Environment - An introduction
There is a close link between environmental issues and human rights, particularly the right to health. Among the many other affected rights are the rights to food, housing and access to water, freedom of information and freedom of assembly.
For more on the connections between environmental and human rights issues click here.
Below are select introductory materials on business and the environment. Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the Environment: General section of our site.
- Key international standards
- Key reports & guidance
- Concerns, company responses and non-responses
- Positive steps by companies
- Lawsuits regarding companies' environmental impacts
Key international standards
Key reports & guidance
Green Business Guide – Ten steps to adopt environmentally-friendly business practices, Environmental Protection Agency (USA)
Greening advisor, Natural Resources Defense Council
Understanding and preventing greenwash – a business guide [PDF] Business for Social Responsibility, Jul 2009
Concerns, company responses and non-responses
Global: London Mining Network publishes "alternative report" to BHP Billiton's annual report - concerns over impacts on environment, indigenous peoples, human rights in Asia-Pacific, Americas, So. Africa, Nov 2009. BHP Billiton response.
Global: SOMO "Overviews of controversial business practices in 2008" on companies including SBM Offshore- concern over environmental, health impacts of activities. Jul 2009. No response from SBM Offshore.
Global: London Mining Network says BHP Billiton failed to respond to social & environmental concerns at annual meeting - cases from Philippines, Indonesia, Guatemala, Colombia, Nov 2008. BHP Billiton response.
Burma: Kachin Development Networking Group calls for stop to Irrawaddy dam project (joint venture between China Power Investment, Asia World Company and the State Peace and Development Council of the Burmese military government), due to major human rights, environmental impacts, Nov 2009. Asia World Company response. No response received from China Power Investment.
Ecuador: Shareholder resolution by Amnesty USA & others requests Chevron to prepare report on its initiatives to address health & environmental concerns where Texaco operated in Ecuador, Mar 2005. Chevron response.
Ghana: Participants in workshop organised by Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining raise concerns about environmental & health impacts of mining operations, June 2005. AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont responses.
India: "Too hot to handle?" - Article says firms mishandling toxic industrial waste, Apr 2009. BEIL (Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Ltd) response. No response received from Ramky, GEPIL (Gujarat Enviro Protection and Infrastructure Ltd)
India: Indian People’s Tribunal report on alleged human rights and environment violations involved in Utkal aluminium project, Oct 2006. Alcan response. No response received from Hindalco (Aditya Birla).
India: Petition says Himagiri Hydro Energy's Panan hydro-electric project will harm environment & Lepcha community's culture - calls for release of arrested activists, Mar 2009. Himagiri Hydro Energy response.
India: Times of India article says pharmaceutical plants poison ground water in Punjab village. [Note: Max India response says it does not operate in Toansa & was mentioned erroneously in Times of India report], Jan 2006. DSM, Ranbaxy and Max India responses.
Kazakhstan: Emissions from Karachaganak oil and gas field causing serious environmental health problems in nearby communities, critical environmental information withheld, says Crude Accountability, Apr 2005. Karachaganak Petroleum Operating response.
Mozambique: Cimpor cement factory says high dust pollution is due to filter damage caused by local electricity company - environmentalists say factory could do more, Jul 2006. No response received from Cimpor.
Peru: Human rights groups & news articles allege Yanacocha mine & security company involved in spying operation & intimidation against local environmentalists, Jan 2007. Newmont/Yanacocha response. No response received from Forza.
USA: "Toxic 100" list of corporate air polluters, Univ. of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), May 2006. Alcoa, Archer Daniels Midland, DuPont, US Steel, GE, Eastman Kodak. Ford responses. No response received from ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Tyson Foods.
USA: "Toxic 100" list of corporate air polluters, Univ. of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Apr 2008. Du Pont, Nissan, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bayer, Dow Chemical, Kodak, General Electric (GE), Arcelor Mittal, US Steel, ExxonMobil responses.
USA: Mossville, Louisiana residents have high levels of toxic chemicals in their blood & environment, according to US Govt. data - NGO report says nearby factories, including a Lyondell facility, are responsible, Aug 2007. Entergy, Georgia Gulf, PPG Industries, Sasol responses. No response received from ConocoPhillips, Lyondell.
Positive steps by companies
Lawsuits regarding companies' environmental impacts
Summary profiles & material about environmental lawsuits: BHP lawsuit (re Papua New Guinea); BP lawsuit (re Alaska); BP lawsuit (re Colombia); Cambior lawsuit (re Guyana); Cape/Gencor lawsuits (re So. Africa); DynCorp lawsuit (re Colombia & Ecuador); Fadeyeva v Russia (re Severstal smelter); Freeport-McMoRan lawsuits (re West Papua); Rio Tinto lawsuit (re Papua New Guinea); Shell lawsuit (re Nigeria); Texaco/Chevron lawsuits (re Ecuador); Trafigura lawsuits (re Côte d'Ivoire); Union Carbide/Dow lawsuit (re Bhopal)
Articles & reports mentioning other environmental lawsuits (note: this links to the search results for material on our website referring both to "environment" and "lawsuits" - not all articles will necessarily be focused on an environmental lawsuit)
Stories and Komponenten mit diesem Schwerpunkt
Autor/in: Christian Aid
As multinational mining companies BHP Billiton and Anglo American meet with campaigners to discuss the negative impact of mining in the developing world, Christian Aid’s new report argues that the questionable economic benefits of increased mining in...
- Mit Bezug auf: Peru: Increased mining is harming local communities, says Christian Aid report
- Schwerpunkte: Development and poverty - an introduction Environment - An introduction
- Betreffende Unternehmen: Anglo American BHP (formerly BHP Billiton)
Autor/in: Amnesty International USA
[Text of resolution:] The shareholders request that the Board of Directors prepare a report on new initiatives by management to address the specific health and environmental concerns of communities affected by unremediated waste and other sources of...
- Mit Bezug auf: Shareholder resolution by Amnesty USA & others requests Chevron to prepare report on its initiatives to address health & environmental concerns where Texaco operated in Ecuador.
- Schwerpunkte: Environment - An introduction
- Betreffende Unternehmen: Chevron Petroecuador Texaco (part of Chevron)