Corporate polluters charged with 'greenwashing' through sports sponsorship | WARC | The Feed
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Corporate polluters charged with 'greenwashing' through sports sponsorship
Dozens of corporate polluters have been accused of throwing millions into sports sponsorship to distract from the part they are playing in adding to the climate crisis.
A report from the New Weather Institute, climate charity Possible and the Rapid Transition Alliance, claims over 250 major deals have been struck between leading sports teams and major polluters, which include car makers, airlines and oil and gas companies.
- The report identified big ad and sponsorship deals by what it describes as big-time polluters across 13 different sports, including soccer, cricket and tennis. Soccer had the highest number of such deals, with 57 sponsorships.
- The authors say major polluters have replaced tobacco brands as the villains of sports sponsorship.
- Car brands are the most active high-carbon sector active in sports sponsorship, with 199 separate deals across a wide range of sports. Toyota alone has 31 deals. Airlines are the second most active – Emirates has 29 partnerships – followed by oil and gas companies.
“We know about ‘greenwash’ – when polluters falsely present themselves as environmentally responsible. This is ‘sports-wash’ – when heavily polluting industries sponsor sport to appear as friends of healthy activity, when in fact they’re pumping lethal pollution into the very air that athletes have to breathe, and wrecking the climate that sport depends on.” Andrew Simms, co-director of the New Weather Institute and co-author of the report.
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