Placeholder canvas
My Green Pod Logo

LEGO and Shell: Everything is NOT awesome


LEGO severed a 50-year link with Shell this morning, a month after the oil giant submitted plans to the US administration showing it’s once again gearing up to drill in the melting Arctic.

The parting of ways comes after a three-month Greenpeace campaign; Shell’s plans to drill in the pristine Arctic moved over a million people to sign a petition calling on LEGO to stop promoting the brand. The Greenpeace video, LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome (below), has been viewed nearly six million times on YouTube.

The ALEC exodus – tech giants withdraw support from right-wing council

LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome


In stark contrast to Shell, LEGO’s policies include a commitment to produce more renewable energy than it uses, phase out oil in its products and, in cooperation with its partners, leave a better world for future generations.

In its statement, LEGO argued the dispute was between Greenpeace and Shell. However, Greenpeace insists that while LEGO is doing the right thing under public pressure, it should choose its partners more carefully when it comes to the threats facing our children from climate change. Due to contractual obligations, LEGO’s current co-promotion with Shell will be honoured.

This is a major blow to Shell. It desperately needs partners like LEGO to help give it respectability and repair the major brand damage it suffered after its last Arctic misadventure. Lego’s withdrawal from a 50-year relationship with Shell clearly shows that strategy will not work.

Ian Duff, Arctic campaigner at Greenpeace

LEGO is the latest in a line of leading global companies to walk away from a relationship with the fossil fuel industry. In late 2012, Waitrose announced it had put its partnership with Shell on ice and in the last month Microsoft, Google and Facebook all made commitments to end their support for ALEC, a controversial lobby group that campaigns against climate change legislation . Only weeks ago, the Rockefeller Foundation announced it will begin pulling its investments in the fossil fuel industry.

The tide is turning for these fossil fuel dinosaurs that see the melting Arctic as ripe for exploitation rather than protection. The message should be clear; your outdated, climate wrecking practices are no longer socially acceptable, and you need to keep away from the Arctic or face being ostracised by society.

Ian Duff, Arctic campaigner at Greenpeace

Shell’s past attempts to drill in the Arctic have been plagued with multiple operational failings, culminating in the running aground of its drilling rig, the Kulluk. The extreme Arctic conditions, including giant floating icebergs and stormy seas, make offshore drilling extremely risky. Scientists say that an oil spill in the Arctic would be impossible to clean up and would devastate the Arctic’s unique wildlife.

But on 28 August 2014 Shell submitted new plans to the US administration for offshore exploratory drilling in the Alaskan Arctic, meaning it’s on course to resurrect its Arctic drilling plans as early as summer 2015.

LEGO’s decision couldn’t have come soon enough. The iconic and beautiful Arctic, and its incredible wildlife, like polar bears and narwhals, is under threat like never before. Arctic sea ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, but instead of seeing the huge risks, oil companies like Shell are circling like vultures. Only weeks ago Shell gave us the clearest indication yet that it’s planning to go back to the Arctic as soon as next summer.

Ian Duff, Arctic campaigner at Greenpeace

In the past two years, a massive global movement has emerged calling for a sanctuary around the North Pole to protect the Arctic and its unique wildlife from the onslaught of oil drilling and industrial fishing. More than six million people have joined the movement, and more than 1,000 influential people have signed an Arctic Declaration, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Emma Thompson and Sir Paul McCartney.

On 19 September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Arctic campaigners to receive a global petition and said he would consider convening an international summit to discuss the issue of Arctic protection.

The International Declaration on the Future of the Arctic, and its demands, will ultimately be presented to the leaders of the Arctic States, as well as to representatives at the United Nations. For more information and a full list of signatories, visit

Here's more related content

Sorry we don't have any suggested related content at the moment. Please check back later.

Join The Conversation

Leave a Reply

Here's More Ethical News News & Features

  • All
  • Antarctic
  • EU
  • Earth Day
  • Europe
  • IT
  • MPAs
  • UK rivers
  • Valentines
  • activism
  • activists
  • animal welfare
  • animals
  • biodiversity
  • birds
  • circular economy
  • cities
  • climate
  • climate emergency
  • community
  • conservation
  • e-waste
  • ecocide
  • economy
  • electronics
  • environment
  • extinction
  • extreme weather
  • farming
  • fertiliser
  • fish
  • fishing
  • forests
  • fossil fuels
  • funding
  • homes
  • housing
  • human rights
  • law
  • leadership
  • legal
  • litter
  • nature
  • oceans
  • oil
  • peace
  • plastic
  • plastic pollution
  • policy
  • politics
  • pollution
  • recycle
  • recycling
  • restoration
  • rivers
  • science
  • species
  • sports
  • tech
  • tree planting
  • trees
  • waste
  • water
  • wildlife