Grenfell backlash: Mercedes F1 team ends sponsorship deal with insulation firm which has Flintshire HQ
The Mercedes Formula 1 team have ended their brief partnership with a company that made some insulation used in Grenfell Tower.
A product made by Kingspan Insulation – which has a headquarters in Flintshire – was used on the outside of the tower.
Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire last week called for Sir Lewis Hamilton’s team to reconsider a sponsorship deal due to Kingspan’s link to the 2017 tragedy that killed 72 people.
The Kingspan logo appeared on Hamilton’s car as he won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the weekend.
The company – which has an insulated panels manufacturing site at Greenfield Business Park – issued a statement this morning on its “joint decision to end the Kingspan and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team partnership.”
The company said: “When Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team approached us to chair their new Sustainability Working Group, we saw a unique opportunity to bring the two together in a way that would support a sport we love, while bringing sustainability to a world stage.”
“We are deeply aware of the sensitivities raised in recent days, and so we have jointly agreed that it’s not appropriate to move forward at the current point in time.”
The statement goes on to say: “Much has been written about this over the past few days, and out of consideration for our customers and all the great people who work for us, we believe we must respond.”
“We had no role in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment. However, our Kingspan Insulation UK business is a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and fully supports the Inquiry’s important work.”
The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Kingspan today announced that they have mutually agreed to end their partnership with immediate effect. pic.twitter.com/NiQjvX5BIh
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 8, 2021
In the statement, Kingspan said there were “some important facts” it wanted to explain.
“We did not make the exterior cladding on Grenfell Tower.”
“Our K15 insulation board was misused in this unsafe and non-compliant system.”
“We did not supply or recommend K15 to Grenfell Tower. K15 made up approximately 5% of
the insulation layer of the façade system. It was substituted without our knowledge.”
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the wholly unacceptable historical conduct and emails which emerged throughout the course of the Inquiry discovery process.”
“We have sincerely apologised for these actions by a small group of employees at our Kingspan Insulation UK business. This in no way reflects Kingspan’s culture or values.” The statement says.
Grenfell United which represents bereaved families and survivors groups welcomed Mercedes’ announcement.
“Mercedes have taken a stance in their decision to disassociate themselves with Kingspan. They have shown that people can be put before profit.”
“It’s good to see a company with global reach listen to the facts and do the right thing.”
Our response to Mercedes’ announcement this morning:
“With justice still so far away, it’s these small steps that encourage us to keep fighting”.#Grenfell#JusticeForOur72 pic.twitter.com/duNI9iYpIv
— Grenfell United (@GrenfellUnited) December 8, 2021
[Photo credit: Kingspan]
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