Guest essay by Eric Worrall
If climate action is such a pressing priority, why do liberal companies run by vocal activist CEOs allegedly feel the need to fake it?
Climate change: Top companies exaggerating their progress – study
By Georgina Rannard
Many of the world’s biggest companies are failing to meet their own targets on tackling climate change, according to a study of 25 corporations.
They also routinely exaggerate or misreport their progress, the New Climate Institute report says.
Google, Amazon, Ikea, Apple and Nestle are among those failing to change quickly enough, the study alleges.
Corporations are under pressure to cut their environmental impact as more consumers want green products.
Some of the companies told BBC News they disagreed with some of the methods used in the report and said they were committed to taking action to curb climate change.
Study author Thomas Day told BBC News his team originally wanted to discover good practices in the corporate world, but they were “frankly surprised and disappointed at the overall integrity of the companies’ claims”.
Amazon said in its statement: “We set these ambitious targets because we know that climate change is a serious problem, and action is needed now more than ever. As part of our goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, Amazon is on a path to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.”
The way that businesses talk about their climate pledges is also a big problem, the study says. There is a large gap between what companies say and the reality, Mr Day says – and consumers are likely to find it difficult to determine the truth.
“Companies’ ambitious-sounding headline claims all too often lack real substance,” he explains. “Even companies that are doing relatively well exaggerate their actions.“
…Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-60248830
More information about the study is available here.
What a shocker – all these big companies, like Apple, Google, and Amazon, which spend so much effort conducting holier than thou exercises, shouting down opponents, in some cases censoring climate skeptics and conservatives, yet if this report is correct they are mostly a bunch of greedy hypocrites. For shame.
What do you expect? Loudmouths make large claims because that is the de rigeur zeitgeist. In practice, changing is difficult, if not impossible.
Consider an airline. Planes need energy to fly, and the only way that they can get sufficient energy and fly a plane load of passengers is to use jet fuel. The airline companies can turn down the lights and shut the VIP lounges (until their top brass passengers object to losing out) as much as they like but the energy saved in comparison to that used by their planes is just a “hill of beans”.
Same applies to most large companies, think banks. Close branches and if you are a retail bank your customers have gone to one of the other retail banks. In Australia we have a saying “Go woke, go broke”
So they shout loud and do almost nothing. Let the other suckers do what we say, not what we do.
Net zero is a fiction. What do you expect companies to do when you ask them to hold themselves to a fictitious goal. If you want real improvement set real goals. The whole business is absurd.
“As part of our goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, Amazon is on a path to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.”
I don’t think so. They do not have enough storage, if any, to power a 24/7/365 server farm with interruptible renewable supplies. So they are overgenerating when the renewables are available, using the grid (with all of that nasty fossil and nuclear fuel) when they are not.
They aren’t using electric vehicles where I live. One or two large gas vehicles drive down my street delivering a package or two every day. I think as soon as you order something they dispatch a large truck with your item.
All the Amazon stuff round here arrives by diesel or petrol powered vehicle. I suspect that they also use self employed private contractors.
What makes you think these are “liberal companies”? All of them are agressively anti-union and will take and sell your personal data for a profit at the drop of a coin. They companies listed are right wing multinationals run by some of the richest billionaires in the world and behave exactly how you would predict them to act assuming they followed a neo-liberal economic agenda.
Agree with you fully. But the companies want you to think that they are liberal, and will project liberalness. Just don’t look behind the curtain.
There is no such thing as “neo-liberal agenda”, mr. Ignoramus. Neo-liberalism is a label invented by socialists, for whom everything that is not pure marxism-leninism is ” neo-liberalism” or “far right”.
And all these companies are surely “liberal” using your jargon, that means they are socialists. Not of Stalin-Mao’s but rather of Mussolini’s style. They are not real capitalistic enterprises but “governmentalities”, semi-private and semi-independent government’s extentions.
