The NGO for tribal peoples has been embroiled in an ongoing battle with British mining giant Vedanta Resources over its plans to mine an Indian mountain that the Dongria Kondh tribe believe is sacred.
Survival International wrote a letter to CO3's Tim Purcell that arrived on Monday. It read: ‘We urge you and CO3 to give up your brief with Vedanta…association with Vedanta and its subsidiaries carries 'an unacceptable risk of complicity in present and future severe environmental damage and systematic human rights violations.' CO3 is at risk of such complicity by continuing to provide Vedanta with 'CSR' services'.
CO3's CEO Tim Purcell said he will not resign the account which he has held since April. 'What we are trying to do is encourage dialogue between Vedanta and its stakeholders and we look forward to continuing dialogue with Survival International,' he said.
He also rejected allegations that his firm was trying to greenwash Vedanta, saying his client had recently won a Golden Peacock award for its CSR report. 'Vedanta won an international award from a highly esteemed independent judges panel. That demonstrates the quality of its CSR report,' he said.
Survival International has previously protested outside the offices of Vedanta's retained agency Finsbury (PRWeek, 23 May).
Purcell is a former Finsbury staffer. This summer CO3 worked with Finsbury on a project basis to help communicated its approach to CSR.
Picture copyright Survival International.