In a neat twist, Interbrand polled consumers in ten countries about how their perception of corporate "greenness" and how that influences buying decisions. That measurement was then compared to a report by Deloitte on the actual environmental sustainability performance of the companies cited by consumers.
Toyota emerged as the greenest of the 50 brands polled. However, the Japanese automaker has a -7.4 performance-to-perception gap, meaning that it is getting more pro-environmental credit than what it deserves.
No. 45-green ranked McDonald’s (-27.96), No. 24 General Electric (-23.17) and No. 27 Coca-Cola (-19.61) showed even greater misalignments between brand performance and consumer perception. Interbrand suggests “those highly visible brands enjoy positive impact of being a well-known” corporate icons.
Meanwhile, PR teams at L’Oreal, Nokia and HSBC are missing golden opportunities to tout their greenness. They ranked as the three top companies that are doing great things on the sustainability front, but not communicating those efforts to the public. No. 15 Loral has a 22.68 gap in the performance-to-perception ratio. No. 22 Nokia scored 17.26, while No. 48 HSBC checked in at 15.86.
Interbrand’s Top Ten green brands are Toyota, 3M, Siemens, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, Volkswagen, Honda, Dell, Cisco and Panasonic.