The Worst Transnational Corporation
Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2011
the New Zealand taxpayer is subsidising a transnational corporate rort of the emissions trading scheme…
Joint Runners Up:
Rio Tinto Alcan NZ Ltd (notorious for decades under its previous name of Comalco) has been a regular finalist and was runner up in both the 2009 and 08 Roger Awards. It is the majority owner of the Bluff smelter operated by New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd. In 2011 it was nominated for lobbying two Governments “over several years to secure excessive allocations of free emissions units under the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme”. The judges agreed, concluding: “It appears therefore, that the New Zealand taxpayer is subsidising a transnational corporate rort of the emissions trading scheme… The significance of this stance cannot be underestimated; a major transnational player within New Zealand materially benefits from its non-compliance with a strategy to reduce global climate change and its ecological effects”.
The Judges’ Report concludes that the company has a 50 year history of “suborning, blackmailing and conning successive New Zealand governments into paying massive subsidies on the smelter’s electricity; dodging tax, and running a brilliantly effective PR machine to present a friendly, socially responsible and thoroughly greenwashed face to the media and the public. Its milking of the Emissions Trading Scheme is entirely in character”. The extremely detailed Financial Analysis reveals that the smelter’s claimed benefits to NZ, namely annual export earnings of “around $1 billion” are, in fact, overstated by four fifths.
Of the three equal runners up: Westpac (joint winner of the 2005 Roger Award winner, and a finalist in 2009 and 10), was chosen because of “an aggressive profiteering strategy at the expense of bank staff and ordinary borrowers”; Sajo Oyang because its “crew members have been abused, mistreated and otherwise exploited”; and Oceania because of its exploitation of its minimum wage resthome workers.
The Government won the Accomplice Award because it “seems to have forgotten that the role of the State is not just to make things better for Big Business, or raise taxes but it is also to make and monitor the regulations and processes in order to create a balance to benefit the overall welfare of the population”.
|Rio Tinto Alcan NZ Ltd. notorious for decades under its previous name of Comalco. has been a regular finalist and was runner up in both the 2009 and 08 Roger Awards|