11 common sustainability myths debunked

Sustainability myths and buzzwords debunked! How to avoid greenwashing in favor of truly sustainable practices for your business. We will show you 11 common claims that have all been debunked.

Sustainability myths and buzzwords debunked! How to avoid greenwashing in favor of truly sustainable practices for your business. We will show you 11 common claims that have all been debunked.

By Liudmila Buga


What is sustainability in simple words?

Sustainability means living one’s life and conducting business in such a way that future generations will still be able to live on earth without restrictions. The Oxford dictionary sums up the meaning of sustainability: “the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

Sustainable aviation fuel: the future of aviation?

The aviation industry is responsible for 2.1 percent of global CO2 emissions and, as a collective, has set ambitious targets to reduce emissions in order to reach the industry’s long-term goals.

But the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) movement is moving at a slow pace. By 2030, sustainably produced jet fuel will account for only 4% of the industry’s total needs. The fuel is also much more expensive than conventional options, which could negatively impact adoption for commercial flights. In any case, SAF presents an interesting opportunity for the aviation industry to be more sustainable, but is a long-term solution.

Does carbon neutrality even exist? 

The word “carbon neutrality” can now be found on every corner, whether in supermarkets, advertisements or travel. If companies really care about a climate-neutral approach, then they should actively try to reduce their climate-damaging emissions. Most of the time, however, companies only focus on CO2 offsets, which is not enough!

More than carbon offsetting companies should invest in nature-based solutions like ocean conservation. In fact, scientists estimate whales can absorb 1.7 billion tons of CO2 yearly, which is more than the aviation sector produces! To really make a difference, climate-damaging emissions must also be reduced around the world. Individual companies can try as hard as they want, but it should be a collective effort. Therefore, climate neutrality exists but as a long-term goal, which we have a very long road to achieving.

How to choose a sustainable hotel?

Booking sustainable hotels is a critical factor in mitigating the environmental impact of travel. For example, did you know that regular hotel rooms per day use an average of 500 liters of water? This is why it’s important to choose hotels that have a more sustainable use of water, using gray water to water their gardens, installing low-flush toilets and incentivizing guests to only change their towels when it’s really necessary.

Favor hotels for business travel that have eco labels and energy certifications for their use of energy efficient heating or cooling methods, use of resources and are more efficiently built. Other factors to help you recognize a sustainable hotel include hotels that have LED lights, that offer bike rentals, vegan and vegetarian dining options, avoid the use of plastic in favor of more sustainable materials, and those that include public transportation tickets in the room rate.

Is it possible to travel sustainably?

In order to address the issue of sustainability,  it’s important to consider quality rather than quantity when it comes to travel, that is to say, to travel better. Before booking and going on a trip, one should really consider whether the trip is absolutely necessary. Business trips can possibly be replaced by online meetings or different destinations can be combined to only have to fly once. 

Also, be sure to travel responsibly. That means seeking out alternative travel options such as train travel instead of flights, and choosing energy-efficient and eco-certified accommodations.

Pay special attention to sustainable suppliers and service providers. If possible, your company should work with other companies that prioritize sustainability and clearly communicate their sustainability goals. Take the time to find projects that focus on and support sustainable energy generation and nature-based solutions.

We worked with BCD’s consulting firm, Advito, to develop an infographic for you that disproves the 11 most common sustainability myths. By taking these arguments to heart, you can be one of many companies pursuing authentic sustainability goals to protect our planet.

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