Minister challenged on sponsorship of Commonwealth Games

For immediate release 19 December 2011

Green MSP Alison Johnstone has today written to the Minster for the Commonwealth Games, asking for assurances that companies with poor social and environmental records will not be able to sponsor the 2014 Games.

Organisers of the London Olympics faced controversy this week when the Indian Olympic Association lodged a protest over the involvement of Dow Chemicals, the company implicated in the 1984 Bhopal disaster, as a major sponsor.(2) Greens have specifically asked that the Minister rules out sponsorship by Dow Chemicals, as well as any other company responsible for human rights abuses, serious environmental damage or tax avoidance.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

"The Commonwealth Games should be an opportunity for Scotland to be seen at its best in the world, and so we must be very careful not to tarnish ourselves by associating the Games with irresponsible, anti-social companies.

"We hear a lot about the positive legacy that the Games will leave in Scotland. Dow Chemicals has left a legacy of decades of pollution and human suffering in India, and it would be totally unacceptable for the Commonwealth Games to play a role in any PR campaign by this company.

"I urge the Minister to adopt a transparent approach to selecting sponsors for the Games, and to set out some basic criteria so that we don't end up with a row of glossy logos that read like a 'most wanted' list for corporate crimes."