Interbrand, the world's largest brand consultancy, recently released their Best Global Green Brands 2012. With performance data from Deloitte, the firm selected 50 brands that have a combination of strong market perception and actual environmental performance.
Interbrand chose nominees for the Best Global Green Brands from its annual Best Global Brands report, which ranks 100 of the world's most valuable brands. The firm then calculated each company's overall green score based on its perception and performance scores.
The perception score is based on a survey of 10,000 consumers in 10 economies, which evaluated brands for authenticity, relevance, consistency, differentiation, understanding, and presence. The performance score, which Deloitte determined, was based on the company's governance, operations, transportation and logistics, stakeholder engagement, supply chain, and products and services.
Interbrand then ranked the top 50 companies by their overall green score, which was weighted based on the brand's scores in previous years. The following are their top 25 picks for best global green brands. (See the remaining 25 at Interbrand's website.)
Interestingly, Interbrand also listed each company's difference between their performance and perception scores. The firm claims that a positive score means that the company is doing more for the environment than it's given credit for, while a negative score means that the brand is being given more credit than it truly deserves. For instance, Toyota had a slightly negative score of -2.56, while Johnson & Johnson has a positive 3.89.
In my opinion, this is an extremely important metric, because it shows that people may incorrectly correlate how dependable, trust-worthy, and forward-thinking a brand is with its sustainability efforts.
For example, Apple certainly has one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It was ranked 8th in Interbrand's Top Ten Global Brands in 2011. The company is known for its user-friendly, sleek products and forward-thinking innovations.
According to Interbrand, Apple is the 13th greenest global brand. However, as I mention in a previous article, Apple ranked much lower in Newsweek's global green rankings, coming in in 117th place. While Apple has certainly made efforts in sustainability, such as removing some toxic substances from its products, it has received criticism for its lack of concrete goals for emissions reduction and poor treatment of employees in its international factories. Therefore, Interbrand's study seems to show that Apple's powerful branding makes it seem much more "green" than it truly is.