Keep Scotland Beautiful is a primarily Scottish government-funded environmental charity that currently has a funding partnership with BAE Systems for their campaign ‘Upstream Battle’ which aims to ‘tackle marine litter from source to sea’. BAE Systems plaster their name on community cleaning projects yet simultaneously and silently export billions of pounds of weapons to fuel conflict and repression around the world.
CAAT is working to demand an end to this deadly partnership which allows BAE Systems to gloss over the human rights abuses they facilitate and to present themselves as a legitimate business.
We urge all organisations in Scotland who work on environmental or militarism issues or who partner with KSB to sign the following letter to Keep Scotland Beautiful’s CEO Barry Fisher to bring about an end to this partnership.
Email [email protected] to add your organisation to the list, if you are an individual wishing to take action you can do so via this link.
Dear Mr Fisher and Trustees of Keep Scotland Beautiful,
We are writing to express our opposition to the corporate sponsorship partnership between Keep Scotland Beautiful and BAE Systems. We uphold that the activities of BAE Systems, as a weapons manufacturer, are at odds with the goals of any charity which champions Climate Justice, the Sustainable Development Goals and Just Transition.
Whilst corporate partnerships and private sector funding are commonplace in the third sector, it is essential that ethical rules are upheld around this and that boundaries are set – there is no justification for an environmental charity to accept funding from the arms industry, and industry that is set to profit from increased environmental chaos. In doing so, we believe Keep Scotland Beautiful to be facilitating the ‘greenwashing’ of BAE Systems and undermining your own organisational aims as an environmental campaigning charity.
It is extremely regrettable to see Keep Scotland Beautiful accepting funding from BAE Systems in light of their sale of Typhoon and Tornado aircraft and other weapons to some countries, which have been central to one side of the war in Yemen. This war has not only seen thousands of civilians killed, but also displaced millions and contributed to one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. As organisations who partner with or share the environmental goals of Keep Scotland Beautiful, we the undersign condemn this funding agreement and ask that you take the following steps to better reflect the values of the environmental movement and to improve organisational practice:
1. Keep Scotland Beautiful should agree to take no further funding from BAE Systems or any other organisation within the weapons manufacturing sector;
2. Keep Scotland Beautiful should review their corporate funding and ethics policy with the support of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Chartered Insititute of Fundraising. To support best practice, this review should involve consultation with all staff within Keep Scotland Beautiful;
3. Keep Scotland Beautiful should make their fundraising policy publically available so that they may be held accountable by the public and partner organisations.
We urge you to review your organisational policies in relation to the Just Transition Commission’s recommendations and the Scottish Government’s own commitments to Environmental and Social Justice. As a significant partner organisation in delivering on many Scottish Government environmental and social strategies, Keep Scotland Beautiful must be funded through appropriate channels which do not themselves undermine these strategies. Failure to do so risks damage to the reputation of both Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Scottish Government.
It is not possible to achieve a ‘clean, green and sustainable Scotland’ on the basis of funding procured from BAE Systems, an organisation deepening global inequalities and profiting from unsustainable, dirty and inhumane activities.
We urge Keep Scotland Beautiful to avoid collaboration with companies whose core business exacerbates conflict, the climate crisis and contributes to the destruction of life. As partner individuals, groups and organisations within the movement towards a Sustainable, Net-Zero and Just Scotland we hope that you will consider our recommended actions for the benefit of our collective movement.