Opposition

Teaching union votes against Ineos sponsorship of the Daily Mile

Chesterfield SSP fun run

Independent fun run in north east Derbyshire in 2017. Photo: Chesterfield Schools Sports Partnership

The largest UK education union has formally opposed Ineos sponsorship of a children’s running scheme because of the company’s interests in fracking for shale gas.

The Daily Mile encourages children to run or jog for 15 minutes every day, with the aim of making them fitter, healthier, and more able to concentrate in the classroom.

The National Education Union (NEU) said it supported the idea of the Daily Mile, with its reported benefits for physical and mental health.

But the national executive voted this month to object to Ineos’s sponsorship, now in its third year.

Amanda Brown, Deputy General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“The NEU is opposed to fracking which encourages reliance on fossil fuels and takes the focus away from investing in renewable forms of energy. It is not the solution to the UK’s energy challenges.

“The young people taught by our members recognise this and are demanding change, as witnessed when thousands of students walked out of school to demand climate justice as part of the youth strike 4 climate movement.”

A map on the Daily Mile website indicates that more than 5,000 UK schools have signed up to the initiative. The scheme’s website, name and logo are trademarks of the Daily Mile Foundation, with the same Hampshire address as the Ineos Group.

Ineos Upstream holds the largest number of licences for onshore shale gas exploration in the UK.

Ms Brown said:

“The NEU fully supports the notion of the Daily Mile and its intention of improving the physical and mental health of young children, instilling in them a lifelong habit of exercise.

“However, we strongly object to Ineos sponsorship of this initiative. Ineos holds multiple licences to frack for shale gas and, for the sake of the planet and particularly our children’s futures, we need to move quickly away from a carbon economy.

“We are also concerned about the manufacture of plastics by Ineos; many of the children taught by our members are alarmed at the effect of plastics on marine life.

“Schools are beginning to discover that the Daily Mile is sponsored by a company which is profiting from climate change as a significant player in the oil and gas market, and as a result are withdrawing.

“Sponsorship by Ineos will not encourage participation in the Daily Mile. We would urge Ineos to consider its position and Daily Mile to urgently seek a replacement sponsor.”

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Last week, a climate change action group, Parents for Future, invited members to ask schools participating in the Daily Mile to withdraw and join an alternative scheme.

Ineos also sponsors the children’s Go Run for Fun initiative, as well as cycling’s Team Ineos, Ineos Team UK (Britain’s 2021 America’s Cup sailing challenge) and the Eliud Kipchoge attempt to break the two-hour marathon.

DrillOrDrop invited Ineos to comment on the NEU vote. This post will be updated with any response.

102 replies »

  1. It seems incredible that a fossil fuel burning, polluting, plastics manufacturing wannabe fracking company is allowed to sponsor initiatives designed to promote physical and mental well-being.
    There is no doubt that such sponsorship is intended to create a positive public image for the Ineos brand – otherwise why doesn’t Jim Ratcliffe simply give the money anonymously?

  2. David Burley:
    You were happy enough to use their products when it suited you, there are worse offenders in polluting [edited by moderator] are you jealous of his two yachts and monaco residency?

    • Might be a good time for Ineos to start engaging in large commercial renewable energy projects and less damaging ways of producing plastics. Ineos could change tack and start making a difference.
      Never to late to see common sense.

      • 1. I am happy to use multi-use plastic products.
        2. No jealous at all.
        3. It is Ratcliffe who claims there is no connection between what Ineos does and Ineos’ sponsorship of sports endeavours. Er… in that case why is the sponsorship under the word ‘Ineos’?

  3. Ineos treats the majority of UK drinking water, an essential service which the majority of us appreciate.

    I suppose that leaves a nasty taste in David’s mouth…

    • Simon – are you referring to the fact that INEOS ChlorVinyls used to use a concentrated salt solution to produce chlorine which was then used by the water treatment companies themselves to purify drinking water? I was under the impression that they sold that business to Runcorn based Packed Chlorine Ltd UK a few years ago. Even before they sold it would have been a long stretch to claim that “Ineos treats the majority of UK drinking water”. Can you explain what you meant there?

      • The INOVYN (INEOS) site at Northwich, Still supplies brine to INEOS’s ChlorVinyls site at Runcorn, as well as supplying INEOS Enterprises’ Salt Plant at Runcorn and Tata’s Ash Plant at Northwich.

        Packed Chlorine Ltd acquired the Chlorine filling assets at INEOS ChlorVinyls’ Runcorn site.

        INEOS operate the only Chlorine manufacturing plant in the UK. Packed Chlorine Ltd operate the only Chlorine filling and packing facility in the UK.

