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Self Description

May 2008: "CorpWatch investigates and exposes corporate violations of human rights, environmental crimes, fraud and corruption around the world. We work to foster global justice, independent media activism and democratic control over corporations.

Organizational History

For the past ten years San Francisco Bay Area-based CorpWatch has been educating and mobilizing people through the website and various campaigns. Founded in 1996, we were initially known as TRAC--Transnational Resource & Action Center, and our website was called Corporate Watch. In March 2001 we simplified the situation by bringing TRAC together with our Internet presence under one name, one logo and a matching website address: CorpWatch.

Our staff currently consists of five experienced and diverse people. The organization is a project of the Tides Center and it is guided by a four-member Executive Committee of our Advisory Board. Throughout its history CorpWatch has provided journalists, activists, policy makers, students and teachers with key informational resources on issues related to corporate accountability.

The foundation from which the organization emerged and evolved was the book, The Corporate Planet: Ecology and Politics in the Age of Globalization, written by CorpWatch's founder Joshua Karliner, and published by Sierra Club Books in 1997.

That same year CorpWatch blew the whistle on working conditions in Nike’s operations in Vietnam, ultimately leading to greater oversight of their factories and changes in their corporate practices. In 1998, CorpWatch started investigating the Enron Corporation, three years before the company’s collapse. The Climate Justice Initiative, organized from 1999-2002 around the CorpWatch report, Greenhouse Gangsters vs. Climate Justice, successfully redefined climate change as an environmental justice and human rights issue, and helped mobilize communities already adversely impacted by the fossil fuel industry.

In 1999, we broke the story of the United Nations growing entanglement with corporations and have campaigned on it ever since. We published "Earth The Corporate Takeover of Sustainable Development," in collaboration with Food First Books in 2002.

We have also co-produced five live one-hour radio broadcasts from the WTO Ministerial meeting and protests in Seattle in 1999 and from Cancun in 2003.

In the spring of 2002 and 2003, CorpWatch began to track companies like Bechtel, Dyncorp, and Halliburton that were profiting out of the war on terrorism. Following that, CorpWatch led two investigative journalistic teams to Iraq to investigate the corporate reconstruction there. Some of the footage CorpWatch obtained in Iraq was used in Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9-11.

On the first anniversary of the Iraq war in March 2004, CorpWatch launched the War Profiteers website, which features regular reporting, along with extensive research resources, including company profiles on the 10 top war profiteers, and an issue library with critical re-postings of articles on reconstruction, policy and planning, logistics, and security. In May 2004, CorpWatch released an alternative annual report on Halliburton , along with Global Exchange, called Houston, We Have a Problem. We subsequently issued an alternative annual report on Halliburton in 2005 titled, Houston, We Still Have A Problem, and one in 2006, called Hurricane Halliburton : Conflict, Climate Change and Catastrophe.

In November 2004, CorpWatch released Iraq, Inc., A Profitable Occupation, through Seven Stories Press in New York, written by CorpWatch's new Director, Pratap Chatterjee. Iraq, Inc is the first book-length on-the-ground account of Year One of the occupation of Iraq. Matt Swibel of Forbes Magazine said, "Iraq, Inc. will introduce you to the entrepreneurs who really understand war profiteering and the price the rest of us will have to pay." Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! called Iraq, Inc. "…muckracking, practiced with diligence and courage…the ultimate primer of how modern U.S. invasion and occupation for profit is being waged." Oliver Robinson, of the Observer (UK) described it as "... a damning guide to the web of private companies and 'hired guns' parasitically conjoined to the 'war on terror.'"

In May 2006, CorpWatch, released Afghanistan, Inc. by Afghan-American writer Fariba Nawa, which details the bungled reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. This report is scheduled to be published in Dari/Pashto in September 2006. Our third report in the series of reconstruction boondoogles, was Big, Easy Money: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast by Rita J. King, published in August 2006, on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

Today CorpWatch continues to investigate multinationals that profit out of war, fraud, environmental and human rights abuse. In addition, we have also recently become an affiliate member of Friends of the Earth International where we are taking an active role in helping coordinate the corporates campaign.

The Cause of Some Confusion: By a truly extraordinary coincidence there used to be two organisations in the world known as Corporate Watch. At the same time as CorpWatch was started in 1996 under the name Corporate Watch, a web-site was set up in the UK under the same title. It is an excellent campaign resource, entirely independent of CorpWatch and is well worth seeing. Corporate Watch (as it is still called) can be found at:"

Third-Party Descriptions

October 2007: 'Some corporations, not anxious to alter their operations, instead implemented the use of "green" marketing and advertising as a means to mask or soften their images. Pratap Chatterjee, program director for CorpWatch, an investigative corporate watchdog Web site, points to the oil companies as some of the earliest and most prolific "greenwashers." Chatterjee says that Chevron's "People Do" campaign started in the 1990s is a classic example of greenwashing.'


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Researcher/Analyst of Bechtel Corporation Organization May 28, 2008
Researcher/Analyst of DynCorp International Organization May 28, 2008
Cooperation (past or present) Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) Organization May 28, 2008
Researcher/Analyst of Halliburton Company Organization May 28, 2008
Opponent (past or present) Nike Organization May 28, 2008
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) Tides Center/Mercury Policy Project Organization May 28, 2008
Researcher/Analyst of United Nations, The (UN) Organization May 28, 2008
Organization Executive (past or present) Pratap Chatterjee Person May 28, 2008
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Founded/Co-Founded by Joshua Karliner Person May 28, 2008
Cooperation (past or present) Michael Moore Person May 28, 2008

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Oct 04, 2007 Products hyped as 'green' often are not

QUOTE: Natural and "green" products abound -- but with so much green advertising, it's sometimes hard to tell what's for real and who is trying to pull the recycled wool over the eyes of consumers.