case in Mecosta, Michigan, which you make reference to in your post. The Michigan Supreme Court found no harmful effects of our water withdrawals and today – nearly seven years since the start of operations by Nestlé Waters – effects on a nearby stream are minimal, and generally consistent with the predictions of lesser impacts made by Nestlé Waters’ scientists.

    We realize that bottled water has an environmental footprint, and we’ve long been working to lessen our environmental impact. We built the beverage industry’s first U.S. Green Building Council LEED-certified manufacturing plant, and have more of them than any other food or beverage company. We introduced a lightweight bottle with less plastic, cutting our carbon emissions by 8%, and we plan to further reduce our carbon intensity by 20% by 2013.

    To read more about our environmental goals and community relations commitments, please visit: http://www.nestle-watersna.com/pdf/Nestle_Corporate_Citizenship_Report_Final.pdf.


    Jane Lazgin
    Director, Corporate Communications
    Nestlé Waters North America

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