Published June 29, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
In order of succession, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW are the automotive world's top four most eco-friendly brands. This is the result of the global sustainability ranking Best Global Green Brands 2012.
As mentioned previously, Toyota retained the number one position in the second annual Best Global Green Brands report, published by international brand consultancy Interbrand this week.
Among the front-running brands, Volkswagen climbed from sixth to fourth place, making it the most environmentally compatible German automaker as well as Germany's “greenest” company. Honda climbed four places, claiming the third spot.
Eight automotive manufacturers in the top 50 list are Toyota (1), Honda (3), Volkswagen (4), BMW (10), Ford (15), Mercedes-Benz (16), Hyundai (17) and Nissan (21).
According to Interbrand, the automotive brands’ investment in developing and marketing fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles is paying off in terms of both performance and perception.
The rankings of the Interbrand consultancy, which also publishes the renowned Best Global Brands Report, have appeared annually since 2011. Interbrand analyses the efforts of leading brands in the fields of environmental protection and sustainability as well as the perception of “green” activities by a total of more than 10,000 consumers in the world's 10 major industrialized countries.
According to Volkswagen, in comparison with some of its competitors, Volkswagen also has the edge in reality. The study shows that the brand is already greener than consumers' perceptions on the basis of specific performance data. Interbrand explains the improved result of Volkswagen by stating that the brand is oriented towards the ‘ambitious’ Group goal of becoming the world's most sustainable automobile company by 2018. The study states that this goal is being ‘constantly substantiated’ and has "measurable proof points."
Nissan appeared in this year’s Best Global Green Brands report for the first time. Nissan is making ambitious moves to reduce its carbon footprint worldwide with a new six-year environmental action plan called the Nissan Green Program. From the development of a new easier-to-install EV quick charger to pilot programs aimed at making cities EV ready, Nissan has set the stage for continued success in a world that looks poised to embrace zero emission mobility – and this is reflected in a high perception score.
Ford is listed by Interbrand as one of the top risers. This year, the brand saw significant improvement in its environmental performance around both its operations (emissions, resource industry, etc), as well as its approach to transparent engagement and disclosure on its activities and its environmental impact. While the brand ranks 15th overall, Ford’s ability to maintain strong green perceptions while simultaneously improving its environmental performance serves as a great example to other global brands.