Top companies exaggerating their green credentials

Researchers say in a report released on Monday that top companies are guilty of exaggerating their green credentials, with large corporations failing to meet their declared zero emission and carbon neutral goals.
The Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor who undertook the research also concluded that the companies’ climate pledges require more detailed evaluation, as most of the corporations tend to exaggerate or misreport their success.
European companies fared better in the research with Maersk, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom being able to remove 90% of their carbon emissions following their declared strategies, whereas large American concerns like Google and Amazon failed to adapt to their goals quickly enough.
In order to evaluate the companies’ actions, the researchers used factors such as annually disclosed emissions, breakdown of emission sources, and an understandable way to make such information public.
The study conducted in collaboration with Carbon Market Watch said only one of the company’s evaluated, had a plan that was recognised as having “reasonable integrity,” with three having “moderate” integrity. A total of 10 corporations, including Amazon, Google and Ikea, had a “low” integrity rating, and the remaining 12, including Nestle and Unilever, were evaluated as having “very low” integrity.
None of the companies researched were given a “high integrity” rating, meaning there was still need for improvement.
“We set out to uncover as many replicable good practices as possible, but we were frankly surprised and disappointed at the overall integrity of the companies’ claims,” stated lead author of the study Thomas Day in a press release, adding that even relatively successful corporations often “exaggerate their actions.”
Day went on to say that pressure on the companies to be green had resulted in them exaggerating their credentials which could be misleading for both consumers and regulators.
The Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor has concluded that the strategies set out by most companies would only lead to a 40% reduction in their emissions.
“Companies must face the reality of a changing planet. What seemed acceptable a decade ago is no longer enough… Setting vague targets will get us nowhere without real action, and can be worse than doing nothing if it misleads the public,” said Gilles Dufrasne from Carbon Market Watch, urging the companies to follow the Paris Agreements and reflect on their own actions.
With pressure on companies to maximise profits for shareholders, green credentials are being swept into the background resulting in many exaggerating their credentials.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]