Greenpeace have called on All Blacks and New Zealand rugby players to make a stand against a looming sponsorship deal with a petrochemical firm.
As reported by the Herald, the All Blacks are on the verge of completing a sponsorship deal to have the Ineos' name on the back of their shorts.
Greenpeace have launched a petition calling on NZ Rugby to axe the deal.
"It's appalling that in the thick of the climate crisis, our treasured national rugby teams could be branded with the logo of a company responsible for choking our oceans with plastic pollution and driving climate disasters," says Greenpeace senior campaigner, Steve Abel.
UK-based Ineos, which is majority owned by billionaire CEO James Ratcliffe, is an oil, gas and petrochemicals conglomerate, headquartered in London.
According to Greenpeace, Ineos is one of only 20 companies responsible for half of single-use plastic items thrown away globally - and a significant player in the oil and gas sector.
"As the world turns against the corporations driving climate catastrophe, NZ Rugby must not sell our soul to an English oil corporate which is cynically wanting to greenwash its image by associating with the All Blacks and our country's environmental reputation," Abel said.
Not only has Ineos supported the America's Cup, but they have also bought two major European football clubs, become lead sponsor of the Mercedes Formula One team and bought the Tour de France-winning cycling team formerly known as Team Sky.
Ineos have been criticised in the UK for supporting shale gas extraction via fracking, while some of their key production sites in the UK have received low compliance ratings.
NZR is understood to have spent the last few months digging into Ineos' business plans and motivation for investing in the All Blacks.
A deal is now imminent because Ineos have made a commitment to become carbon zero by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement and because they are also a key manufacturer of components that are vital in sustainable industries and products.
Before any deal can proceed, existing sponsor Adidas, and the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association (NZRPA) has to approve it, Greenpeace says.
"We hope that the New Zealand public and All Blacks and rugby players both present and past will stand and tell NZ Rugby no, you must not stain the silver fern in oil," Abel said.