Palm oil and rubber plantation company Socfin has been accused of land grabbing in Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Activists targeted the Bolloré Group (Socfin’s second biggest shareholder) to demand change, resulting in the company being placed on a watchlist by Switzerland’s largest public pension funds.

Timber giant Samling is one of the biggest logging companies on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. After SAVE Rivers, a local NGO, posted articles critical of the company’s lack of consultation with local Indigenous communities, the company sued for defamation in 2021. After two years of local and international pressure, Samling finally withdrew the US$1.05 million lawsuit.

Private sector projects to solve the climate crisis have soared in the last decade: green energy options from British Gas and NextEra; Tesla electric cars; panels from JinkoSolar in China; and Siemens wind turbines in the North Sea. Yet how many truly mark a departure from business-as-usual by industry?

Oxford University holds regular career fairs for students to meet privately with prospective employers. The university also claims to be committed to net zero and to be sustainable.

Navigator CO2 Ventures proposed to build a 2,000 kilometre pipeline to transport carbon dioxide from ethanol plants to be stored underground in southern Illinois. Environmentalists, farmers and landowners joined forces to oppose the Heartland Greenway pipeline which was canceled after it was denied a construction permit by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

Krill - tiny pink shrimp-like crustaceans that live deep in the ocean - are being harvested at an alarming rate by Aker BioMarine, a biotechnology company, to be sold as fish farm feed, pet food and dietary supplements, according to “Krilling Antartica,” a new report by the Bob Brown Foundation.

John Durnell was diagnosed with cancer after using the Roundup weedkiller for over 20 years. He sued Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in St. Louis, Missouri.

ExxonMobil wants to restart oil drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. It plans to transport the crude oil to inland refineries in Santa Maria and Pentland by truck. Environmentalists fought the proposal citing the history of oil spills from trucks and pipelines in the region. Local government officials and courts recently ruled in their favor.

Health insurance giant Cigna has been sued for using a secret computer algorithm to systematically deny thousands of medical reimbursement claims in a matter of seconds, allegedly without a doctor ever opening the patients’ files. The algorithm was first uncovered by investigative reporters at ProPublica and The Capitol Forum.

In the 1980s, the UK government deregulated and privatized bus systems all over the country under a belief that greater competition would introduce greater efficiency. However the opposite happened - prices rose and service quality declined.

Residents of Makhasaneni, KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, are escalating their fight to stop Jindal Africa’s plans to build a $2 billion iron ore mine project that threatens to displace as many as 3,000 people and severely impact the local environment.


Yasuni National Park in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet, is home to the Huaorani, Tagaeri and Taromenane Indigenous peoples. It has been exploited for oil by companies like Shell and Petroecuador for over 50 years. In September 2023, after 10 years of activism, the people of Ecuador voted to halt oil drilling forever.

Boipeba, an idyllic island in Bahia state, has some of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches. Mangaba Cultivo de Coco bought up a fifth of the island to turn it into a hotel resort threatening the local traditional community and ecology.

IT services provider Fujitsu supplied faulty Horizon accounting software to the UK Post Office in 1999. Over 700 UK Post Office staff were prosecuted for allegedly stealing thousands of pounds sterling. Some committed suicide, others went to jail.

Big pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer signed lucrative contracts with governments around the world to provide COVID-19 vaccines under the condition that the prices and contract terms were kept confidential. Health Justice Initiative, a South African NGO, won a lawsuit in the Pretoria High Court to make the documents public.

Mining company Telupac Holdings requested a government permit to explore for minerals under the unique Northern Jarrah Forest close to the city of Perth. The area included a monastery belonging to the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. The monks’ campaign to block Telupac’s application was successful when the company withdrew their application in August 2023.

Ramalingam Murugan, a migrant worker from Tamil Nadu, India, was employed by ship repair company Rigel Marine Services in Singapore. In January 2021, he fell off a company lorry and fractured his leg.

Three Iraqi men who brought a lawsuit against military contractor CACI for torturing them at the U.S. military-run Abu Ghraib prison will be allowed to take the case to trial after a court in Virginia denied an 18th attempt by the company to get the case dismissed.

Bayern Munich, Germany’s most famous soccer team, ended its 5-year sponsorship contract with Qatar Airways, after fans spoke out strongly about human and migrant worker abuses in Qatar. Human rights groups say the Qatari government (which owns the airline) turned a blind eye to abuses during the massive construction spree for the 2022 World Cup tournament.

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