By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – International human rights and environmental organizations urged the United Nations this week to exclude Vale from the Global Pact initiative, the world’s largest corporate social responsibility network, with more than nine thousand companies.

Brazil,Vale's Feijão Mine in Brumadinho left at least 310 people dead or missing.
Vale’s Feijão Mine in Brumadinho left at least 310 people dead or missing, photo by n Isac Nobrega/PR.

According to these entities the disaster of the Feijão Mine at the end of January caused ‘serious human rights violations’ and ‘serious environmental damage’, all which violate the principles of the pact.

“The only way for Vale to respond adequately to a sustainable mode of production is through economic exclusion and loss. More than three years ago the company caused the same kind of disaster in the Rio Doce, and very little was done to recover the river and compensate those affected,” stated Fabiana Alves of Greenpeace Brazil.

“The rupture of the Brumadinho dam only three years after the Mariana disaster shows that there was a systemic failure of Vale’s policies and procedures in the prevention of social and environmental catastrophes,” said Caio Borges, of Conectas Direitos Humanos, another entity which signed the document sent to the UN.

The entities request, in the event that Vale is not excluded, that the council suspends the company for at least twelve months and that Vale be required, during this period, to periodically report on the progress of the measures being taken to dissipate the damage as well as adopting guarantees that another such disaster will occur.

On Wednesday Vale was put on a list of prohibited assets of asset manager Robeco. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands and administers more than US$170 billion in assets.

The mining giant is the first Brazilian company to be excluded by the Dutch house, one of the main entities whose investment policies are committed to environmental, social and governance issues, known as ESG (environmental, social and governance).


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