Lego end relationship with Shell
Lego has said it will not be renewing its contract with oil giant Shell following pressure from Greenpeace.
During a three month campaign from environmental activists that asked Lego to break its ties with Shell, more than one million people signed a petition calling on Lego to stop promoting Shell’s brand because of its plans to drill for oil in the pristine Arctic. Six million people also viewed the campaign video LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome.
Lego toys are handed out at Shell petrol stations in more than 30 countries. Lego has also sold toy brick sets in the shape of petrol stations and drilling rigs with Shell's logos on them.
Ian Duff, Arctic campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “This is a major blow to Shell. It desperately needs partners like Lego to help give it respectability... Lego’s withdrawal from a 50 year relationship with Shell clearly shows that strategy will not work.”
He added, “The message should be clear: your outdated, climate wrecking practices are no longer socially acceptable, and you need to keep away from the Arctic or face being ostracised by society.”
Lego’s policies include a commitment to produce more renewable energy than they use and phase out oil in their products which campaigners felt stood at odds with Shell's core business operations.
Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Lego Group chief executive, said in a statement,"We do not agree with the tactics used by Greenpeace that may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders about the way we operate. We firmly believe Greenpeace ought to have a direct conversation with Shell."
Lego is the latest in a line of leading global companies to walk away from a relationship with the fossil fuel industry. In late 2012 Waitrose ended its partnership with Shell and in the last month Microsoft, Google and Facebook all made commitments to end their support for ALEC, a controversial lobby group that campaigns against climate change legislation. Only weeks ago, the Rockefeller Foundation announced it will begin pulling its investments in the fossil fuel industry.
Shell’s past attempts to drill in the Arctic have been plagued with multiple operational failings culminating in the running aground of its drilling rig, the Kulluk. The extreme Arctic conditions, including giant floating ice-bergs and stormy seas, make offshore drilling extremely risky. And scientists say that in the Arctic, an oil spill would be impossible to clean up, meaning devastation for the Arctic’s unique wildlife.
But on 28 August 2014 Shell submitted new plans to the US administration for offshore exploratory drilling in the Alaskan Arctic, meaning it’s on course to resurrect its Arctic drilling plans as early as summer 2015.
In the past two years, a massive global movement has emerged calling for a sanctuary around the North Pole, to protect the Arctic and its unique wildlife from the onslaught of oil drilling and industrial fishing. More than six million people have joined the movement, and more than 1,000 influential people have signed an Arctic Declaration, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Emma Thompson and Sir Paul McCartney.
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