Consumers Rank Greenest Brands in U.S.

According to the ImagePower Green Brands Survey, consumers ranked Whole Foods as one of the greenest brands in the U.S. Photo: Flickr/That Other Paper

Whether it’s clever marketing or visible environmental practices, certain companies are consistently perceived as being “greener” than others amongst global consumers.

Since 2006, the ImagePower Green Brands Survey has analyzed these consumer perceptions, and its 2010 survey is the largest to date.

The 2010 survey analyzed the perceptions of more than 9,000 people in eight countries, answering questions related to consumer care for environmental sustainability, variance in consumer preferences by country and changes in “green” consumer perceptions.

In the United States, Burt’s Bees, Whole Foods and Tom’s of Maine topped the list of brands considered most green by consumers. In the United Kingdom, The Body Shop topped the list and in Australia Toyota and Google took spots one and two. Certain companies and brands were frequent in the top ten lists, most notably IKEA and Microsoft.

The study, conducted in partnership by cohn&wolfe, Etsy Environmental Partners, Landor and Penn Schoen Berland, produced some very interesting results and trends.

Not surprising, more than 60 percent of consumers in all countries want to buy from environmentally responsible countries, expecting green companies to engage in a broad set of actions including toxic reduction, recycling and managing water.

In the U.K., consumers are largely concerned with packaging issues, with more than 95 percent of respondents believing companies use too much packaging material and 75 percent believing the government should require companies to recycle their product packaging.

Consumers in Germany readily look for green certification marks when buying products, at a rate of 65 percent, more so than in any other surveyed country.

Economic concerns were predominate in most countries, though consumers in India and Brazil found environmental concerns to be of greater concerns than economic ones. Most countries, with the exception of China, also considered the environment to be on the wrong track.

In general, most consumers want their governments to mandate label clarity on ingredients, materials and origin of food products and the recycling of product packaging.

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