Written in the run-up to London’s recent Olympics, the article in the url below awards gold, silver, and bronze medals to those corporate sponsors who are accused of most “greenwashing the Olympics” (http://www.greenwashgold.org/):
“Rio Tinto, the global mining company, has been named as early front-runner for the Greenwash Gold award for the worst Olympic sponsor, with BP, the oil and gas multinational, in second place and Dow Chemical third.”
The activists have a pretty good case that the organizers are compromising the Olympic values and ideals by taking so much money from these firms:
- Rio Tinto is providing the metals to be used in the Olympic medals from its mines in Utah, even though local residents have complained about the pollution these mines produce.
- BP has been named a “Sustainability Partner” to the Games, in spite of its questionable environmental track record.
- Dow Chemical is still being hounded to acknowledge formally full responsibility for Union Carbide’s role in causing the Bhopal tragedy (Dow merged with Union Carbide in 1999).
What I found surprising was the lengths the local organizers went to in order to accommodate their sponsors:
“Olympic sponsors will avoid paying up to $942 million in tax as venues will be treated like offshore havens during the Games … . A report by Ethical Consumer claimed that under new tax rules ushered in as part of “Team Great Britain’s” winning Olympic bid, corporate partners like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Visa were given a temporary exemption from corporation tax as “non-resident” companies from March 30 to November 8. The new rules also reportedly mean foreign employees working for the companies do not have to pay income tax in the UK.”
See also http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/city-news/olympic-corporate-partners-can-avoid-943011 and http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/commentanalysis/corporatewatch/thegreatolympictaxswindle.aspx
Have a good weekend.
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Greenwashing the Olympics
By Daniel Nelson
July 4, 2012