Tuesday 07-07-2015 - 12:48
The NUS Awards 2015, celebrating the achievements of students' unions, is this year being sponsored by Coca-Cola Enterprises. Some public statements have been made that suggest this sponsorship is inappropriate following the National Executive Council's decision to pass a motion to support the aims of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement in August 2014.
The BDS policy is to ensure that, as far as is practical, NUS does not employ or work with companies identified as facilitating Israel's military capacity, human rights abuses or illegal settlement activity, and to actively work to cut ties with those that do. In aiming to ensure we meet this policy, NUS went to the official BDS movement to form our interpretation. The BDS movement states specifically that effective BDS campaigns are based on accurate research, and that companies, such as Coca Cola, are not priorities for the BDS movement – instead focusing on companies that play a clear and direct role in sustaining violations of international law.
Based on this interpretation from the BDS movement itself and its aim of considered research, NUS did specific research into its commercial relationships as well as their supply chains. Coca-Cola Enterprises responded to the audit that took place, and does not operate in a way that could be considered to be against the BDS policy.
We stand by this interpretation, and the interpretation of students' unions across the movement who have also passed BDS policy.
NUS prides itself on developing amicable and constructive working relationships with its partners, including Coca-Cola Enterprises. As we always do, we will ensure that constructive engagement continues with Coca-Cola on this issue.