Over the past year, the Forest Heroes campaign and our supporters and allies have put forward an extraordinary effort that has helped secure victory after victory as we’ve all transformed the palm oil industry together.
Today, we are proud to announce that the campaign — and that includes all of you supporters — has won the coveted BENNY award, as a “top activist campaign to make corporations more socially and environmentally responsible.”
Along with our friends at Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network, and with the support of integral allies like Green Century Funds, SumOfUs, Green Corps, Union of Concerned Scientists, and the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit 2014, Forest Heroes won the BENNY for our collective achievements in moving the world’s largest palm oil companies to commit to protecting forests and respecting local communities and human rights.
According to Michael Marx, Chair of the 2014 BENNY Awards, “The National Selection Committee was unanimous in it choice of the International Palm Oil Campaign as a Top Corporate Campaign 2014 BENNY Award winner. The campaign, led by Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and Forest Heroes is a textbook example of how a diverse coalition of NGOs can work together to achieve social and environmental change. Using investigative reports, grassroots organizing, social media, and shareholder action, these groups and a diverse set of allies working in Indonesia and Malaysia moved some of the largest consumer and commodity supplier companies in the world to adopt procurement policies that will protect against deforestation, climate pollution and human rights abuses not only due to palm oil production, but soy, beef and other agricultural products as well.”
Specific to our work, Marx said that Forest Heroes “played a central role in transforming an entire industry, in just one year. Twelve months ago, major palm oil companies were almost unchecked in destroying rainforests and pushing Sumatran tigers to the edge of extinction. Today, 96 percent of the global market is covered by responsible sourcing guidelines. It would not have happened without smart grassroots organizing that helped regular people make their voices heard, combined with aggressive engagement with corporate executives that eventually led to a radical transformation. The Forest Heroes worked at every level to make change happen — and it did.”
Our work is not possible without our supporters — our volunteers and activists — our Forest Heroes. This is YOUR award.
Deborah Lapidus, Director of Forest Heroes, made the following remarks: “We accept this award on behalf of all the Forest Heroes out there: the hundreds of organizations and millions of visionary people around the world who took action to protect the world’s rainforests and spur a revolution in global agriculture. This award helps send a powerful signal that there is tremendous energy and momentum to save the world’s forests.”
Congratulations, and thank you!