Cane Toad Awards

Cane Toad Awards

Naming and shaming Australia’s corporate cane toads

Naming and shaming Australia’s corporate cane toads

From BHP’s Samarco dam disaster in Brazil to Mayur Resources’ push for the first coal industry in the Pacific.  Many Australian companies are implicated in the destruction of our planet and people’s livelihoods, just like cane toads. Demand accountability by voting in Australia’s most disgusting award, sharing and exposing these toxic toads.

Rio Tinto and Mayur Resources receive Australia’s most toxic award

Rio Tinto and Mayur Resources were awarded the Corporate Cane Toad Award for their roles in contributing to environmental destruction and/or human rights violations worldwide. The winners were announced at a ceremony in Melbourne after a month of public voting in which over 1000 people voted for the six companies nominated.

Rio Tinto was voted the most toxic company for its decade-long failure to clean up mines in Bougainville and the recent destruction of Indigenous cultural sites in Australia.  Mayur Resources received the second most votes from the public and the Cane Toad Award for pushing to open up a new polluting coal mine in the Pacific. Both are Australian mining resource companies.

“The Corporate Cane Toad Award names and shames Australian corporations implicated in Human rights violations and environmental destruction worldwide. People voted to crown Rio Tinto and Mayur Resources the country’s most disgusting award and are demanding change”  said Sam Cossar, Friends of the Earth’s Economic Justice campaigner.

“These inaugural Cane Toad Awards help draw attention to the ongoing problems of unethical and unacceptable corporate behavior, and remind us of how much stronger our laws need to be in protecting human rights, including the rights of First Nations peoples, and the environment,”  said  Luke Fletcher, from Jubilee Australia.

Some of the largest and most influential Australian companies in the world were nominated for the awards by impacted communities and civil society organizations. These included ANZ – for financing climate-wrecking fossil fuels, BHP – for its involvement in Brazil’s worst environmental disaster, The Just Group – for the lack of public support to garment workers through the COVID-19 crisis,  and Resgen – for its attempt to build a coal mine in South Africa.

“Women are disproportionally impacted by poverty, and the Corporate Cane Toad Award shows that Australian companies, whether through their action or lack of action, are driving deeper poverty, injustice, and gender inequality around the world,” said Katherine Tu from ActionAid Australia.

The award comes at a time when Australian companies are facing increased scrutiny over climate change commitments and riding roughshod on communities’ right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent both in Australia and overseas.

Friends of the Earth, Jubilee, and ActionAid Australia, the organizers of the Corporate Cane Toad, demand new binding rules from the government to ensure companies respect Human Rights, women’s rights, and the environment.


About BHP
About Rio Tinto
About ANZ


In 1935, the toxic cane toad was artificially introduced into Australia. Backed by government and powerful companies, this damaging species was introduced to protect lucrative sugar crops from a beetle. This resulted in one of Australia’s worst environmental disasters, with cane toads destroying ecosystems and killing countless other species.

Now, many Australian corporations are implicated in violations of human rights and environmental destruction worldwide. Rainforest clearing, land grabbing, union-busting, water contamination, climate wrecking and the list goes on. Despite numerous reports and lawsuits, these corporations get away with it time and time again. They are becoming Corporate Cane Toads and should not be allowed to take over.

That’s why we’ve created the CANE TOAD AWARDS. Australian corporations will be nominated for their wrongdoings, and the public will vote for the biggest toad! With your help, we will expose the worst behavior by Australian companies and hold them accountable. We demand the Australian government introduce new binding laws to ensure companies respect human rights and the environment wherever they operate, like are being introduced in many other countries.

Vote, share, and shame these companies that are causing so much damage. The company with the most votes will be named the 2021 Corporate Cane Toad and referred to an international human rights complaint  mechanism under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development rules on multinational enterprises.

We acknowledge that we meet and work on the land of the Wurundjeri people and that sovereignty of the land of the Kulin Nation was never ceded. We pay  respects to their Elders, past and present, and acknowledges the pivotal role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.