Transport & Environment (T&E) has accused the British band Coldplay of naively supporting greenwashing in its supposedly ‘sustainable’ partnership with Neste, an oil refiner with documented links to deforestation and dubious biofuels. T&E has called on Chris Martin and his team to drop the partnership and choose truly sustainable fuels made from renewable electricity for future tours.
Coldplay is partnering up with Neste, a major oil refiner based in Finland, to cut its CO2 emissions ‘by half’ from its upcoming Music Of The Spheres world tour. What is not mentioned in their joint press release is where exactly these ‘sustainable’ fuels come from.
Neste has a track record of scandals, including sourcing from palm oil mills linked to deforestation. They do not release much information on the feedstocks they use to create biofuels, but they are among the largest users of crude palm oil and also palm oil derivatives. Their sustainable fuels are also based on used cooking oil (UCO). With half of the EU’s UCO supplies imported – mostly from China, Indonesia and Malaysia – there are serious questions as to whether this kitchen waste is truly ‘used’.
Another key feedstock for Neste are animal fats, mostly sourced from industrial animal farming. To secure supplies Neste bought the company Demeter, one of Europe’s major traders of such fats. “There are enough issues with Neste to scare Chris Martin away for sure”, says T&E.
Carlos Calvo Ambel, senior director at T&E, said: “Neste is cynically using Coldplay to greenwash their reputation. This is a company that is linked to the kind of deforestation that would appall Chris Martin and his fans. It’s not too late. Coldplay should drop their partnership with Neste now and focus on truly clean solutions instead.”