Search form

menu menu

Brussels 20km race ends its sponsorship deal with TotalEnergies

17:49 11/02/2024

The 20km of Brussels has called time on its partnership with TotalEnergies, according to several environmental and human rights organisations, reports RTBF.

In a joint press release, they said the 44th edition of the half marathon on 26 May would no longer be backed by the French energy and petroleum multinational. It has been one of the principal sponsors of the event since 2004.

The information was confirmed to Belga news agency by Carine Verstraeten, general secretary of nonprofit Syndicat d'Initiative de Bruxelles-Promotion (SIBP), which organises the sporting event.

TotalEnergies confirmed in a press release that support for the SIBP "has evolved", before mentioning the "massive" participation of the group's employees in the Brussels 20km, "a remarkable sporting event of European dimension".

In 2023, 38,600 runners representing 140 nationalities participated in the Brussels 20km, raising €2.3m for charity.

To compensate for the departure of the main sponsor, the organiser is forming a new partnership with the company Pluxee (formerly Sodexho), according to Le Soir newspaper.

TotalEnergies had been criticised by NGOs Greenpeace, Totalement Down, European Grandparents for the Climate and Amnesty International for using the 20km to “restore its image”.

“By associating itself with such events, TotalEnergies wants us to forget its oil and gas activities, which destroy biodiversity and contribute massively to the climate crisis,” said Nadia Cornejo, spokesperson for Greenpeace Belgium.

 “This is excellent news for the thousands of people who participate in this sporting event,” commented Adélaïde Charlier for Totalement Down. “In 2024, for the first time, this sports festival will no longer be polluted by greenwashing.”

In their joint press release, the NGOs said they hoped other cultural and sporting events would take similar action. They cited the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition, which is still sponsored by TotalEnergies.

Photo: Courtesy 20km of Brussels

Written by The Bulletin