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Embarrassing Sponsors For TRC Enviro Awards

“The regional council’s annual environment awards tonight at the Devon Hotel are once again sponsored by some of the region’s worst environmental polluters,” says Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Elin Arbez. Climate Justice will be demonstrating outside the Devon Hotel to help focus community attention on the sad hypocrisy of these sponsors.

“The list of sponsors for the 2020 awards include intensive dairy export giant Fonterra, fossil fuel extractors Todd Energy, plastics and harmful chemical manufacturer Methanex, and chemical plant owner Corteva (previously Dow Agrosciences). Ballance Agri-nutrients have interestingly been allowed to run their own separate environmental awards through TRC earlier this year.”

“All these companies have long-standing campaigns against them by multiple environmental and social justice groups across the country. It is embarrassing that TRC still finds it appropriate to have these companies sponsoring their awards and allowing them to, once again, greenwash their ongoing environmental degradation through publicity with events like this.”

“Exactly why is TRC promoting these environmental polluters when they could just as easily seek sponsorship from any number of local businesses whose benefits to the environment and the community far outweigh any environmental footprint? Allowing persistent polluters to advertise themselves with the award publicity significantly detracts from all the good work of the nominees and winners who shouldn't have to deal with this dilemma. In fact several award nominees have complained about this over the years.”

“If TRC are serious about corporate responsibility as a resource consent condition, then the companies should actually contribute to environmental projects without advertising the fact and council should seek more appropriate award sponsorship that can promote actual environmental leaders. Just imagine if the event was hosted at a sustainably certified venue, catered by ethical caterers serving local, regenerative produce with zero waste, and handing out rewards created by local artists with a prize of credit at TRC's native plant nursery. This would truly honour the award recipients, nurture the environment and showcase real sustainable practices here in Taranaki.”

More info on the awards: https://www.trc.govt.nz/environment/working-together/environmental-awards/

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