Green Gilded Oil: How Faux sustainability by US Oil companies is undermining neo-sustainability

Adrah Parafiniuk, Zachary A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3760
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2019


  • Climate change
  • Faux sustainability
  • Green gilded
  • Greenwashing
  • Neo-sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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