Who will you vote for Greenwash Gold?

Who will you vote for Greenwash Gold?

Date: 17 April 2012

Yesterday I went to the launch of ‘Greenwash Gold’: the campaign against Olympics corporate sponsors: Rio Tinto, Dow Chemical and BP. Although there are other controversial sponsors of the games such as Coca Cola and McDonalds, the coalition of groups running the campaign have chosen to focus on these three companies.

All three sponsors are guilty of serious environmental and social destruction around the world, and BP has the added irony of being ‘sustainability partner’ for the games.

The event felt a bit like a competition with a panel of speakers for each company making the case for people to vote for the worst Olympic sponsor. The three panels were made up of people from communities affected by the companies and UK-based campaigners.

Among the range of speakers, we heard from someone from Utah who has been impacted by Rio Tinto’s contribution to air pollution, someone who survived the Union Carbide (now owned by Dow) chemical disaster in Bhopal and people from the Gulf Coast who experienced the BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster – the largest oil drilling disaster in history. All speakers spoke of the environmental and human abuse their communities have been subjected to because of these companies and the way in which they are propped up by local authorities and national governments. They spoke about how these companies are solely profit-driven which does not benefit the communities in which they operate.

After each panel we watched the short videos which have been made for each sponsor which feature clever animations.

Not only was it a chance to hear about people’s personal experiences, but the event was a great opportunity to meet other campaigners and share ideas and build solidarity in the run up to the Olympics.

Vote for your worst Olympic sponsor here www.greenwashgold.org/

A black whirl of smoke with a cartoon of an Olympic athlete