Green trees - environmental considerations

If you had to guess the world’s 50 greenest brands, which would you pick?

I’d probably put GE and Starbucks in the top five or 10. GE’s ecomagination initiative has been around for years, and Starbucks’ environmental stewardship is a core pillar of its public image. After doing a quick poll of agency co-workers, there was a similar sentiment with GE, Starbucks and Toyota topping the list. Were we correct?

Interbrand just released a new study ranking the world’s 50 greenest brands, taking into account both perception and performance. This ensures the companies on the list aren’t just using green initiatives as a way to improve their public image, but are actually making money from them.

While all three companies did indeed make the list, GE and Starbucks came out further down than expected at 24 and 42 respectively. Toyota, on the other hand, ranked first on the list. This is due to the financial success of its hybrid-electric Prius, its partnership on the all-electric Tesla, as well as the large strides it’s made since 1992 reducing energy use, water consumption, waste, and toxic emissions. 3M, Siemens, Johnson & Johnson, and HP claimed the other top five slots. CNET’s Candice Lombardi provides some more insight on how those companies ranked so high.

The survey also revealed a few companies, including HSBC, L’Oreal, and Nokia, that rank highly in sustainability practices, but don’t do such a great job at marketing their efforts. On the flip side, brands including McDonald’s, GE, and Coca-Cola, all scored a lot higher in perception than actual performance.

According to CNET, Interbrand surveyed 10,000 consumers from the world’s top 10 leading consumer markets on brand perception: U.S., Japan, China, Germany, France, U.K., Italy, Brazil, Spain, and India. The scoring system was developed in conjunction with Deloitte, and used combined metrics that measured both brand perception, as well sustainability and supply chain statistics from Thomson Reuter’s Asset4 report, which includes sustainability data on over 3,000 companies.

You can read more about the methodology behind the survey here (website deprecated). Are the companies you expected listed?


This post was first published by Juliana Allen on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.