What your comment highlights is the need to carefully define terms and give concrete examples of the main tenets and practices of each group. We often hear terms like classic liberal, neo-liberal, socialist, Marxist, neo-Marxist, right winger and far right without a clarification of exactly what their views are and why they are flawed. We need to examine the principles of conduct of each group and make an informed judgement. If we do not have categories of good and evil and why then any discussion is meaningless. This also applies in the whole climate discourse that clarity is needed for the terms used and hyperbole avoided.
Fascism is a great example. Fascim is not at heart about race, that’s the Nazi branch of fascism. But others believe racism is the motivating force of fascism. Some are duped into believing fascism is a form of capitalism. It’s decidedly not.
As I have said before, the Nazi Party was the National Socialists Workers Party of Germany. It was a triumph of the Left after WW2 when they deliberately labelled them as a party of the Far-Right, simply to detract away from the word Socialists in the original title!!!
Let’s see if I can take a stab at this:
Marxist – socialist with the guns
neo-Marxist – a Marxist to blame all the bad stuff of Marxism on
socialist – someone who wants you to work so they can have stuff
neo-liberal – a socialist
classic liberal – someone who thinks anyone should be able to work for what they want and keep the fruits of their labors
right winger – anyone who isn’t a socialist by any name
far right – the boogyman socialist warn their kids about
The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be consistent definitions across many different sources.
I agree that carefully defined terms would help the conversation, but perhaps the solution is to identify the issue and then identify the policy prescription for dealing with said issue. Compare the various solutions to determine who we agree with and can work with on an issue by issue basis
The terms are used to fit the perspectives of the users, viz –
The Guardian et al refer to everyone on the left spectrum as “progressives”, while to them everyone right of center is “fat right”.
Right of center media in my observation tend to not label subjects as “far left” unless they’re writing about Antifa or Bernie Sanders et al.
In a well written essay or article, the writer will either give the reader enough information to work out how the terms are to be understood or clarify then by including a definition. In the case of climate, I would recommend doing both.
A dictionary is not always helpful. I like to compare The Oxford English Reference Dictionary (1995) with the online Oxford (2022) to see the changes but the dictionary entries do not necessarily give the meaning the writer has in mind. The actual context of the words are crucial. A carefully written piece guides the reader but a sloppy piece confuses. There is a third category, namely well written pure propaganda, that is disingenuous or deliberately dishonest language to fool the gullible.
I’m with you, Michael, all those stamps have lost their meaning (if some of them had any).
Yes, we need to examine the principles of conduct when evaluating a social force; as we need to examine the scientific principles when we hear climate crisis or emergency claims.
And we need to refrain from stamping one of those words (as “negationist”, etc.) before actually examining the principles manifested in the real actions and the proposed theories.
I grew up in the 70s in the UK. Because the unions had so much power (particularly in the automotive industry) they helped to ruin the UK economy. If you want a successful and competitive company, you need to ignore the ridiculous demands of the work-shy union members. Socialism has never worked, ever.
Sir, you confuse socialism with trade unionism. The two are entirely different.
And neither has ever worked.
Nah, they’re not. All union zealots are socialists. Unionism is based around socialism: unions stop companies making money and socialism stops anyone making any money.
What does liberal mean to you? In the US, it’s a code word for progressive. It stands for globalism, elitism, fascist economics and governance. (Fascism does not equal National Socialism, btw.) It means the good life for the chosen, scraps for everyone else.
Don’t confuse the contemporary use of liberal with the traditional meaning of the word.
How about a liberal company is one that doesn’t force employees to urinate in bottles?
I think liberal means something else where you come from.
A poor choice of an example to make a point Izaak
Heavy machinery & transport operators in Australia can be required to submit to random alcohol / drug testing under the workplace safety regulations.
Employers can be held responsible for NOT carrying out appropriate levels of testing.
On the other hand, if you believe their boss, Amazon a solidly progressive company. Especially considering their choice of politicians to support.
