Greener brands outperform rest

TRENDAFRiCA June 13, 2013

Brands committed to transparency and communicating with consumers continue to outperform brands that don’t. In the third annual Best Global Green Brands report from Interbrand, released 12 June 2013 globally, ironically, car brands feature in the top rankings.

The top three brands are: Toyota (1), Ford (2) and Honda (3). Nissen (5) is the fastest riser, along with Ford, Nokia (9) and UPS (32). New entrants to the rankings include Nestle (14), Kia (37), Zara (48) and Colgate (50).

Interbrand’s 2013 Best Global Green Brands report examines the gap that exists between a corporation’s environmental practices and consumers’ perceptions of those practices. When identifying the top 50 Best Global Green Brands each year, Interbrand starts with the 100 brands that make up its annual Best Global Brands report. Interbrand then conducts extensive consumer research to capture public perception of the brand’s sustainable or green practices and compares that to environmental sustainability performance data provided by Deloitte – data that is based upon publicly available information.

Key themes identified are:

  • Innovation drives dominance of automative brands in the top 10; as Toyota retains its top position. Automotive brands make up 50% of the top 10. The heavily regulated auto industry has effectively showcased its innovations and firm commitment to manufacturing vehicles in an increasingly sustainable way. Those brands that have invested in creating innovative products as evidence of sustainability goals are receiving more recognition from consumers. For example, Toyota, the Best Global Green Brand for the third consecutive year, continues to dominate the hybrid vehicle market. The company sold more than 2.9 million Prius models worldwide in 2012. Toyota is also exploring the future of mobility by building a low carbon society called Toyota Ecoful Town in Toyota City, Japan. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to using reusable metal contains for shipping and distribution, Toyota is a leading example of what can result – both in terms of performance and perception – when a company makes sustainability an integral part of its overarching business strategy.
  • Technology brands dominate the overall report; Panasonic leads the category. Twelve brands from this year’s Best Global Green Brands report hail from a sector deeply rooted in innovation: technology. Technology brands are leveraging their core competency of engineering and cultural drive for constant innovation to increase their positive impact on the environment. On the whole, the tech sector leads the way in making environmental considerations a top priority, and this has even begun to influence other sectors as well. Whether it be efforts to reduce energy use through more efficient designs, or re-imagining how products are packaged and shipped, leading tech brands are turning their flagship offerings into performance and efficiency heroes. Panasonic (4), the Japanese multinational electronics company, earned its position as the category leader by continuing to offer innovative, eco, and smart solutions to its global consumer base.
  • Sustainable fast fashion: Adidas, Nike, H&M, and ZARA are this year’s top apparel/retail brands. With the magnifying glass of social media hovering over apparel and retail brands, supply chain has graduated from a means of creating efficiency and lowering cost to a real indication of what these brands stands for. Adidas (15), Nike (31), H&M (42), and ZARA (48) are the top ranking retail/apparel brands in this year’s report. Now, more than ever before, such brands are being held responsible for the quality and safety of their factories around the world. Adidas is closely scrutinising its supply chain, Nike has become more water- and-energy efficient, H&M has signed onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety, and ZARA built an eco-friendly store in New York that features motion detectors to reduce energy consumption.

“What makes the annual Best Global Green Brands report unique and valuable is that it examines performance and perception in action,” said Jez Frampton, global chief executive officer of Interbrand. “The report provides leading brands with the insights they need to develop robust strategies – strategies that will not only drive their businesses forward, but also have a positive impact on the environment and communities in which those businesses operate.”

Doug de Villiers of Interbrand Sampson De Villiers, the African arm of Interbrand, said: “The vast majority of the Top 50  Best Global Green Brands are active in South Africa. This results in global best practice being applied locally to both environments and communities, which in turn puts pressure on local companies to respond and match their endeavours.”


Source: Interbrand Sampson De Villiers


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