Scottish Ballet confirms it has ended sponsorship deal with oil giant BP

The announcement comes as the National Portrait Gallery said its partnership with BP will end this year.

23 February 2022

Scottish Ballet has confirmed it no longer has a deal with BP due to a clash over future “green” company plans.

It joins the National Portrait Gallery, which announced the end of its partnership with the oil giant in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The two, major, art institutions are the latest in the art and culture sector to distance themselves from the global oil and gas company.

A spokesperson from Scottish Ballet said the dance company decided against renewing its sponsorship agreement with BP on January 31 as the oil and gas firm no longer “aligns with the company’s green action plan – to be carbon neutral by 2030”.

They said Scottish Ballet’s relationship with BP reached “a natural conclusion”, adding: “We sincerely acknowledge the long-term support of BP, particularly in helping the company tour to Aberdeen.”

The dance company was pressured by climate activists into cutting ties with BP during Cop26 in Glasgow in November last year.

Campaigners have been pushing the arts and culture sector to sever links to the oil and gas industry amid criticism that companies are sponsoring them to “greenwash” their reputations while failing to promise a shift to cleaner energy.

Other leading art institutions including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Tate have already ended sponsorship deals with BP following environmental campaigns launched by artists and employees.

A spokeswoman for BP confirmed the Scottish Ballet’s decision to end its deal with the oil firm at the end of January, adding: “We are proud of our partnership, sponsoring the company for nearly 10 years and latterly supporting their sustainability strategy.

“We continue to partner the British Museum and the Royal Opera House and, in Scotland, Aberdeen Gallery.”

BP had also been a partner of Tate Britain since the 1990s, but the spokeswoman said the firm ended this in 2016 following the oil price crash the previous year.

The Royal Shakespeare Company also ended its partnership with BP for their young people’s discounted tickets scheme in 2019, after eight years, she added.

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