I guess that Izaak believes that unless you score 100 in all areas, you can’t be a progressive.
Pretty typical purity test, MarkW. Been seeing more of them lately.
That’s what generally happens as a movement begins to fall apart.
Instead of blaming the philosophy, the adherents start blaming each other for failing to be “pure” enough.
Everyone with half a brain is aggressively “anti-union”.
Once again, the claim that anyone with money is a right wing capitalist.
Forget who they support, forget who they do. If they are rich they must be right wing.
Izaak, you poor ignorant fool. Just because a company behaves in ways you don’t like that doesn’t make it right wing. These companies spout liberal gibberish and Amazon’s AWS shut down conservative web sites. You’re such an a$$.
As progressives get more extreme, the penalties for being less than perfect in your progressivism gets more extreme as well.
Being completely wrong, is a good point?
Every day the BBC sends cars from London to Media City and vice versa, ferrying their guests around
Let he who is without sin….
Every day the BBC purchases thousands of copies of The Guardian for its staff, thus artificially keeping that vile paper afloat.
Your tax money at work.
Yes fretslider and in addition the BBC preferentially uses The Guardian to advertise for recruits. This in itself augments their left wing bias.
For them wot don’t know …
Media City is in Manchester ~ 200 miles from London; takes 3.5 to 4 hrs by car (via M1 & M6).
Quickest is by train (but then you’d have to mix with all those dreadful plebs)
3.5 -4 hours to go 200 miles?
Motorways in the UK can be fairly slow, especially near the big conurbations.
Especially in the rush times which may be 0730-0930; and (much) more around London’s orbital motorway, the notorious M25.
‘Can be’ – sometimes traffic flows well.
Sometimes not, too.
As one young green once told me, the reason they don’t want to build more roads, is because if they do, people will just use them.
A business will be careful about other peoples’ mpney (shareholders etc) because of potential lawsuits. They will have sensible people looking at global warming and making sensible business decisions. They will realise that the share price may be marginally affected by greenwash issues and the chairman may suffer à noisy AGM. So there’ll be an element of sop giving. No more than that.
It’s my belief these green initiatives are a violation of the companys’ fiduciary responsibilities. How about a shareholder lawsuit?
I don’t think so. Managers are hired, as any other workers, to do their job the best they can and know according to the state of the art of their trade. Showing virtue is propaganda, and propaganda is an expenditure that can reward its cost, or not — in this case, it would be a manageral mistake and produce a reduction of profits. Shareholders are free to desinvest and go on investing in other ventures: it’s their choice and risk. A good manager should be clear about his strategy for the enterprise, so that shareholders can make informed choices. If they do not infringe the law, why should they fear lawsuits?
“NewClimate Institute raises ambition for action against climate change and supports sustainable and climate-resilient development through research and analysis”
All these people employed to raise ambition for action on a non existent problem:
What a sad waste of talent and time.
I started clicking on each individual to read their job descriptions. They produce nothing of any worth – if all of them stopped working right now the world would be no different. Their jobs are complete non-jobs.
I see what you mean. One of them “has experience in the finance and energy industry with a focus on de-risking renewable energy investments”. De-risking investments? Is that that eco-warrior speak for “milking taxpayers for every penny in subsidies that you can wring out of the government”?
If it involves eco-guff you know it always involves milking the tax payer (us)
Well this one is absolutely indispensable by any criteria –
holds a B.A. in sociology and media studies and a M.A. in marketing communications
I mean, how could humanity possibly survive the coming climate armageddon without the leadership & selfless courage of someone with this depth of knowledge of what makes the world function?
And he has a man-bun.
I am sure this is correct, but its not just companies – almost all countries are similarly not making the reductions they have been talking about for the last decade or more.
Today there are two stories in the UK Telegraph (unfortunately behind a paywall) which show the futility of these endless conferences and the promises that are expressed at them.
