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Ford tops 50 Best Global Green Brands list for 2014; Toyota, Honda and Nissan 2nd, 3rd and 4th

Automakers took the top four slots in the 50 Best Global Green Brands list for 2014, published by Fortune magazine in conjunction with the consulting firm Deloitte and Interbrand. Ford bumped last year’s leader, Toyota, to take the top spot. Toyota came in second, followed by Honda and Nissan. Panasonic was in fifth place.

The list was first created in 2011. This year’s nominees were drawn from Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands report, which ranks the world’s 100 most valuable brands. The 50 companies on Best Global Green Brands list were ranked in two ways: on the strength of their sustainability initiatives and on how the public perceives those efforts.

Brands on the Interbrands best brands list have a global presence and a demonstrated record of delivering value to their stakeholders. Interbrand excludes any brands that are considered distinct from their corporate parent because environmental activities are normally reported at a corporate level, while consumers are generally aware of the market-facing brand.

Deloitte then assessed each brand on 83 individual sub-metrics across six pillars:

  • Governance. Policies and mechanisms put in place by the company to manage environmental impacts and successfully set and execute environmental programs.

  • Operations. The company’s performance across operations as measured in energy efficiency, GHG emissions, water management, waste management, and toxic emissions management.

  • Transportation and Logistics. The company’s performance in measuring, reporting, and mitigating the environmental performance of their transportation and logistics, business travel, and commuting.

  • Stakeholder Engagement. The degree to which the company recognizes and engages with the various relevant stakeholder groups associated with the company.

  • Products and Services. The product portfolio of the company and an evaluation of the green attributes of its products, including product efficiency, sustainable production, and use of life cycle assessment.

  • Supply Chain. The company’s performance in measuring, reporting, and mitigating the environmental performance of their supply chain.

Data is collected from publicly available sources such as annual reports, companies’ sustainability/CSR reports, responses to CDP/WDP, and the Thomson Reuters ASSET4 database.

After Deloitte measured effectiveness, Interbrand then checked to see whether the public actually knew about all this hard work. Interbrand conducts a survey in the 10 largest global economies (based on GDP), interviewing more than 10,000 consumers. Each brand is assessed by 1,250 consumers in terms of Authenticity, Relevance, Differentiation, Consistency, Presence, and Understanding of environmental claims. These six perception pillars are equivalent to the six external brand strength components used in Interbrand’s Brand Valuation model.

The Best Global Green Brand report’s overall scores are calculated by combining the standardized performance and perception scores. A discount factor is applied in those cases where positive perceptions of the brand outweigh a company’s actual green performance. This is designed to account for the risk that brands are exposed to when their actions do not live up to public perceptions.

The final ranking is based on companies’ overall scores relative to other companies and previous years’ results. This is intended to ensure that brands are credited with prior years’ achievements and are credited with improvements to those achievements.

Interbrand also lists the gap between overall performance scores and overall perception scores (the “gap score”). A positive score indicates a brand is doing more than it is given credit for, while a negative score indicates that a brand is being given more credit than its actions merit.

Automakers on the 50 Best Global Green Brands List
2014 rank 2013 rank Brand 2014 gap score
1 2 Ford +3.2
2 1 Toyota +0.3
3 3 Honda +1.8
4 5 Nissan +6.6
13 13 BMW +5.8
16 7 Volkswagen +3.0
24 17 Mercedes-Benz +10
32 new Chevrolet -2.9
40 34 Hyundai +7.2

Looking at the gap scores, all of the automaker brands on the top 50 list are doing more than they are receiving credit for, with the exception of Chevrolet.


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