Greenpeace criticises Lego for cooperation with Shell

Last week Green­peace released a new video and a new peti­tion in which it calls Lego to stop it’s coop­er­a­tion with Shell. Lean­ing on the Lego movie sound­track Every­thing is awe­some the video is called Every­thing is NOT awe­some point­ing to the dan­gers drilling in the Arc­tic brings along.

Ear­li­er this month Green­peace start­ed a cam­paign crit­i­cis­ing Lego for its long­stand­ing rela­tion­ship with Shell, one of the world’s largest oil com­pa­nies, which is going to expand its drilling in the Arc­tic. Green­peace is heav­i­ly crit­i­cis­ing that. Poli­tikken reports that already in 2011 Lego, Shell and Fer­rari signed a con­tract that expires in the end of this year. In 2012 they start­ed an adver­tise­ment cam­paign in which Lego’s mini-For­mu­la One Fer­raris were giv­en away or sold when dri­vers refu­elled at a Shell petrol sta­tion. These sets were brand­ed with the Shell-logo. The cam­paign, which was­n’t released in Ger­many, attract­ed a great deal of media atten­tion and the contract’s val­ue­for Shell is esti­mat­ed at over 80 mil­lion Euros.

Lego-Greenpeace

Pic­ture: Green­peace Dan­mark http://www.greenpeace.org/denmark/da/lego/

The Green­peace cam­paign start­ed on July 1 in 26 coun­tries. In Den­mark, activists bur­gled into Legoland Bil­lund, filled a lake with squid ink and put up a Lego-built oil plat­form, to sim­u­late an oil spill. When the park opened, a Green­peace team was ready to talk about the action — includ­ing a man in a polar bear cos­tume.

Ranked by Forbes as one of the most rep­utable com­pa­nies of the world this year, Lego might lose the good rep­u­ta­tion due to the Green­peace cam­paign, although it is tak­ing a strong stand in sus­tain­abil­i­ty and envi­ron­men­tal issues in gen­er­al. Even Green­peace speaks in high terms of the com­pa­ny in this regard, so Lego “works sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly to reduce its neg­a­tive effects on the cli­mate and the envi­ron­ment.” For exam­ple, Lego has invest­ed in a wind­farm and aims to be 100% pow­ered by renew­able ener­gy by 2020.

In a press release the Pres­i­dent and CEO of the LEGO Group, Jør­gen Vig Knud­storp, com­ments on Greenpeace‘s crit­ics that Lego “strives to live up to the mot­to […] ‘Only the best is good enough’.” He jus­ti­fies the coop­er­a­tion with Shell as “one of many ways we are able to bring LEGO® bricks into the hands of more chil­dren.” He indi­cates that the “mat­ter must be han­dled between Shell and Green­peace” and Lego was “used as a tool” in the dis­pute. How­ev­er, the whole issue rais­es more ques­tions than just the ones regard­ing the Arc­tic. In fact, Lego should answer the ques­tion of influ­enc­ing chil­dren with adver­tise­ment in gen­er­al and here it is clear­ly not only a “tool” but the actor itself.

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