Esso faces axe as Tree Week sponsor

Esso’s sponsorship of National Tree Week could be under threat following complaints by environmental pressure group Greenpeace.

The Tree Council, which runs National Tree Week, is to put Greenpeace’s concerns to its trustees. The event runs from November 21 to December 2.

Greenpeace and campaigners from Stop Esso have called on the council to reconsider the petrol giant’s sponsorship of the event, which aims to encourage people to plant trees.

Esso has sponsored National Tree Week for the past six years, but environmental campaigners are questioning the company’s motives as a sponsor, saying it is using the event as a PR stunt.

Stop Esso co-ordinator Cindy Baxter says: “We don’t think charities should just take money willy-nilly. They should think it through, because there are ulterior motives such as PR.”

A Greenpeace spokeswoman says it is “pretty ironic” trees will be one of the things to suffer through climate change.

Tree Council director Robert Osborne says the group has not received any complaints about Esso’s involvement, but the matter will be considered by trustees.

Esso says it has shown its environmental commitment through support at local level, from cash sponsorships to collaborative partnerships.

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