Toyota, with its Prius hybrid, had been dominating the Best Global Green Brands ranking, until this year when Ford overthrew the Japanese carmaker as the greenest brand in the world. The Best Global Green Brands ranking -- conducted with Deloitte Consulting and published by firm Interbrand-- measures consumer perceptions in markets around the world, complemented by data on how companies operate internally and report their environmental behavior.
Interbrand chief executive Jez Frampton remarked that failed to defend its crown on the 2014 survey mostly due to corporate reasons – like that the Japanese carmaker was not as transparent as in previous years past on non-product issues as water usage, greenhouse gas and business travel.
On the other hand, Ford was able to build up its green reputation partly by communicating better on the environmental activities of its supply chain, Frampton remarked. He told Automotive News in an interview that businesses have realized that green perceptions matter to consumers.
He noted that companies could provide opportunities to consumers to do right by the planet. The survey also includes other companies, but carmakers secured four top spots in the survey. The other auto brands were Honda and Nissan.
Nissan improved from fifth in 2013 to fourth this year, thanks to its effort to sell the all-electric Nissan Leaf in multiple world markets, which has made consumers perceive it as a green brand.
Roel de Vries, Nissan’s global head of marketing, communication and brand strategy, remarked that the brand’s improved performance in the survey partly reflects the growing global awareness of the Leaf.
He noted to Automotive News that Nissan was not even in the top 10 of the survey two years ago. He remarked that he expects Nissan to continue to surge in the ranking.
De Vries noted that the survey provides a service to companies in highlighting the gap between their efforts and the reception of the consumers.
The Best Global Green Brands ranking shows that Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan are doing a better effort in being green than what consumers perceives. On the other hand, brands like Apple, General Electric and IKEA are more perceived as green than what they are really doing.