British Cycling accused of ‘greenwashing’ after Shell partnership announcement

British Cycling has been criticized by environmental groups after announcing an eight-year partnership with energy company Shell UK.

The governing body said the deal, which starts this month and runs through the end of 2030, will accelerate its path towards net zero, but the announcement sparked a spate of complaints on social media from members, many of whom said they did would cancel their subscriptions.

At a time when sustainability in cycling has become a big talking point, British Cycling’s decision to partner with a major oil and gas producer whose environmental performance has been repeatedly criticized has been labeled “greenwashing”.

Friends of the Earth energy activist Jamie Peters said: “Cycling is the epitome of eco-friendly travel. It is deeply disappointing that UK Cycling could see fit to partner with a fossil fuel giant.

“Shell continues to invest billions in oil and gas projects and uses cynical PR initiatives like this partnership to try to greenwash its harmful activities.

“Tobacco companies are rightly prohibited from sponsoring sports because of the harmful effects on health. The same should apply to oil and gas companies that are wreaking havoc on the health of our planet. Shell should have told her to get on her bike.”

dr Greenpeace UK Policy Director Doug Parr said: “The idea of ​​Shell helping British Cycling reach net zero is as absurd as beef farmers advising lettuce farmers on how to go vegan.

“After Big Oil was booted out of museums and other cultural venues, she sees sport as the next frontier for her outrageous greenwash. But their goal hasn’t changed — to distract from the uncomfortable fact that the fossil fuel industry is making our planet uninhabitable.”

The idea of ​​Shell helping British Cycling reach net zero is as absurd as beef farmers advising lettuce farmers how to go vegan

Greenpeace UK

Just last month, British Cycling angered many of its members by suggesting people not to ride their bikes during the Queen’s funeral, advice that was quickly reversed.

British Cycling has not publicly responded to the criticism this new deal has drawn, refusing to go beyond the press release issued Monday midday, but it’s understood a strong reaction was expected.

However, the governing body believes the partnership will show tangible benefits over its eight-year lifespan, including the appointment of a sustainability manager within the organization and the move to an electric vehicle fleet.

In the press release announcing the deal, British Cycling said the partnership would allow it to provide greater support to British cycling and para-cycling teams, granting access to the sport through a new program called Limitless expand and move the organization toward net zero.

British Cycling Chief Executive Brian Facer said: “We look forward to working with Shell UK for the remainder of this decade to expand access to the sport, support our elite riders and help our organization and our sport in this to take important steps toward net-zero things We know our members are incredibly passionate.

“As part of our new commercial programme, this partnership with Shell UK brings strong support for cycling, will help us improve and will get more people to consider cycling and cycling.”

Shell UK Country President David Bunch said: “We are very proud to become an Official Partner of British Cycling.

“The partnership reflects Shell UK and British Cycling’s shared ambition to achieve net zero in the UK and to promote low-carbon and zero-carbon modes of transport such as bicycles and electric vehicles.”

The partnership with Shell does not replace the deal with HSBC, which was British Cycling’s main sponsor until the Tokyo Olympics, and the company’s logo will not have the same meaning on the team kit.

Although the governing body continues to search for a lead partner, this agreement is part of a move to have a large family of partners rather than relying on a single external organization. British Cycling accused of ‘greenwashing’ after Shell partnership announcement

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