The 2012 London Olympics, projected to cost upwards of £24 billion, are right around the corner and they’re being called one of the most corporate Olympics in history. Some of the sponsors include McDonalds, British Petroleum (BP) and Dow Chemical and many people are not so thrilled with the lineup.
For example, BP is likely one of the least sustainable companies that exist today, yet the company is tagging itself a “sustainability partner” of the 2012 summer Olympics in a clear — and rather desperate — re-branding effort. The UK Tar Sands Network has been particularly vocal in London about BP’s global influence and recently staged an intervention at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to deliver a monologue—“To BP or Not to BP?”— urging patrons to deny BP’s sponsorship from their program in addition to raising concern about the company’s overall shady environmental practices (see video below).
BP, infamously known for the Gulf Deepwater Horizon Oil disaster of April 2010, is not often a welcome brand these days, but it appears London isn’t too concerned and the company’s stellar outreach and PR efforts are paying off. This, to many, including those living along the Gulf Coast, is simply insulting. On top of this, BP still hasn’t cleaned up the mess which completely devastated the Gulf more than two years ago.
Given the short attention span of the general public, pressing BP to clean up the disaster and not just settle for damages is critical. It’s important to also stay on top of key political figures to ensure BP follows through on its word. Currently, BP says it will pay out $7.8 billion to those impacted by the spill, but the underwater damage that’s already been done will take countless years to undo, if complete restoration can be achieved at all.
Photo Credit: Keith Edkins