Ethical Performance
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Toyota drives eco agenda

July 2013

Toyota tops this year’s Best Global Green Brands list issued by Interbrand, the New York-based international brand consultancy.

The Japanese vehicle maker leads the green table of 50 companies for the third consecutive year.
Interbrand compiles the table by assessing the public view of a company’s sustainable or green practices and comparing it with environmental sustainability data from Deloitte.

The policies that placed Toyota first included reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transporting goods in reusable metal containers. The company is now planning a low-carbon society called Toyota Ecoful Town in Toyota City, the company’s complex near Nagoya.

Interbrand, explaining its choice, said: “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.”

Half the green top ten are automotive brands. The assessors said they found the vehicle manufacturers that invest in innovative products as evidence of their sustainability commitment are receiving more recognition from consumers.
The other vehicle makers among the top ten are Ford, in second place, Honda, third, Nissan, fifth, and Volkswagen, seventh.

Nissan is the quickest riser, jumping to fifth from 21st position. In February Nissan announced it had produced 50,000 Leaf cars worldwide, making this model the all-time most widely sold electric car. It now aims to trim 15% off vehicle weight by 2017, the date by which it intends to introduce affordable fuel cell cars in partnership with Daimler and Ford.

Its green credentials include cutting vehicle weight through smarter design and material selection, using renewable and sustainable materials and switching to alternative fuels. Interbrand says Nissan has proved sustainability can lead to profitability.

Twelve technology brands are on the list. The assessors report that leading brands are “turning their flagship offerings into performance and efficiency heroes” through energy-efficient designs and environmentally acceptable packaging and shipping.

Panasonic is the highest-placed technology company, achieving fourth position by continuing to offer innovative, eco and smart solutions”.

The list contains four companies in the apparel and retail sector, which is now concentrating increasingly on supply chains. Adidas, in 15th position, is said to be closely scrutinising its supply chain; Nike, 31st, has become more water-efficient; H&M, 42nd, has endorsed the Bangladeshi accord on fire and building safety, introduced after the Rana Plaza disaster; and Zara, 48th, has built an eco-friendly New York store featuring motion detectors to cut energy consumption.

Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s global chief executive, said: “What makes the Best Global Green Brands report unique and valuable is that it examines performance and perception in action.

“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.”  

Global | Environment

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