Endgame Clearinghouse on Forests & Corporations
LET YOUR CAMPAIGN STRATEGY GUIDE YOUR RESEARCH, AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Remember what it is you want, and find what information you can which supports the protection of forests. Don't get lost in the maze of databases and statistics. Information is necessary, but not in itself sufficient, to save the world's forests. In any case, the solution is not technical, but cultural and political.
READ THE INDUSTRY'S LITERATURE. Get the last several annual reports from the corporation you're investigating. Read Pulp & Paper International, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Asian Timber magazine. That's where the information about the industry is. Most of the hard data never reaches the environmental community's newsletters, and by the time it does, it's often too late.
USE THE LIBRARY. Many of the best sources of information are expensive directories, periodicals, and on-line or CD-ROM databases which grassroots activists cannot afford. Business and forestry school libraries have these resources. Check the nearest universities and large public libraries to see what their business and forestry collections offer.
INVESTIGATE. That's what research is: slow, thorough digging and sorting and choosing and using. If you get stuck, call on the groups which provide research and information support to the activist community: DataCenter, Corporate Watch, the Public Information Network, and others listed in this booklet.
PUSH THE EDGE OF WHAT'S "PRIVATE." Corporations and their governmental apologists often claim that information is private. Make information about corporations public by releasing hard-to-find information. Corporations are public institutions. Remove the corporate veil. Demystify industry and government policymaking. Recreate democracy.
USE WHAT YOU FIND. Activist research is a tool for action. Data compiled in a meaningful way is information. Information you understand becomes knowledge. Knowledge is useful only if it affects behavior and action. Data hidden in a computer or sitting on a shelf is useless, unless you use it.
Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.
Other Peoples' Money and How the Bankers Use It
Activist Research Guides
The following are useful guides written for the activist:
Clark, Arthur. The Activist's Guide to Resources for Researching Corporations. Environmental Resources Information Network, 206 Seneca St, 4th floor, Oil City, PA 16301, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diamond, Wendy and Andy Kivel. Corporate Citizenship: Sources for Tracking the Social Performance of Corporations. University of California - Berkeley's Business & Finance Division Bulletin, No. 92. Winter 1993.
Krebs, A.V. Corporate Accountability Resources. Corporate Agribusiness Research Project, PO Box 2201, Everett WA 98203, http://home//earthlink.net/~avkrebs/CARP/
Noyes, Dan. Raising Hell: A Citizens Guide to the Fine Art of Investigation zzz
Public Information Network has a website which includes Activist Research Manuals and a Primer on Corporations http://www.endgame.org/
Public Interest Research Group (India). Activist's Guide to Research and Campaign on Transnational Corporation http://www.corpwatch.org/trac/resrch/resrch.html/
There are also standard business information directories, some of which include sections on timber or natural resource industries, including:
Business Information Sources, by Lorna M. Daniells. 3rd edition 1993.
Directory of International Sources of Business Information, by Sarah Ball. Chicago: Probus, 2nd edition 1991. (Arranged by country, by industry, and by on-line database).
Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources. Gale Research.
The Sourcebook of Public Record Providers : A Directory of Companies That Furnish Public Records Searches and Investigative Information. Denver, CO: Business Resources Bureau (BRB); 3rd ed., 1996.
Reporter's Handbook: an Investigator's Guide to Documents and Techniques.
Transnational Business Information: A Manual of Needs and Sources. United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, 1991. UN Publication Sales No. E.91.II.A.13, ISBN 91-1-104371-9. (Alas but no surprise in the age of corporate hegemony, the Centre was disbanded in the early 1990s).
Transnational Corporations: A Selective Bibliography. United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations.
Washington Researchers. www.researchers.com (Manuals include How to Find Information About Private Companies, and How to Find Information About Foreign Firms).