London 2012 Commissioner for Sustainability Resigns Post in Protest of Dow Sponsorship

January 26, 2012

Meredith Alexander, who sits on the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012, has resigned her voluntary role in protest over the controversial £7 million deal with Dow Chemical.

The partnership with London 2012 angered human rights campaigners because of Dow’s links to Union Carbide, the company responsible for the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984.

In a statement, the commission said it was “sorry to confirm the resignation of Commissioner Meredith Alexander, whose remit covered supply chains and behaviour change”.

It added: “Meredith has stated that the reason for her resignation is that she does not feel she can remain with the commission in light of Locog’s appointment of Dow Chemical as the stadium wrap supplier, and the commission fully respects her decision to leave on this basis.”

Alexander’s resignation comes after Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, defended the Dow Chemical deal, insisting that the company had no involvement with Bhopal at the time of the disaster or when the final compensation settlement was agreed.

The commission, which is part-funded by Locog, was set up in 2007 to oversee the sustainability standards of the Olympic delivery bodies, fulfilling the promise made by London during the 2012 bidding phase that its sustainability commitments would be independently monitored.

However, the commission’s remit does extend to human rights issues or questioning sponsorship arrangements.

Shaun McCarthy, the commission chairman, said: “While we wholeheartedly agree that human rights are of paramount importance, it is not something we as an organisation are empowered to handle.”