It is in everyone's interest that the process of arriving at decisions about sustainability are transparent - Jowell

22 November 2011

Tessa JowellTessa Jowell MP, Labour's Shadow Olympics Minister, today wrote to Shaun McCarthy, the Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 asking for documents relating to the decision to award Dow Chemical Company the tender for the Olympic Stadium Wrap to be made public.

Tessa Jowell, in her letter to Shaun McCarthy, writes:

"In light of the public pressure opposing the decision to grant Dow Chemical the tender for the wrap, I wondered whether you might make publically available the documents and representations you received to determine Dow’s commitment to sustainability in the Olympic Games in 2012?

"As it is in everyone’s interest that the process of arriving at decisions about sustainability are transparent, I would also be grateful if you could let me know if Commissioners discussed Dow Chemical’s link to the human rights and environmental tragedy in Bhopal and whether any decision was taken in relation to that.

"Finally, could you make public whether you received any representations which challenged the information provided by Dow about their commitment to sustainability? The Commission has recently stated that you would expect 'any company that embraces the Olympic and Paralympic values' to be 'an ambassador for these in all aspects of their business.'

"Will you be making a further statement as to whether Dow Chemical does indeed act as an ambassador in all aspects of their business according to Olympic and Paralympic values?"

Today, Tessa Jowell, also announced that she has asked for a meeting with Dow Chemical to seek the answers to the following questions:

1. The London Olympic Games is intended to be one of the most sustainable, environmentally friendly Games to date. Is Dow’s conduct since acquiring the Union Carbide Corporation in 2001 consistent with the Olympics’ sustainability aims?

2. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) saw legal documents from Dow about their involvement with UCC and Bhopal. Did they seek advice from other groups to balance their judgement?

3. Even if Dow win their legal battles against Bhopal survivors and the Indian Government, is there a reputational risk to London 2012 in their sponsorship of the Olympic Stadium wrap?

Tessa Jowell, commenting on the growing pressure on the Government to intervene to stop Dow’s sponsorship of the wrap becoming a cloud over the Olympics next year, said:

"It’s better that we have an unwrapped stadium, rather than a stadium wrapped in the continuing controversy of Dow Chemical’s sponsorship."