Automakers Score Big in Global Green Brands Rating

by Jon LeSage

Toy­ota repeat­ed its Num­ber One spot in the Best Glob­al Green Brands 2013 report as the top 10 was dom­i­nat­ed by automak­ers and tech com­pa­nies (which calls up the buzz­word “con­nec­tiv­i­ty”).

In order, the next nine were Ford, Hon­da, Pana­son­ic, Nis­san, John­son & John­son, Volk­swa­gen, Danone, Nokia, and Dell – so automak­ers had five of the Top 10. BMW fin­ished at Num­ber 13, Mer­cedes-Benz at Num­ber 17, Hyundai at 34, and Kia at 37. Nis­san and Ford were giv­en nods as the year’s top ris­ers, and Kia was rec­og­nized for being a new entrant to the list.

The third annu­al study digs into the rank­ings com­pa­nies get for envi­ron­men­tal per­cep­tion among con­sumer and com­pares it to those com­pa­nies’ actu­al envi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance. Inter­brand con­duct­ed exten­sive con­sumer research to cap­ture pub­lic per­cep­tion of the brand’s sus­tain­able or green prac­tices and com­pared that to envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­i­ty per­for­mance data pro­vid­ed by Deloitte – data that is based upon pub­licly avail­able infor­ma­tion.

More than 10,000 con­sumers were sur­veyed in the 10 largest nation­al economies around the world (based on GDP). One hun­dred glob­al brands were test­ed in the study to make the Top 50 rat­ing. Inter­brand sur­veyed con­sumers on the per­cep­tion-side of the sur­vey. For each brand, 100 peo­ple aware of that brand in each coun­try were asked to assess six fac­tors – authen­tic­i­ty, rel­e­vance, con­sis­ten­cy, pres­ence, dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, and their under­stand­ing of envi­ron­men­tal claims.

Deloitte’s per­for­mance-side assess­ments in the sur­vey looked at six pil­lars: gov­er­nance, stake­hold­er engage­ment, oper­a­tions, sup­ply chain, trans­porta­tion and logis­tics, and prod­ucts and ser­vices.

The high­est rank­ing com­pa­nies on the list had the small­est gap between per­cep­tion and per­for­mance. The find­ings show not just a bal­ance between per­cep­tion and per­for­mance, but actu­al­ly doing well on both fronts, accord­ing to Will Sarni, a direc­tor at Deloitte. These com­pa­nies are per­form­ing in ways that can be mea­sured, along with stake­hold­ers in the mar­ket­place acknowl­edg­ing pos­i­tive results.

Automak­ers were praised for their com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­i­ty – the report acknowl­edges their com­mit­ment to elec­tric vehi­cles, pro­duc­ing clean­er vehi­cles, and influ­enc­ing con­sumers to make more respon­si­ble choic­es. Toy­ota was acknowl­edged for tak­ing strides for­ward with the Prius brand, and Nis­san was giv­en cred­it for the Leaf. Volk­swa­gen and Mer­cedes were rec­og­nized for engi­neer­ing vehi­cles that reduce emis­sions with lighter mate­ri­als and new tech­nolo­gies. Ford was praised for doing a mas­ter­ful job in com­mu­ni­cat­ing and gain­ing a pre­mi­um for brand­ing its effi­cient tur­bo-charged, direct injec­tion Eco­Boost.

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