Big FAIL: Bottled Water Companies Finalists For State Dept. Corporate Excellence Award

There is something really, really not right in the world when the our State Department thinks that Fiji Water, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi are some how deserving of "corporate excellence" awards for "American companies who are global leaders in corporate social responsibility." Apparently the original list of 78 companies has been whittled down to these 12.

Just hearing corporate social responsibility next to names like Fiji Water and Coca-Cola seems almost laughable. If you haven't read Michael Blanding's new book about Coke, that will give you more than enough information. And here's a little snippet from a story last year in Mother Jones about Fiji Water:

Nowhere in Fiji Water's glossy marketing materials will you find reference to the typhoid outbreaks that plague Fijians because of the island's faulty water supplies; the corporate entities that Fiji Water has -- despite the owners' talk of financial transparency -- set up in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg; or the fact that its signature bottle is made from Chinese plastic in a diesel-fueled plant and hauled thousands of miles to its ecoconscious consumers. And, of course, you won't find mention of the military junta for which Fiji Water is a major source of global recognition and legitimacy.

So, Fiji Water takes water that could otherwise go to people who actually live there and need it and then they ship it thousands of miles and charge thousands of times the cost of tap water and our State Department somehow seems to think this is deserving of a reward for social responsibility? And Coke and Pepsi take tap water and sell it back to people for hundreds of times and that is also somehow award-worthy? I don't think so. If you don't either, check out this petition from Food & Water Watch to tell Secretary Clinton and the State Department not to reward water corporations for taking our water.


AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Posted at November 18, 2010, 6:50am

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