Holding Companies Accountable: Sustainability Goals and Greenwashing

Discover the importance of sustainability goals for companies, including examples of both past failures and current successes.
We found these 'compostable' plastic cups during a recent beach cleanup in New York.

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

🌿 The Importance of Sustainability Goals for Companies

As climate change and environmental issues become increasingly prevalent, sustainability has become a key focus for businesses across the globe. Many companies have implemented sustainability goals, but not all have been successful in achieving them. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the sustainability goals that have not been achieved by companies in the past and explore some of the companies that have set valid and achievable sustainability goals.

❌ Unachieved Sustainability Goals

Some companies have set ambitious sustainability goals but have failed to achieve them due to various reasons such as lack of commitment, inadequate resources, or lack of support from stakeholders.

🌍 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most critical sustainability goals for companies. However, many companies have failed to meet their targets. For example, Walmart, one of the largest retailers in the world, set a goal to of getting 100% of it’s energy from renewables, but only reached 19% 9 years afterwards1.

🌊 Water Conservation

Water conservation is another important sustainability goal for companies. However, some companies have struggled to meet their targets. Coca-Cola, for example, set a goal to replenish all the water it uses by 2020 but missed the target, achieving only 70% of its goal2.

🌱 Achieved Sustainability Goals

While some companies have failed to achieve their sustainability goals, others have successfully implemented and achieved valid and achievable goals.

🍃 Patagonia

Patagonia is an outdoor clothing and gear company that has made significant strides in sustainability. They “work to reduce our impact, share solutions and embrace regenerative practices”, 3. Patagonia has set sustainability goals such as reducing its energy consumption, using 100% organic cotton, and reducing waste. In 2019, the company achieved its goal of using 100% renewable energy to power its operations4.


IKEA, the Swedish furniture company, has set ambitious sustainability goals such as using 100% renewable energy, becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and creating a circular business model. The company has made significant progress towards achieving its sustainability goals, with 76% of its energy coming from renewable sources and 60% of its range being made from sustainable materials5.

🌎 Paying Attention to Greenwashing

While many companies are setting sustainability goals and making progress towards achieving them, some are guilty of greenwashing. Greenwashing is a marketing tactic used by companies to make their products or services appear more environmentally friendly than they are in reality. It’s essential to pay attention to greenwashing and scrutinize a company’s sustainability claims to determine whether they are valid and backed up by action.

🌿 Conclusion

Sustainability is a vital goal for companies, but it’s not always easy to achieve. Some companies have failed to meet their sustainability goals, while others have made significant progress. It’s essential to pay attention to greenwashing and hold companies accountable for their sustainability claims. By doing so, we can encourage companies to implement valid and achievable sustainability goals that have a real impact on the environment and society.

All information is supplied without guarantee.


Why Monero?