        Due to the difficulties and hazards associated with the transportation of Chlorine. The water companies would struggle to treat our water to the legally required standards without both these companies.

          • Did I make that claim John?

            I stated that INEOS are the only UK manufacturer of the Chlorine that is required to treat our drinking water.

            Whereas you claimed that INEOS had sold the business to Packed Chlorine Ltd.

            • No it was Simon Hinks who said that in teh first comment on this thread. Thank you for the clarification regarding Packed Chlorine Ltd, but you seem to be confirming that Simon’s claim that Ineos treat “the majority of UK drinking water” is rather questionable.

              • Ineos, Ineos manufactured product-why the issue?

                If there is an issue, then Ineos are not responsible for plastic!

                Seems more like the usual. A quick post without full research and then repositioning.

                Another case within the anti fold, following the trend of red diesel/vegetable oil, Barclays Bank/Barclay Brothers etc.

                Shame we can’t have UK chickens treated in the same way! Perhaps we can, post Brexit, and achieve what most of the UK chicken companies wanted at the time to meet concerns from Supermarkets until the EU (not unanimously) decided against many years ago, based upon the square route of diddly squat science but massively concerned with US chicken production costs being around 20% cheaper.

    • The Daily Mile was originally started in Scotland by primary school head teacher Elaine Wylie, for which she was awarded the MBE. The Daily Mile is simple. The children go outside, whatever the weather, and run or walk for 15 minutes per day. Why this should even need sponsorship is a mystery.

      • Pauline
        I agree. I was never keen for my kids to wear anything with a company logo on it at school, supplied by any sponsor, be it from a religious group through to a local energy company.

        And wary of sponsorship per se.

        However, when working for a large energy company or two we were often asked to sponsor activities locally and, as I understand, nationally. It would be interesting to know if INEOS were approached to support this mile or not. Sir Jim is a bit of a fitness fanatic so they may have been approached to help.

        • Hewes62-I slightly disagree with you there.

          My kids enjoyed taking part in sport outside of school, and whether it was football, cricket or rugby, all were sponsored by local businesses to give the kids a chance to have kit their parents may have not been able to afford, to have tournaments funded and even have overseas trips arranged and funded. Otherwise, it would only have been the “rich” kids who could take part.

          Interestingly, whether it was the local garage or printers, it was nearly always the case that an owner or director enjoyed the sport in his/her youth and having made a bit of money, wished to support that opportunity for others but scaling it up beyond their own children.

          Just like local, small versions of Sir Jim.

          • Martin

            Just my opinion. I think you should just give the cash without any sponsoring. I am not keen on sponsoring people to climb Kilimanjaro either. Just hand over cash to the charity.

            I also have an issue with tax relief on charity contributions. If a rich chap gives a Million from income to charity, while the charity benefits fully, the exchequer would lose out to the tune of £500,000 ( roughly ).

            Not that I am in the majority it seems but there you go.

            • I don’t disagree with that at all. However, in many cases companies, even small ones, need to be able to demonstrate a potential benefit to their business to maintain goodwill within the company to continue it. I am comfortable with that if it gets the kids what they benefit from. From my experience parents and sports clubs were pretty good at making sure the commercial bit was toned down. I would have thought teachers could manage that as well.

  4. The Toxic mile, Ratcliffe is not interested in anything but brainwashing everyone from cradle to the grave, half the kids can’t run a mile because of athsma and other respiratory problems caused by polluted air. Maybe he should try spending his ill gotten profits on cleaning the Grangemouth site.

    • Jono
      A spirited reply but ( noting Martins comments ) not quite true.

      Firstly I would suggest that Mr Ratcliffe is interested primarily in making money. The brainwashing from cradle to grave is more likely to be found on a screen ( TV or I.Pad etc ) than by sponsoring a few kids running. If he is interested in brainwashing there are a few quasi religious groups around who could help.

      Secondly, it is not true that half the kids cannot run mile because of athsma and respiratory problems.

      Firstly Athsma

      Rates have plateaued since 1990, giving a prevalence of 1 in 11 in England

      https://www.asthma.org.uk/about/media/facts-and-statistics.

      For respiratory problems

      This has been an issue over time as the 1976 report notes ( American )

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1746-1561.1976.tb09718.x

      Or some data on the subject here in the UK

      https://statistics.blf.org.uk/lung-disease-uk-big-picture

      It would seem that the best way to get kids to run a mile, rather than sit in front of a screen scoffing calories is to get them running or walking a mile, although obesity may be a big issue. Certainly by observation if not just data 50% of school kids do not suffer from respiratory desires or athsamthat would prevent them from running or walking a mile.

