David Stubbs: 'We can't suddenly become a global policeman'
Head of Sustainability for the 2012 London hits out at the charge that some of the sponsors for the Games are not appropriate
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Friday 27 July 2012
David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability for the 2012 London Olympics, responds robustly to the charge that some of the commercial partners and sponsors chosen for the games are not appropriate for an event which is trying to be as environmentally-friendly as possible.
“We can’t suddenly become a global policeman and run around the world looking at everything every company does,” he says.
There has been criticism over the Olympic link-ups with firms such as oil multinational BP, French electricity company EDF and in particular the American chemical giant Dow, which is now the 100 per cent shareholder of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), whose Indian subsidiary was responsible for the world’s worst ever industrial disaster in Bhopal, India, in 1984 in which several thousand people were killed by escaping cyanide gas.
But Mr Stubbs insists: “All the partners are on board working with us, to our criteria, on what we’re looking for in terms of materials and services and supporting our sustainability agenda, and that is the perspective, the framework, in which we can work.”
He rejects the idea that BP and EDF have bought rather than earned their status as “sustainability partners”. He says:” The notion of sustainability partner wasn’t a badge of honour. It was a commitment by them to work with us to develop our programme and to promote it more effectively.
“They’re not perfect, but if you took out EDF you’d have another energy company, or if you took out BP you’d have another oil company – they’re all similar in that respect.
“You’ve got to work with them. It’s no good just saying, ‘oh they’re bad, therefore ignore them’, because that is futile. It’s just gesture politics, and doesn’t really help anyone.”
Mr Stubbs, 53 and from London, is a zoologist by training and was an ecological consultant before leading the organisation trying to make Europe’s golf courses more environmentally friendly. He has been interested in the environmental side of the Olympics since attending the Sydney games in 2000.
Asked how green he thought the London games would be, on a scale of one to ten, he replied: “Well Denis Oswald [chairman of the IOC coordinating commission who came to London on a pre-games inspection visit] gave us 9.75 out of ten.
“I know that was for everything, but I think I’ll go with that number.”
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...
£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...