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Greenwash Gold campaign launches

Apr 17

Written by:
17/04/2012 08:19  RssIcon

Olympic sponsors targeted over environmental record

Yesterday saw the launch of the Greenwash Gold campaign that aims to highlight the unsustainable nature of the Olympic games. Campaigners say that some of the world's most disreputable corporations - like Rio Tinto, Dow and BP - are using the Olympics as a smokescreen for environmental and human rights abuses the world over. They say the  list of Olympic Sponsors reads like a "rogues gallery" of some of the most controversial corporations in the world.

Meredith Alexander recently resigned from the Olympic authority over the Dow Chemicals sponsorship and is now part of the campaign. She said: “The Olympics are meant to be about so much more than how fast Usain Bolt can run or how many medals Britain's finest athletes score. The modern Olympics was founded here in the UK to promote peace and understanding between the peoples of the world. The
Olympic values are all about celebrating our common humanity.”

She addes, “But the Olympics is also big business. There is an expensive machine behind the Games that is funded by corporate sponsors. Sadly when these sponsors are selected, money talks much more loudly than values. As an ex-member of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, I know first hand just how little scrutiny is allowed when sponsors are chosen. Greenwash Gold 2012 is a chance to turn this around by letting the public vote for the least ethical sponsor.”

The Greenwash Gold campaign is asking people to vote for who they think is the least ethical sponsor of the games asking people to choose between Dow Chemical, BP or Rio Tinto.

Watch the videos below then vote at

Jess Worth, from the UK Tar Sands Network, said, “BP has bought itself the prestigious title of London 2012 'Sustainability Partner'. But this is dangerous greenwash. BP is one of the least sustainable companies on earth, responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the extraction of highly-polluting tar sands. Its entire business is geared towards keeping the world addicted to fossil fuels and driving us towards uncontrollable climate change. And the Olympics are helping BP get away with it!"

Colin Toogood, from the Bhopal Medical Appeal said: "The Dow Chemical Company are the owners of the Union Carbide Corporation wanted, in India, on the criminal charge of culpable homicide. The Bhopal disaster site has never been cleaned up and highly toxic chemicals are now found in the drinking water of over 30,000 poor people. If we can clean up the London Olympic site in readiness for the games, why can’t Dow take responsibility for cleaning up Bhopal.”

Cherise Udell, the founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air, said, "I was delighted to learn that the 2012 Olympic committee was aiming for the greenest Olympics ever. Then I heard that Rio Tinto metal from our controversial Utah mine would be used to make the medals. In Utah, Rio Tinto are the number one emitter of toxins known to cause harm to human health. Every year, between 1000 and 2000 Utahns die prematurely due to chronic air pollution and Rio Tinto's Bingham mine is responsible for about 30% of this.”


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