  5. Maybe he has Jono. That Grangemouth site which was an hour or two away from being closed until he invested huge amounts of money to up-date and expand it. Did you see the site before he did that? Decaying and dismal.

    Nice to see the antis all wearing away their plastic keyboards. Such fake news seems a poor excuse for using the product.

      • I thought he was working for you, delayed reaction!

        Obviously concerned about your guilt from buying diesel for your 3 litre DIESEL BMW-you know, that stuff we manufacture (some) from IMPORTED oil so miss out on the tax from UK production, and also import huge quantities of diesel as UK doesn’t currently have the capacity for sufficient production, gifting even more tax overseas. US company about to help us out on that!

        So, what does Sir Jim do? He gets a vehicle designed by BMW-just for you- and accepts some donation from yourself (£124k Government grant) to investigate a hydrogen fuel cell version (see Autocar).

        Therefore, if successful, you can replace your diesel with a BMW designed alternative running off hydrogen. You can pay tax and profit when you purchase the vehicle and then again when you buy the hydrogen-wonder where the hydrogen may come from. Oops-you can pay more for the raw material for that as well.

        Your guilt vanishes and you are enlightened as to how taxation may add up sufficiently for a wise Government to address fuel poverty. And Jono is pleased because the children can run around the Fylde and not be subject to your diesel fumes.

        Johns also pleased because Sir Jim is investing as well to make a difference.

        Funny how some only see what they want to see, and believe everyone else is also short sighted.

          • Obviously not an English teacher David.

            No insults there. Paul is very good at picking those out.

            All factually correct, although guilt may have been a bit of exaggeration.

            You can check the information if you don’t believe it was factual. I was also quite kind in not questioning how many tonnes of brown coal does it take to manufacture a BMW.

            You might also like to check recent posts from our friend where he has been REQUESTING concrete examples. Sorry the factual stuff is so insulting, but I can understand it is a problem. But looking at your post of 3.22pm there seems to be a great deal of selectivity around why Sir Jim should not sponsor something which is his personal practice but other companies have been sponsoring things for decades with far worse credentials. Also just wonder how the Cadets still operate within schools. Now, that kept me fit but it didn’t require me to go and kill anyone. But, that was in the day that children and parents made those decisions rather than teachers.

            • Martian – I am still waiting for anything substantial from you to support your nebulous claim that UK fracking will help end fuel poverty. You seem to be getting a bit defensive now old love. Can we assume you don’t have anything and spare the others yet more Collywibble?

              • Your helper away today?

                No, delayed reaction, you were awaiting some more information regarding how it COULD help to end fuel poverty. Some of it did seem to have been explained to you previously as you then commented about it.

                I think others will now have read about the various taxes you could pay if you had a nice new hydrogen fuel cell version of the Grenadier, engineered by BMW. So, they will make their own minds up about what a Government might (not will) be able to do with those taxes, you can continue to assume. But, research might be more rewarding.

                • Seems your post about fuel poverty was just more like the usual. A quick post without full research and then repositioning.

                  Oh who just said that to somebody else. Let me think ….

                • We can’t wait that long, delayed!

                  But, meanwhile, Sainsbury still offering a discount on diesel, so multi thinking required. Not sure if it is made in Britain, but who cares. If not, the taxation from production may be utilised to help some elsewhere out of fuel poverty.

                  See Boris has thrown his hat into the ring. Wonder what his policy will be on fuel poverty? Trust it will be remove UK citizens from the misery and THEN to look to help others. Although, of course, he will first have to fund some new water cannons!

  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic

    Perhaps the teachers in the “union” should explain what plastic is used for to the parents and kids? But it’s all hot air; a meaningless vote….

    They would be better off (as would we members of the public who clean up after them) teaching their school classes not to throw litter, including plastic, away when they are outside – a huge problem these days.

    • David – I assume from your reply that you are a teacher and do tell your classes not to throw litter away. Good. It is unfortunate that the parents don’t do this anymore and expect Teachers to undertake basic upbringing. Perhaps here in North Lancashire the teachers / parents don’t tell the kids this? Or are they just ignored? Most kids around Lancaster from all types of school seem to think someone else will pick up their trash.

      INEOS supply a market. Take away the demand and the supply goes down accordingly. INEOS don’t throw the plastic away.

      • Re litter picking and so forth.

        For those schools I have experience of, they are quite switched on in terms of such education. However there always seem to be a rump of people who do not care.

        As follows
        …..

