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Green Gilded Oil: How Faux Sustainability by US Oil Companies is Undermining Neo-Sustainability

Politics and International Affairs, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3760;
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Sustainability? Examining Faux Sustainability)
PDF [198 KB, uploaded 10 July 2019]


Greenwashing has been a common practice among companies since the 1980s. There are some companies that take that practice to an extraordinary level. These companies create a sustainability report, dedicate pages on their website touting their environmental stewardship, spend money on projects that make them appear “green” and at the same time spend millions of dollars lobbying the government to decrease environmental regulations and stop any plan to curtail carbon emissions. We will call these companies green gilded as they are coated in a thin layer of environmentalism as a means to deceive the public. This paper analyzes some of the largest US oil producers with an in-depth analysis of ExxonMobil and Chevron Corp. It examines the money they spend on lobbying efforts to undermine actual sustainable policy. It looks into their sustainability reports, money spent to limit their carbon footprint, and money spent on environmental stewardship. It also compares the carbon footprint of each company. It analyzes the dangers of green gilding and bilking the public. It defines and describes what a neo-sustainable approach in the oil business would look like. View Full-Text
Keywords: Neo-sustainability; faux sustainability; greenwashing; green gilded; climate change Neo-sustainability; faux sustainability; greenwashing; green gilded; climate change
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Parafiniuk, A.; Smith, Z.A. Green Gilded Oil: How Faux Sustainability by US Oil Companies is Undermining Neo-Sustainability. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3760.

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