LEGO responds to Greenpeace’s campaign for them to drop Shell
by Ian Duff
July 7, 2014
LEGOsaystheyre saddened Greenpeace have used its famous brand as a tool in our campaign to stop Shell drilling in the Arctic.
Were sad too.
Were sad to see such a popular, well-loved brand like LEGO being used by Shell, with the willingness of LEGOs bosses, to help clean up its disreputable image.
Greenpeace loves LEGO. Their toys provide inspiration and learning, as well as hours of fun, for millions of children (and more than a few adults) the world over. Theyre also one of the most progressive companies weve ever worked with, making great strides to reduce their ecological impact and supporting the shift towards a clean, green future.
This is why LEGOs partnership with Shell is such bad news.
By backing an Arctic oil giant like Shell, LEGO has let itself down. Shells ethos is totally at odds with LEGOs own positive nature and the high standards the company sets for itself.
LEGO wants totackle climate change. Shell doesnt. It wants tocontinue our reliance on polluting fossil fuelslike oil for decades to come. Expertsestimatethis will cause the planets average temperature to soar by 4 C,threateningthe future of the Amazon rainforest, bringing drought and famine to millions and resulting in even greater melting at the top of the world.
LEGO is all for renewable energy. Shellisnt.It sold off most of its renewables business and remains a malign influence in the global fight against catastrophic global warming,backing climate skeptics, getting climate denialtaught in schoolsandundermining the developmentof clean energy projects.
LEGO is passionate about unique environments like the Arctic. Shell isnt. It wants to use the tragedy of Arctic sea ice melt to drill for more climate-wrecking fossil fuels and sees the sea ice death spiral as a business opportunity.
LEGO have said that theyexpectShell to live up to the legislation wherever they operate. Well there is ample evidence that Shell is not able to operate legally, or safely, in the Arctic. Besides being responsible forcrashed oil rigs,blazing drill ships,crushed-like-a-beer-can emergency equipment, Alaskantax dodgesandignored safety warnings, Shell broke the law when it tried to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic. Twice.
Its drilling vessels Noble Discoverer and Kulluk bothfailed to meet the pollution limitsset by the US Clean Air Act, designed to keep the atmosphere in places like the Arctic as pure as possible. And this didnt just happen once. Authorities discovered multiple violations during the time both ships spent in the icy waters of the Arctic andfinedShell over $1m.
LEGO wants to leave the planet in a better place for our children. So does Greenpeace. But Shells vision is not one that we want to see future generations struggle with.
Shell hides behind the good reputation of other organisations in order to get away with drilling in risky places like the Arctic.
Associating with LEGO generates kudos and tacit support from millions of people for Shells operations, especially in the far north. Yet this support is totally unwarranted and, we believe, contrary to the very high environmental standards at the heart of who LEGO are.
The only reason LEGO has given for its deal with Shell is to put LEGO bricks into the hands of more children. Does the worlds most profitable toy company have to put aside its stated values in order to increase its sales? Would LEGO partner with a cigarette company to help bring its bricks to the masses?
Only the best is good enough says LEGOs Chief Executive Jrgen Vig Knudstorp. We wish that were true. But as long as the company keeps on helping Shell clean up its image, that can never be the case.