Leading UK brands — including Superdrug, Nouvelle recycled toilet paper and 3′ mobile — are owned by companies that profit from environmentally devastating exploitation of the Canadian tar sands for oil, according to the alternative consumer organisation Ethical Consumer.
HSBC, RBS and Barclays also all play a significant role in financing tar sands mining, according to the organisation, which is calling for a boycott of brands from companies linked to tar sands mining.
Extracting fuel from tar sands produces carbon emissions between 2.5 to 8 times higher than conventional oil extraction, according to Ethical Consumer. It warns that oil derived from tar sands “threatens to unleash far more CO2 into the atmosphere than the planet can possibly cope with.
“If all of the permits for extraction granted by the Canadian Government are fulfilled, there would be a hike in CO2 from this alone that would be enough to push the world past the 2 degrees C threshold that scientists warn is likely to precipitate catastrophic climate change,” the organisation states. “In addition, production involves massive use of water resources and the deforestation and ecological destruction of the pristine forest and wetland environment of Alberta. It’s not just nature that’s suffering. Indigenous communities who live and fish downstream from the
tar sands are raising concerns around the possible health risks posed by toxicity levels in local water and fish.”
The top ten brands linked to tar sands mining are:
- Superdrug (Hutchison Whampoa)
- Nouvelle paper products (Koch Industries Inc)
- 3′ mobile phone network (Hutchison Whampoa)
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Liebherr Fridges
- Lycra (Koch Industries Inc)