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The top 10 greenest global brands

The world’s greenest company is an automobile brand and the rest of the list is dominated by tech-related firms. Here’s a countdown of the Interbrand’s 10 greenest global brands.1

August 10, 2011 2:34 by

  • Panasonic is on a quest to make its products safer for the planet. It has, for example, sponsored Beach Sweeps where teams were challenged to design robots to clean up coastal shores.

    The company also works closely with organisations dedicated to a better environment and has been involved in various activities from planting 2.500 trees in the Amazon to donating Toughbook mobile computers to Wildlife Trust.

    Panasonic’s US office participates every year in cleaning local beaches through Clean Action Ocean, which has managed to close eight ocean dumpsites and influence several new clean water laws.

    The company is also helping in the Yellow Sea Eco-region Planning Program which aims to improve waters off the coasts of Japan, China and South Korea.

    In the Middle East Panasonic seeks to double its sales of eco-products in three years.

  • While Panasonic supports third party green initiatives, Cisco looks first at how it can improve its own operations. The company has implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) designed to help meet and improve its environmental regulations and practices across a few of its facilities worldwide.

    Cisco has initiatives underway to help the company minimise its environmental footprint and improve environmental practices in its office-based operations.

    Its Connected Workplace concept provides a flexible working environment through the use of Cisco Unified Communications and wireless network access. This means staff can work anywhere and connect through virtual meetings, resulting in the company being able to accommodate twice as many employees without the additional office space.

    From the end-user’s POV, Cisco offers trade-in, take-back, and upgrade programmes that encourage customers to responsibly manage the end of life of our products. They also conduct internal programs to help recover e-waste from the own use of their products.

  • At Dell, they’ve pioneered the use of bamboo to protect certain devices, using it for the Dell Streak tablet, Venue and Venue Pro Smartphone’s and many Inspiron and Latitude laptop models. They plan to ship two-thirds of their portable devices in bamboo by the end of 2011. Spiffy.

    The company has also partnered with The Conservation Fund and to participate in The Plant a Tree programmes in the US, Canada and Central America to offset carbon dioxide emissions.

    Dell uses tree fiber in product packaging, office paper and direct mail operations. It takes a four-pronged approach in going green: reduce the amount of paper they use, reduce the use of virgin tree fiber, increase the use of forest-friendly paper, and support forests directly through initiatives.

    Perhaps more importantly, Dell is partnered with the National Cristina Foundation (NCF) to make it easier for people to donate used computers, software, and other business technology.

  • Honda’s efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle (the 3Rs) begin at the R&D stage with measures that include making products lighter and more compact, extending service life, and standardising components.

    Over 95 percent of the parts and materials used in Honda power products are recyclable.

    Some of Honda’s green initiatives are focused on energy conservation, reducing CO2 emissions and spreading awareness.

    In 2010, waste from Honda amounted to 432 tons, which is 50 tons lower than the target figure of 482 tons. In addition, the company sponsors events such as Watershed Conservation in Japan, The Joyful Forest Project and the Honda Beach Clean-Up Project.

  • In Germany, Volkswagen sponsors projects of NABU-German Society for Nature Conservation, the German chapter of Birdlife International for years now. One of its projects is the joint fuel-saving training campaign, “Change over – just save fuel”.

    Another one is the “Welcome, Wolf”, in which NABU and Volkswagen are joined by the City of Wolfsburg and the VfL Wolfsburg football team (known in Germany as “The Wolves”).  It provided information in support of the “independent” return of wolves to Germany.

    Volkswagen also works with media outlets to publish articles promoting environmental awareness.

    In terms of its own products, the company has been developing eco-friendly, alternative energy vehicles.

    Volkswagen focuses on two areas to reduce global warming: it’s products and the production process.

  • HP is big on product trade-ins, returns for cash, and donations of used computer equipment. The company is also focused on recycling unwanted computer hardware and printing supplies.

