Victims of Kodaikanal Mercury Poisoning Protest Unilever

One of the worst disasters in India since the Bhopal incident, the Kodaikanal mercury poisoning continues to cause harm. Obviously this is not a good thing. What is good is that activists in the area are using every tool at their disposal to raise awareness and call for a boycott against Unilever.

Key demands of the campaign
The Governments of India and Tamil Nadu should ensure that Unilever

  • Cleans up the mercury contaminated factory site and surroundings to international standards that are adequate to protect the sensitive watershed forests of Pambar Shola.
  • Pays for long-term environmental monitoring for mercury buildup in the food chain in the forests and aquatic ecosystems in and around the factory
  • Provides adequate financial compensation to workers and arranges for long-term medical treatment, monitoring and rehabilitation for workers and their families.
  • Provide avenues for economic rehabilitation of the workers and their families.
  • Prosecute Unilever and its officials for their criminal negligence in Kodaikanal.

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Unilever’s Sustainability Strategy Saves Costs, Environment

Unilever is a massive corporation that owns a ton of brands from Q-Tips to Ben Jerry’s Ice Cream. They have recently pushed for more efficiency and sustainability across all their brands and have found that their environment-saving approach has saved money.

The company’s sustainability director for manufacturing, John Maguire, echoed the sentiment that sustainability can be a force for cost-saving, as opposed to an added new cost. He said in a statement: “Eco-efficiency isn’t just about reducing the environmental footprint it also makes good business sense … Since 2008 our eco-efficiency programmes have avoided more than €300m of costs–almost €100m in energy; €186m in materials; €17m in water; and €10m in waste disposal. The benefits are very clear in a world where energy prices are increasing.”

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