Alberta company takes responsibility for explicit Greta Thunberg decal: ‘We will do better’

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An Alberta energy servicing company is taking responsibility for a decal bearing its logo beneath a sexually suggestive cartoon appearing to depict teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

X-Site Energy Services said in a statement posted to its website that it recognizes it’s not enough to apologize for the image that triggered outrage last week.

“This does not reflect the values of this company or our employees, and we deeply regret the pain we may have caused.”

The image, which appears to be a sticker or decal, shows the silhouette of a naked woman or girl from behind, with her two long braids being pulled back by hands behind her.

The word “Greta” is written across her lower back, and an “X-Site Energy Services” logo is at the bottom of the illustration.

The image resembles Thunberg, a 17-year-old activist from Sweden who drew a massive crowd when she attended a climate strike in Edmonton last fall. The teenager frequently wears her hair in two long braided pigtails.

Due to the graphic implied nature, Global News has chosen to obscure part of the image.

X-Site said it’s committed to recovering and destroying all the decals it distributed and says it hopes everyone stops republishing the image.

The company added that management takes full responsibility and organizational changes have been made to reflect this.

“Explicit images and personal attacks on anyone are unacceptable,” the unsigned statement reads.

“We are discussing a code of conduct with our employees and intend to introduce policies and actions that support a respectful workplace culture. Everyone from senior management to field contractors must observe this code.”

It also says it intends to hold sessions about respect in the workplace for all of its staff.

“We are proud of our team and the innovative services we provide the oil and gas industry. We have let our employees, our families and our customers down with this careless action but, just as we are committed to help reduce our industry’s environmental footprint, we are committed to learn from and correct our mistake.

“We will do better.”

Last week Global News spoke to Doug Sparrow, who is X-Site’s general manager. At the time, he refused to say if his company printed the sticker, and instead repeatedly responded that his company did not post the photo of the sticker online.

The image came to many people’s attention after Michelle Narang, from Rocky Mountain House, Alta., posted it to Facebook along with a message expressing her disgust and disappointment.

On Monday, Narang said she was blown away by the company’s statement.

“While I wish this had been the original response, I’m so proud of another Alberta company that has been able to decide that leadership and change was more important than pride and ego.”

Narang said she thinks this was a huge learning experience for everybody involved and is glad to see the company take a leadership role.

“They really could have approached it from a number of ways and I think they are really showing some strong leadership within the industry now. I hope that this will carry forward,” she said.

“I hope other companies will get on board with this type of leadership and policy change.”

Narang said she was also happy to see the company plans to hold sessions about respect in the workplace, saying she “couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome.”

On its website, X-Site Energy Services described itself as an oilfield and industrial-based company serving central Alberta and northern British Columbia.

BELOW: Full X-Site Energy Services statement.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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