Canadian Manufacturing

Anti-corporate groups to end World Economic Forum protests

Greenpeace Switzerland, Berne Declaration to end protests after 15 years; say event no longer relevant



GENEVA—Two anti-corporate campaign groups said they will stop staging protests at the World Economic Forum because they believe the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Switzerland is no longer relevant.

Environmental group Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration, which campaigns for responsible business, have organized protests in the Alpine town of Davos for the past 15 years.

Since 2005, they have also presented the annual Public Eye Award, meant to shame companies that disregard human rights or the environment.

Instead, the groups said they would focus their work on promoting a plan—to be put to referendum in Switzerland—that would require Swiss-based companies to respect human rights and the environment.

Switzerland is home to several major corporations that take advantage of its low business taxes.

Adrian Monck, a managing director at the World Economic Forum, said he would miss the protests.

But he added that dissident voices are now heard on the event’s official panels, too.

“The Forum’s research, its global reach, and its ability to nudge the world’s leaders has made it more relevant and more relied upon than ever,” Monck said in an online post.

The final Public Eye Award is to be presented Jan. 23.

It will go to one of six companies for “lifetime achievements in corporate irresponsibility.”

Web users will be able to choose between oil firms Chevron Corp. and Gazprom, chemicals company Dow Chemical Co., commodities giant Glencore plc, investment firm Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and retailer Walmart Stores, Inc.

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