The first is that cabinet objections to Net Zero have become vocal and explicit.
You notice how its being worded? The objection is always in some way specific and temporary, and there is always the simultaneous endorsement of the Net Zero agenda and its importance. It is St Augustine, Lord make me good. But not yet. In this case its the skepticism and downright disbelief that dare not speak its name.
Notice also that its an objection to policy, and a very specific one. Its not wholesale disbelief of the underlying climate hysteria which prompted the Net Zero proposals. Expect more of this as the whole thing unravels. No-one in public positions is going to doubt what they call ‘the science’ of climate change and global warming. But they are going to ‘temporarily’ slow down on the policies and do things that amount to reversing them.
This tells you that the most important form of opposition, the one that will actually work, is to object not to the scientific argument but to the specific policies. People will suspend or reverse them as long as this doesn’t seem to require reversing public positions on climate itself.
The second piece was about electricity use in the new Millenium.
This is going to be done by smart meters
So you see what is now being proposed, or rather, what is now being admitted and then proposed as a solution. First make everyone buy heat pumps and EVs. Then install smart meters so they cannot use or charge them ( at huge expense) during the peak periods. Then discharge the car batteries, so your car becomes for part of the time a storage unit for the grid.
Its not just that you cannot charge your car during peak periods. Its that it will be positively discharged.
Once again this is a policy that will not survive contact with electoral reality. There is a group, Net Zero Watch, headed by Steve Baker, which will make sure the craziness and its consequences are well publicized. Baker was instrumental in the European Research Groups which made Brexit a real thing.
The great thing about the UK’s Net Zero plans is that they are so obviously impossible and so obviously electoral suicide that there’s a good chance they will hit the buffers with an almighty explosion and put a stop to the whole stupidity.
Raises good points!
“The highest virtue will be obtained, not by doing the right thing, but by saying the right thing and doing otherwise. In so doing we demonstrate our power, our superiority over those who obey.”
For a moment I was trying to remember which page of “Atlas Shrugged” that came from. Very appropriate for our times.
How about Thucydides?
“To fit with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; “
Which describes well how a violent riot that killed police officers became “legitimate public discourse”
I don’t believe any of the Antifa or BLM riots killed any police officers.
Can’t be talking about the Capital Hill uprising because no police officers were killed there. Not that Izaak has ever been careful about his facts.
Jit, I can’t find that anywhere. Any chance you could provide the source?
Hypocrisy breeds hypocrisy.
Unilever and Nestle are liberal companies now? How does that work?
The companies I singled out for attention are Apple, Google and Amazon.
griff, what does liberal mean to you? It means different things to different people. In the US, it means one thing, in the UK it means another. In the US, liberal is nothing like a classical liberal.
Companies don’t employ PR experts out of charity
Should be labelled VS instead of PR.
Big companies don’t want bad press.
They also don’t want government red tape.
Anything to keep business turning over and attracting workers that help the same.
Some businesses have dug themselves a hole by following stakeholder capitalism instead of focussing on shareholders. Worth reading up on the pit falls ahead when trying to please infinite goals.
I’m interested in the specific claims of these corporations as to how they know what “Climate Change” is concretely comprised of in the way of ‘observations’ and other empirical measurements, ie what are their official references to the specific scientific reports on which their boards of management rely for their policy decisions and their associated [costly] programs. They cannot afford to specify their “scientific authorities” which officially inform their decision-making, because they know any such “authority” would be intellectually shredded within days, if not within mere hours. So, they are scamming their shareholders, repudiating their [fake] “fiduciary” obligations, and compounding the wholesale lying of Academia’s “Business Ethics” industry. Are so many “Captains of Big Business” mere highly-paid lying scoundrels?
“Are so many “Captains of Big Business” mere highly-paid lying scoundrels?”
Along with most of our elected representatives (who don’t / won’t represent us)
“So, they are scamming their shareholders,”
Yes, they are.