        When litter picking a clean verge ( so you can see what turns up when ) reveals that most litter is from the same offenders (they even leave their Mc Donald’s receipts in the bag and Co Op loyalty information). Some forget to remove personal information such is their rush to dispose of the litter in the car. Letters from doctors for example.

        I estimate that 90% of that tat comes from adults….thrown out of a car window.

        In the village, litter from schoolchildren is found around the bus stop or on the playing field. But not much.

        …..

        A family member was astounded when a friend ( well paid, intelligent, young ) while a passenger in her car said …. this needs a clean, opened the window and proceeded to throw out the contents of the ( as ever ) untidy car. On stopping to retrieve the litter she ( family member ) was castigated as ‘everyone does it’ and ‘it keeps the council in a job’.

        I doubt that the problem will be solved by the Teachers Union Actions, especially as the litter is not just plastic ( paper, glass, metal, poo ( nappies!) and so on.

        But I would bet that no one who contributes to the comments section of DOD ( of any persuasion ) drops litter.

      • Ineos do actually spill hundreds of thousands of their plastic nurdles into the sea and these are washed up in the beaches around our coastline. They are massive polluters and are constantly breaching environmental and safety regulations. They want the limits on earth tremors raising so they can Frack Yorkshire to make more new plastic when what should be happening is the conversion of these plants to recycle the massive amounts of plastic already fouling the planet. They are a dirty company and they need to be made to clean up.

        • INEOS have recognised the problem with plastic nurdles polluting the environment, they have signed up to the Operation Clean Sweep® programme which is an international program designed to prevent resin pellet, flake, and powder loss and help keep these materials out of the marine environment.

          To tackle the problem of plastic waste pollution, European plastic manufacturing companies have promised to make 60% of all plastic packaging recyclable or reuseable by 2030 with the goal of 100% by 2040.

          All of INEOS’ plastic can already be recycled following a decision to remove certain additives several years ago.

          However the most difficult area of what happens to the plastic once people have finished with it remains.

          • Recycling plastic is not the solution, you can’t continuously recycle it as the mechanical properties diminish. Also the cost of recycling is more expensive than producing new plastic, so INEOS won’t be interested in the recycling part, only the churning out of more cheap plastic.
            Those targets for reuse / recycle will kick the plastics problem further down the road for decades, meaning our oceans will continue to be choked. Unless you have an organic plant based material, it will not biodegrade.
            Again, well done the teachers for highlighting the slippery path of corporate sponsorships entering schools targeting the young. Leave our children free corporate abuse.

          • So what about the plastic that was made by INEOS prior to the decision; it does not go away overnight John.

            In perspective, there are many good uses of plastic if managed correctly, but technology is changing the way we look at this mass consumerism of the throw away society, how it is produced in the first place, an actual need or no, and finally the contribution from said companies to the country.

            Unfortunately as the IFS have pointed out, and have commissioned a study for the next five years, the later could bring down the economy and potentially destroy your right to democracy due to the inequality of the few over the many, use and abuse of tax payers money, and the destruction of the environment.

            We should stop wasting plastic as we should stop wasting gas. Plastic should only be used and recycled properly when absolutely no other alternative is possible. The supermarket selling of plastic packaging that contains less and less food to make bigger profits should be outlawed. The industrialization of food production by using chemicals to grow the same product year on on the same field should be banned.

            Though it is good to debate these changes, the time has come to actually make them. Each day drives us nearer destruction; apologies, excuses and loss of profit should no longer be in the mix.

            Maximize on renewables and minimize on gas; reduce plastic and chemical production to its minimum and grow responsibly; grow your own; recycle responsibly that plastic which cannot be replaced by another safer product; stop buying plastic and buy food.

            Do it now.

  7. Huge amounts of respect for the teachers taking this action to oppose INEOS entering our schools through a corporate initiative like this. It is appalling how this has got to this stage and participating schools should just pull the plug on them and go it alone without the INEOS brand name attached.
    This Elaine has sold her soul, that doesn’t mean our children should fall victim to her own personal ambitions. And no I don’t imagine as previously suggested that she went to INEOS rather than the other way around. You would go for something more related like a sports brand for such backing. You wouldn’t say to yourself, “right who can sponsor my idea, I know, there’s that dirty fossil fuel plastic polluting climate vandal fracker INEOS, I’ll give them a buzz”.
    Stop targeting our kids Ratcliffe!

    • Oh dear! Yes, Sir Jim, you should realise that all children are to be adopted and weaponised by the antis (could almost be from Hamlin Town!) That ended well-not.

