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.