Worthing members were among local Greenpeace campaigners staging an unusual protest at Shell Petrol Station, Saltings Roundabout, Shoreham on Saturday July 12th.
Greenpeace said the protest was to demonstrate the support of local residents for Arctic protection and call on LEGO to end its deal with oil giant Shell. Instead of people, LEGO minifigures demonstrated by holding placards saying things like ‘Save the Arctic’ and ‘Block Shell’.
The protest called on LEGO to cut its ties with the oil company Shell, because Greenpeace believe Shell is threatening the Arctic and the unique wildlife that lives there. More than half a million people have signed the petition at: www.legoblockshell.org..
Since 2012, Shell’s Arctic drilling programme has faced fierce criticism from environmental NGOs and regulators. In that same period 16 million Shell-branded LEGO sets were sold or given away at petrol stations in 33 countries including the UK.
A spokesperson for Greenpeace said: “Shell has been using LEGO to sell more petrol and pretend it’s a family friendly company. But in reality Shell is not a company LEGO should lend its good name to. Shell is responsible for huge climate-wrecking carbon impacts and now it’s determined to drill in the Arctic. It’s a fragile environment and an oil spill would be devastating.
“And of course the only reason Shell can even reach the oil is because global warming is melting the ice. It’s time for LEGO to think again and pull the plug on this deal. We’re calling on Lego to stand up for Arctic protection, and the planet, by ditching Shell for good.”
A spokesperson for Shell UK told Worthing Daily: “We respect the right of individuals and organisations to engage in a free and frank exchange of views about meeting the world’s growing energy needs. Recognising the right of individuals to express their point of view, we only ask they do so in a manner that is lawful and does not place their safety or the safety of others at risk.
“Shell and the LEGO Group have a successful and productive relationship. In 2012, Shell launched the Ferrari model LEGO collection promotion in collaboration with the Lego Group and Ferrari. Since then, the promotion has run at Shell branded retail sites in 33 countries around the world, to the great satisfaction of our customers, and continues to roll out to more countries.”
Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, President and Chief Executive Officer of the LEGO Group said: “The LEGO Group operates in a responsible manner and continually strives to live up to the motto of the company since 1932: ‘Only the best is good enough’.
“We are determined to leave a positive impact on society and the planet that children will inherit. Our unique contribution is through inspiring and developing children by delivering creative play experiences all over the world.
“A co-promotion contract like the one with Shell is one of many ways we are able to bring LEGO bricks into the hands of more children. We welcome and are inspired by all relevant input we receive from fans, children, parents, NGOs and other stakeholders. They have high expectations to the way we operate. So do we.
“The Greenpeace campaign focuses on how Shell operates in a specific part of the world. We firmly believe that this matter must be handled between Shell and Greenpeace. We are saddened when the LEGO brand is used as a tool in any dispute between organisations.
“We expect that Shell lives up to their responsibilities wherever they operate and take appropriate action to any potential claims should this not be the case. I would like to clarify that we intend to live up to the long term contract with Shell, which we entered into in 2011.
“We will continue to live our motto of ‘only the best is good enough’ and deliver creative and inspiring LEGO play experiences to children all over the world.”
More than 5 million online Arctic supporters and thousands of activists are getting involved in creative action in six continents as part of the campaign which launched on Tuesday July 1st 2014.
Pictured: Greenpeace LEGO protest at Shoreham Shell Petrol Station.