      They will be perfectly happy to be fat and poorly educated without any computers or I Pads-or represented by others as such. After all, plastic keyboards should only be available to “adults” to spread their misinformation.

      Not if they are bright and determined like Dominic (11), and they attend a school that teaches them about the way fake news is generated and spread. Some teachers do seem to concentrate upon teaching life skills that will serve the children well rather than trying to impose their own, or others, dogma. Elsewhere, the science books can be piled up in the playground and set alight. That ended well-not.

      • Well, what do we have here then? Let’s examine these words for a moment shall we, it is well past time we put these claims back in the Pandora’s box they escaped from isn’t it.

        Curious ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, isn’t it, that Paunch has abandoned “Judith?” darling, or perhaps more accurately the other way around, and now mutates into the Pie Eyed Fracker of Hamblin (for which read the Fawley Farm Wytch) who would seek to continuously repeat the “weaponised narrative” about the ficticious “weaponise” of the children who oppose it’s own views.

        But by its own words, though that apparently concentrates on only one 11 year old child who is claimed as being co-opted to support such a worrying attempt because the child’s statement is interestingly ambiguous and non specific in its context and may well apply to very protagonist who has co opted that child’s words for the purposes claimed here.

        Whereas the 1.6 million children worldwide who struck from school in March and April this year and previously, went on strike for the climate were unambiguous and eloquent and were prepared to say exactly what they meant.

        But the comment we see above fails to address the blatant a tempted “weaponisation” of a singled out child of this somewhat vague assumptions of even remotely being relevant to the issues in hand, and then hypocritically accuse others of the very same actions.

        What does that tell you.

        Once again we see the almost fanatic concentration on personalities and a worrying attempt of co opting a child in yet another attempt at personality cult, rather than even mention, let alone address the real onshore fossil fuel exploitation and the accelerating climate change issues?

        Is that the actions of someone you can trust and who has your best interests at heart?

        Are you being “weaponised” boys and girls by this attempted highjacking of your protests about the theft of your future in order to perpetuate the gross profits from fossil fuel exploitation at your expense?

        Or are you simply standing up for yourselves all by yourselves because you fear for your future being stolen from you by the rapidly accelerating climate change effects caused the very same fossil fuels that this self serving greedy and poisonous industry wish to perpetuate contrary to the declaration in government of a climate change emergency?

        It seems that old fraudulent industry is still hiding behind the lobbying curtain but it won’t come out to address the real issues, but merely hold up these badly painted personality cults to obfuscate and divert from reality.

        The question is ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, that do you want to be taken at your word for what you say and do in respect of the growing danger of climate change acelleration to a series of disastrous irreversible tipping points that will plague your future, or will you let certain elements such as we see here, highjack single individuals to their own ends?

        The future is yours to decide, those who wish to divide and conquer you by their words and actions only reveal themselves to be another source of the problem we are faced with and are not part of the solution.

        I will leave that up to you to decide for yourselves, because clearly you have all ready seen through the empty rhetoric that often pours out of certain self styled fossil fuel corporate and government protagonists on Drill or Drop and you are very eloquently and intelligently capable of making up your own minds and saying so when faced with such mealy mouthed deception and false charms such as we see here.

        This Pie Eyed Fracker of Hamblin plays a merry tune on its gas pipes in order to steal you and your future away below ground where it’s real interests lie, you only need to examine the words proliferated ad nauseam here to realise how bitter and deceptive such a dance really displays.

        The future is yours, take it and build a world that respects and values all life, not just a jealous exploitative greedy few who want to keep you locked up behind their deceptive prancing word dances.

    • A.D

      I did not suggest that Elaine went to INEOS, I said it would be interesting to know how they got together. Clearly it takes two to tango, so there had to be acceptance from both parties.

      I note from their web page that INEOS has sponsored them for a while. It could be that this Initially Scottish based initiative was sponsored by INEOS as it was seen as a local company, and prior to the adverse press it gets today. They might have struggled to find a local sports brand.

      Maybe someone out there knows.

  8. Targeting a specific chemical company for ocean plastic problem is just green activists political agenda.
    The real issue is plastic littering. Anti littering campaign and more recycling program in school would solve the problem much more effectively and faster than targeting one single company or industry.

    • TW;
      ‘ Anti littering campaign and more recycling program in school would solve the problem much more effectively and faster than targeting one single company or industry’ – of course you have a valid point; a catch 22 situation.

      Do we clean up everything this profit driven company produces regardless of the cost and impact on the environment or do we stop the waste at source?

      A conundrum many politicians wrestle with and the outcome depends on what side you support – profit above people and the environment or a shared Earth?

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