A report by the New Climate Institute said that many of the world’s biggest companies exaggerate or misreport their environmental progress on tackling climate change.

The study had 25 corporations, including Google, Amazon, Ikea, Apple and Nestle that are failing to change fast enough.

Dr. Elmootazbellah Elnozahy, an award-winning computer scientist, debunked the allegations made in this report. He says that there is no common ground to assess the type of environmental progress that large corporations make.

Nestle said that the New Climate Institute’s report lacked understanding of their approach and has several major inaccuracies. Agreeing with Nestle, Dr. Elnozahy said that the technical assessments used in the report are quite challenging. And so, they cannot be completely accurate.

Head of the study, Thomas Day, said that the most problematic areas that he found were downstream or upstream emissions. These are activities that are indirectly linked to a company.

An example from the report would be Apple, that attributes 70% of its climate footprint to upstream emissions and includes the consumption of electricity by consumers using Apple phones, laptops and other products. He says that many companies failed to include these emissions in their climate plans.

Dr Elnozahy believes that it is very difficult to break such findings down to upstream or downstream. There are many factors that would influence such a study, that are simply impossible to cover.

He gives the example of two BMWs driven by two different drivers. Here, he explains that if one drives faster than the other, the upstream emission automatically increases and is not really the company’s fault.

Dr. Elnozahy believes that we should go beyond the blame game and work together to be more environmentally friendly. He suggests that a proper balance of rules between corporates and governments to stop rapid climate change.

9 thoughts on “Do Top Companies really Exaggerate their Environmental Progress?”

  1. Great point. The concepts of upstream and downstream emissions should be known to more consumers so that user behaviours can be adjusted.

  2. Very interesting article. Couldn’t agree more with the last point – the focus shouldn’t be just on blaming big corporations on their environmental impact but rather on taking action and working with them to reduce it.

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