    A few of the firm’s low carbon solutions include: Intelligent Buildings and Carbon Management, Video Collaboration, Managed Print Services and IT Infrastructure.

    It also has the Design for Environment (DfE) programme, an engineering perspective in which the environmentally-related characteristics of a product, process or facility are optimised.

    Much like most companies on this list, HP concentrates on energy efficiency, materials innovation and designing for recyclability.

  • The first FMCG brand on our list, Johnson & Johnson supports the growth and use of sustainable palm oil.

    Although the usage of palm oil in J&J’s products reflects only a tiny portion of the worldwide consumption, the company still sources all oleo-chemicals containing certified sustainable palm oil by 2015. Other natural ingredients are derived from sustainable plant and fruit sources while product packages contains up to 60 percent post-consumer recycled materials.

    The company follows a policy of Less Water, Less Waste and Recycle. Some of its products' easy-rinse formulation means less water is needed for use, for example.

    One of the reasons this company is the third greenest brand in the world is that it changed its plastic bottle packaging to safer non-polycarbonate containers.

    Johnson & Johnson has also made contributions to the National Wildlife Federation and is a member of the Green Power Partnership. Here’s a tiny trivia for you: Johnson & Johnson operates the largest solar power generator in Pennsylvania.

  • Siemens is successful with innovative wind turbines that rank among the most reliable in the world. It also has some of the most advanced technologies for solar-thermal power plants.

    These solutions, as well as components for biomass power plants are just some of the reasons why Siemens ranks third greenest brand in the world. All in all, Siemens has installed over 9,000 onshore wind power generators worldwide (as of 2010). With a total capacity of more than 11,000 megawatts, these ecologically clean power plants help save several million tons of carbon dioxide each year compared to plants that burn fossil fuels (coal and gas).

    Millions of people and thousands of companies use Siemens technology to help them meet their needs for clean water. Fiscal revenue in the fiscal year 2010, products and solutions in our Environmental Portfolio generated revenue of €27.6 billion.

  • According to the company's sustainability reports, 3M has been working for several decades on cutting its greenhouse gas emissions. Over the 19-year period of 1990 to 2009, 3M cut its worldwide, absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 77 percent.

    Emissions in the US were down 79 percent. 3M said it cuts greenhouse gas emission by managing fossil fuel consumption and improving energy efficiency.

    Since 2005, the company has realised $110 million in energy savings by implementing more than 3,300 employee-inspired projects at 3M facilities.

    One of the company’s highest priorities has been to decrease the release of volatile organic air emissions. 3M has set a goal of reducing volatile air emissions by 15 percent by 2015 using 2010 levels as a baseline. Looking at data going back to 1990, the company says it has reduced total pounds of volatile organic air emissions by 96 percent.

    How did 3M reduce the number of air emissions so significantly? The company says it developed solventless technologies, invested in pollution prevention programs and increased the use of pollution control equipment.

  • And now the world’s greenest brand is….Toyota.

    What makes the company special is its commitment to educating the next generation and in creating green jobs. The Toyota Green Initiative provides information on green jobs and sees the company work with educators and environmental nonprofits.

    Through Toyota Green Initiative’s eco-conscious articles, videos, campus events, volunteers and mentorship efforts, are released.

    In January 2005, Toyota prepared and distributed a paper called “CSR POLICY: Contribution towards Sustainable Development.”

    The Toyota Earth is based on the Guiding Principles at Toyota and embodies the comprehensive approach to global environmental issues. Based on this Charter, Toyota has made environmental responses a top management priority.

    Toyota has a long history of continuous improvement when it comes to conventional engines.

    Since October 2006, Toyota's new Japanese-market vehicles are equipped with an Eco Drive Indicator. The system takes into consideration rate of acceleration, engine and transmission efficiency, and speed. When the vehicle is operated in a fuel-efficient manner, the Eco Drive Indicator on the instrument panel lights up, and the Eco Drive Indicator may improve fuel efficiency by as much as 4 percent.


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