Open Letter to Rivian

Today we sent this letter to Rivian urging them to ensure that the Sterrebos will be preserved. Please share widely! 

Dear Mr. Scaringe,

For some time now negotiations have been taking place between Rivian and VDL Group about starting an assembly line at the VDL Nedcar factory in Born, the Netherlands.
We, activists of Red het Sterrebos, are following these developments with great interest.

VDL Nedcar wants to expand in order to produce cars for Rivian. An expansion that will lead to the destruction of the old Sterrebos. A forest that is of enormous ecological value for this region, and is home to many (protected) species and of which we only have a few left in the Netherlands.
VDL is only allowed to cut the forest if they have a deal with Rivian. Rivian can therefore draw back from the negotiations or include the preservation of this forest in their partnership, eg. by looking into alternatives.

Rivian’s website looks promising. Rivian cares for people and the environment, attaches great value to Earth and Nature and has even ‘formed a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to combat climate change and biodiversity loss’.
It would therefore be a complete lack of credibility if a 200-year-old forest were to be cut down for this partnership between Rivian and VDL Nedcar.

In the surrounding communities (and the rest of the Netherlands) there is much resistance against this expansion. Our petition for the preservation of the Sterrebos has been signed 1,865 times and we also receive many reactions via social media in which people share their feelings of discontent about these expansion plans. Local environmental groups are currently trying to halt the plans to destroy the forest through legal procedures.
In these times of climate change, it is absolutely unacceptable to destroy a forest for the expansion of a car factory.

Of course, we sincerely hope that Rivian’s environmental commitment is not just a slick marketing strategy and that Rivian truly stands for what it claims on its website.

Therefore, we ask you to: 

Withdraw from all negotiations with VDL Nedcar unless they guarantee the preservation of the entire Sterrebos forest – and announce this publicly!

We look forward to your response.

Best regards,

Red het Sterrebos

​​​​​​​PS: This email was also published today on our website and social media.