The shareholders should demand that the CEO show why company money should be spend on reining in CO2. The CEO claims there is a good reason, but he has never demonstrated that CO2 needs reining in, or that the company needs to spend money on it.
The CEO has no evidence to base his climate change positions on. He is parroting others who claim to have the facts, but the CEO is just taking their word for it. What if the others are dishonest, or seriously misinformed, and there is no CO2 crisis?
Shareholders should expect their CEO to answer these questions in detail. The CEO must validate the science by providing evidence for what is claimed. Otherwise, money should not be spent on climate change projects.
Corporations are getting ready to waste a lot of money trying to rein in CO2. Shareholders should be sure of the science before they commit money. They don’t have that luxury right now, because, no matter what you hear, the science is not settled. Not even close. But your CEO says it is. Make him prove it. Or lose your money.
Rubbish. People want decent quality products that are good value for money. apart from a couple of eco-zealots, no one cares about the green silliness.
Those eco-zealots are very vocal and aggressive, whereas normal people aren’t equally motivated to oppose the green silliness.
Yes. And they are teaching your children to (not) thinking and become eco-zealots; which will increase the proportion of the eco-zealots: 20 years ago, they were a ridicule bunch of clowns; now, they are much more (see for instance in the USA the cases where old style Democrat representatives and senators were replaced by their zealot party comrades; and you can mutatis mutandis make the same analysis in almost any other country).
(Andy, jeffery: this comment applies to what both of you have written)
Well, Amazon have only got a few years left to make sure all their trucks are electric. Chortle!
“Corporations are under pressure to cut their environmental impact as more consumers want green products.
I don’t know a single person who’ll prefer a green product unless it’s the same quality AND cheaper. In the forestry world we have FSC certification and you can get FSC certified wood products but they’re more expensive. Who is going to pay more for a 2X4 that costs more just because it’s FSC certified? nobody
Unfortunately, “they” were successful in the “organic” fruit and vegetable scam. I went to grab some oranges in the market yesterday and my wife warned me “Those are organic”; sure enough they were priced 50% higher than the regular fruit a few bins down.
I’m only a mechanical engineer, but maybe someone trained in Chemistry can explain how any orange (or orange leaf or orange tree) is NOT organic.
In many cases, in addition to being more expensive, organic is of lower quality as well.
The minority of consumers who do want green products are yelling the loudest. They are well-organized bullies and are typically well-to-do. People who want affordable products have no voice. They simply aren’t organized,
If you fell for the climate scam, you will likely fall for the fake climate “response” market strategy. Advertising works.
C’mon man! You really expect people to do what they say? You expect people to be sincere and honest? Next thing you know, you will expect politicians to do everything they said they were going to do when they were campaigning.
Some of these companies just want to stop the bullying. Others are faced with activist shareholders who want to push a green agenda. There is little organized opposition to the activists.
The image projected is all marketing.
The sole purpose of any corporation or business is to:
A) Help save the planet
B) Help poor people
C) Help workers
D) Ensure the longevity and financial well-being of said corporation or business
If you picked D: Ding-ding-ding! You win. Those other things all cost money, and fall in the PR category. How much of your profits do you want to squander on PR? Note that “help workers” isn’t the same as investing in them, with the goal of keeping your good ones, and with as little turnover as possible. Another thing about PR is that talk costs nothing. It is action which costs. Thus, talk a lot, do little.
One hundred years ago, the National Socialism in Germany started along the lines of extreme intolerance.
Today, the Colorado State University has 17 institutions to help you with a shock of hearing a free speech.
Liberals turn out to be greedy hypocrites.
Same song, different verse.
Indeed, there’s way too much hypocrisy and greed surrounding the support of the false, so-called “climate change” narrative.
Google-‘carbon neutral since 2007’. What sanctimonious BS! As if we cared anyway.
Strange… where are the censors? Holydays?… Profilactic isolation at home?…