Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
“Well behaved women seldom make history”
Waitrose, Dump Shell
Waitrose are currently trialling a new partnership with oil company Shell. Since September 2011, they’ve had two stores on Shell forecourts, and if the trial period goes well they plan to take over more forecourt shops. As a supermarket which trades on its ethical image – and with otherwise excellent sustainability and ethical standards – we urge Waitrose to break off their relationship with Shell.
What can be done?
Join our campaign. We’ll organise a series of actions and are prepared to keep up the pressure until Waitrose breaks it off with Shell.
Sign the petition to the John Lewis Partnership: Persuade Waitrose to Dump Shell
You can also email and call Waitrose’s Head of Sustainability, Quentin Clark, on Quentin_Clark@waitrose.co.uk, direct line 01344 824892.
Raise the issue on Mumsnet: There is already interest and outrage amongst Mumsnet members. Mumsnet have responded saying they will take the issue up if enough of their members demand action. Go and weigh in on their forum.
Waitrose Dump Shell FAQ
Why are you targeting Waitrose?
We fully appreciate all Waitrose’s efforts to be a fair, sustainable and ethical company. However, Shell is one of the most unethical companies in the world. Its human rights record and unwillingness to invest in renewable energy do not fit with Waitrose’s Corporate Social Responsibility aims or its branding as a sustainable and ethical company. Waitrose should not be condoning Shell’s behaviour by partnering with them in this way.
Are you against Waitrose expanding? Won’t the gap be filled by a supermarket without ethical credentials?
Waitrose say having stores on forecourts is a way to bring quality food to more people. We say it will be difficult for Waitrose to find an oil company to partner with that fits with its ethical aims. We believe there’s no need to partner with any petrol station – there are several other ways Waitrose could expand to bring its products to more people. Why not venture North to the many cities in which they don’t have stores?
Is this a boycott?
We are definitely not calling for a boycott because we know Waitrose does its best to source fairly traded, sustainable products. We do want Waitrose customers to be aware of the link with Shell, and Shell’s appalling human rights and climate change record. Our aim is for customers to put pressure on Waitrose to cut the partnership through letter-writing and protest rather than through boycotts. We appreciate Waitrose’s otherwise impressive commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.
Shouldn’t Waitrose try to influence Shell to change, instead of cutting ties with it?
We don’t think that Waitrose’s good example is enough to influence Shell to be better. There are, for example, many conviction investors who try to use their position as shareholders to influence company policy and yet Shell are planning to drill in the arctic, continue to destroy the lives of communities in the Niger Delta through oil spills and gas flaring, are investing in fracking and in biofuels and not investing in sustainable renewable energy sources at all. Shell is the most carbon intensive oil industry in the world and sharing marketing campaigns with a supermarket with a strong ethical mandate addressing climate change, sustainable sourcing and local produce will not change this.