French Electricity Giant Greens British Flag - Ecotricity Protests
Image credit: Zero Carbonista
Ecotricity and EDF Clash Over Green British Flag
While the conflict between UK wind energy suppliers Ecotricity and Good Energy continues, another battle seems about to open up on the UK utility front. Ecotricity, who have been flying a green Union Jack since CEO Dale Vince challenged Gordon Brown to step up his fight against climate change, are now finding the giant EDF electricity supplier using a strikingly similar symbol. To make matters more interesting, EDF would like to trademark the green Union Jack symbol - a move that is likely to raise eyebrows, given that EDF stands for Électricité de France, and some would say they are very far from green.
Dale Vince writes more over on his Zero Carbonista blog about the Ecotricity vs EDF trademark conflict, and hints that legal action may well follow if EDF does not desist from using the image. From what I can tell, Ecotricity does not hold copyright on the green Union Jack - although commenters on Dale's blog post suggest that there may be a legal basis for a challenge if EDF is trying to pass itself off as Ecotricity.
Meanwhile EDF seem unimpressed by Ecotricity's stance - claiming that the image is for a specific Green Britain Day that Ecotricity has been invited to take part in. In a post over at Business Green, an EDF spokesperson addresses the green Union Jack controversy:
A spokesman for EDF said that it was "disappointed" with Ecotricity's stance, suggesting that it will not comply with the company's request to stop using the green union flag.
"An annual event, Green Britain Day is designed to be a focal point to rally the nation to take action towards a more sustainable lifestyle, inspired by the important milestone of 2012 and the spirit of the Olympic movement," he said. " We are disappointed by Ecotricity's comments, particularly given our personal invitation to them to work together on the challenges of climate change, and to become part of our Team Green Britain initiative. This invitation to work together remains open."
Of course the fact that EDF is a major player in nuclear will make the use of the green Union Jack in some environmentalists eyes a little incongruous , but as Fred Pearce points out over at The Guardian, EDF also boasts of being a major player in the global coal market. Looks like they may have a way to go before they can green more than a flag.