Toyota Still Seen As Top Green Automaker

Toyota’s consistency as a green company has been confirmed by a third successive top ranking in the annual Best Global Green Brands report.

This report was published June 12 by international brand consultancy Interbrand.

Interestingly, automotive brands make up 50 percent of this year’s top ten.

The report gauges the gap between public perception of a brand’s environmental performance – its “green image” – and its actual environmental practices, using publicly available data and information.

According to the report, more than 10,000 consumers around the world have recognized Toyota not only for its commitment to sustainable environmental leadership, but also for its investment in ground-breaking products, such as the Prius, and its programs for reducing greenhouse emissions, energy consumption and water usage throughout its operations.

The Interbrand assessment comes as Toyota is in the early stages of a product launch cycle that will see 21 new or updated hybrid models brought to markets worldwide by the end of 2015.

Other automotive manufacturers to make it in the ranking are Ford (second), Honda (third), Nissan (fifth), Volkswagen (seventh), BMW (13th), Mercedes-Benz (17th), Hyundai (34th) and Kia (37th).

“What makes the annual Best Global Green Brands report unique and valuable is that it examines performance and perception in action,” said Jez Frampton, Global Chief Executive Officer of Interbrand. “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.”

Toyota, the top Best Global Green Brand for the third consecutive year, continues to dominate the hybrid vehicle market. The company sold more than 2.9 million Prius models worldwide in 2012. Toyota is also exploring the future of mobility by building a low carbon society called Toyota Ecoful Town in Toyota City, Japan. From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to using reusable metal containers for shipping and distribution, 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.

Nissan (fifth) emerged as the top riser on this year’s report. The brand moved up 16 places (from 21st) and broke into the top 10.

The report said that as with other brands in the auto sector, Nissan is becoming increasingly committed to developing and promoting its green credentials. In February, the company announced that 50,000 Leafs had been produced worldwide, making the Leaf the most widely sold electric passenger car of all time. Nissan plans to cut 15 percent of vehicle weight starting in 2017, and it has joined forces with Daimler and Ford to develop a line of affordable fuel-cell cars that will roll out in 2017. Reducing vehicle weight through smarter design and material selection, utilizing renewable and sustainable materials, and turning to alternative fuels are just a few of the ways Nissan is making significant strides in the green arena—and proving that sustainability can, in fact, lead to profitability.

The leading auto brands in this year’s report have made significant progress in regards to how their sustainability efforts are perceived by consumers worldwide. From managing to improve their stature on top sustainability reports and indexes, including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), to investing in advertising spend, these brands are not hesitant to communicate their innovative and sustainable practices to consumers worldwide.