Neste Oil Wins Public Eye Award for “Stinking to High Heaven”

Written by Ashley Schaeffer

Topics: Agribusiness, Learn

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The 2011 Public Eye People’s Award, determined by over 50,000 people through online voting, went to Finnish agrofuel company Neste Oil. Congratulate Neste Oil for this award on their Feedback Page!

Only the most evil corporate offenders appeared on the shortlist of the Public Eye Awards. The award is handed out at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, which concluded yesterday. The Berne Declaration and Greenpeace Switzerland run the Public Eye Awards contest every year to “honor” those corporations whose social or ecological behavior “stinks to high heaven.” Civil society names and shames corporations for exploitative working conditions, calculated environmental sins, intentional disinformation, or other disregard for corporate social responsibility, and then the winners get an international spotlight on their corporate scandals.

This year the web-based Public Eye People’s Award mobilized more than twice as many voters as in 2010, and Neste Oil cleaned up with 17,385 votes, relegating BP (13,000) and Philip Morris (8,052) to runner-up status. The Finnish biofuel producer sells bio-diesel Europe-wide under the shameless name “Green Diesel.” The huge jump in demand for palm oil is fueling massive, widespread rainforest destruction in Indonesia and Malaysia, threatening the remaining refuges of the already endangered orangutan.

Neste Oil Fueling Orangutan Extinction. Photo: GP Finland

What many don’t know is that Neste Oil is about to become the world’s largest buyer of palm oil. The company has developed a technology that allows for a much higher percentage of palm oil biodiesel to be used in cars, and can also turn palm oil into jet fuel. Neste Oil has entered into agreements with Lufthansa and Finnair to supply biofuels for passenger flights.

That’s right, Lufthansa Airlines will soon fly with Neste Oil, whose Indonesian- and Malaysian-based agrofuels are a key driver of deforestation, human rights abuses and climate change.

Neste Oil sources the majority of its palm oil from the IOI Corporation, which is responsible for large-scale rainforest and peatland destruction and violations of people’s land rights in Malaysia and Indonesia. IOI is one of the companies behind plans to destroy another 1 million hectares of rainforest that are home to indigenous communities in Sarawak, Borneo.

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has been outspoken against biofuels for years — check out our White Paper: Agrofuels are Not Low Carbon for more info on just how farcical the idea that industrial biofuels are any kind of a green solution really is. The reality is that biofuels cause increasing tropical deforestation, higher global warming emissions, escalating food prices, growing hunger for the most vulnerable populations, eroding land rights and worsened food security.

1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Good news! Finnair just announced that it will no longer use biofuels for jetfuel, as previously planned, due to the environmental impact on peatlands, forests and endangered wildlife in Indonesia and Malaysia:

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