Automakers Score Big in Global Green Brands Rating

Interbrand best global green brands 2013

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.