By Sydney Ghazarian, LNS Staff

On the 5 year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people, the Clean Up Kingspan campaign held a vigil in Downtown Los Angeles at a Capitol Group HQ building– one of Kingspan’s largest outside stakeholders. An ongoing UK government Inquiry revealed that for over 14 years, Kingspan’s UK insulation division misrepresented fire safety issues with Kooltherm K15, one of the products used in the Grenfell Tower. The vigil was attended by SMART members, clergy, environmentalists, and local activists.

This tragedy is not the first time the building materials manufacturing company, Kingspan, has betrayed the public’s trust. Kingspan workers in Santa Ana, CA are standing up to Kingspan and its so-called ‘green’ manufacturing processes that are polluting the indoor air and local watershed. These factory workers are organizing to demand safe working conditions, including addressing unhealthy levels of PM2.5 pollution inside the workplace that they measured in collaboration with UC Irvine pollution scientist Dr. Shahir Masri. The workers also blew the whistle on Kingspan for misrepresenting its daily operations and water pollution clean-up efforts to the CalEPA.

The Labor Network for Sustainability was proud to organize a virtual teach-in about the Kingspan factory worker’s efforts for our environmental and climate allies. Together, we gathered over 45 organizational signatures to pressure the Green Buildings Community to stop partnering with Kingspan.

At the vigil, I shared an important update; the pressure worked! The U.S. Green Buildings Council has responded by removing Kingspan from the USGBC-Live Platinum Sponsor list!

Now it’s time for Capitol Group to join them and do the right thing. We call on Capitol Group to divest from Kingspan!