Purpose Washing Policy

Citizen Yard takes a zero-tolerance stance against purpose-washing, green-washing and all other instances of using your “impact” or “purpose” simply to market and mislead stakeholders.

We define purpose-washing as a company or brand that presents itself as an organization that operates according to a higher / larger purpose, when in fact the intention surrounding its strategies, actions and motivations toward purpose are self-serving.

We consider the following criteria essential to determining the difference between purpose and purpose-washing:


  • Purpose Plan ➤ Purpose Action ➤ Purpose Story: Organizations must express a clear plan of creating impact and purpose, put that plan into action and then market their story — in that order. In other words, purpose initiatives must come from the operational center of an organization, not its marketing department.
  • An organization’s purpose must be linked to tangible goals: Purpose KPI’s must be identified, declared and measured.
  • Purpose must be led from the top and owned by all: From interns to the C Suite, every worker acknowledges and uses purpose & impact goals when making decisions. A culture of purpose is fostered internally before being expressed externally. 
  • Accountability: Employees must be empowered and allowed to hold leaders to account. This must be upheld by the organization’s operational culture.
  • Motivates action and drives decision making: Purpose & impact goals are regularly considered when making business decisions. Purpose is the why and purpose action is the how.
  • Transparency: Organizations are strongly encouraged to publish objectives, targets and KPIs to measure progress, adjust and innovate. Third-party tools and certifications hold the most weight.