July 7, 2006 8:17 AM PDT

Study: BP, Toyota top green energy, auto brands

Consumers consider BP and Toyota Motor to be the greenest energy and automotive brands, but 58 percent of Americans still don't care how green a brand is, according to a new study by branding firm Landor Associates.

Landor surveyed 510 American adults to investigate how the market for ecologically friendly products has been gaining a foothold among mainstream consumers.

Participants were asked to rank automotive and energy brands, as well as brands in categories such as personal-care products and coffee manufacturers. Rankings ranged from "least green" to "most green." In the petroleum-and-energy category, BP was chosen as the greenest corporation, beating Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron's Texaco. Toyota was picked as the greenest auto manufacturer, ahead of Lexus, Ford, General Motors and BMW.

When it came to consumers' perceptions of the greenest brands, the companies that came out on top were those that have heavily promoted healthy, environmentally sound images. BP, for example, has diligently promoted clean-burning biofuels to combat climate change, while Toyota's Prius remains one of the most prominent and recognizable hybrid vehicles on the road.

Study participants also indicated whether they considered themselves "green motivated" consumers who consciously purchase products they perceive as green, or "green interested" consumers who dabble in the practice. While only 42 percent of those surveyed indicated that they fell into one of those categories, Landor notes that this is a growing percentage.

But the question still remains: What exactly does green mean? Even participants in the "green motivated" segment of the study weren't in agreement on that topic. Thirty-four percent of them considered a green brand to be best described by environment-friendly technology, while 33 percent focused on natural, or organic, ingredients. Only 14 percent of "green motivated" respondents considered the manufacturing of environmentally safe products to be the best indicator of a green brand.

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British Petroleum Co plc, Toyota, Chevron Corp., green, brand

12 comments

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Marketing works for Toyota
Fact is that Honda is the greenest company out there in autoland. The company producest that best MPG engines out there. Problem is that Honda is horrible at marketing this fact. Toyota spends 2 to 1, if not more, than Honda does. Another example of how people are affected by marketing and ignore facts.
Posted by sgsamo (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Missing Honda
Agreed -- Toyota, being the largest auto manufacturer in the world now, has amazing weight on studies like this. But there is no question that Honda has every other manufacturer, including Toyota beat on the 'green' scale by quite a distance. In fact, it is almost a joke to think that any auto manufacturer would be listed above Honda on this scale because their corporate green policy has been in place since day one of the company.
Posted by monty0000 (20 comments )
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Marketing works for Toyota
Fact is that Honda is the greenest company out there in autoland. The company producest that best MPG engines out there. Problem is that Honda is horrible at marketing this fact. Toyota spends 2 to 1, if not more, than Honda does. Another example of how people are affected by marketing and ignore facts.
Posted by sgsamo (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Missing Honda
Agreed -- Toyota, being the largest auto manufacturer in the world now, has amazing weight on studies like this. But there is no question that Honda has every other manufacturer, including Toyota beat on the 'green' scale by quite a distance. In fact, it is almost a joke to think that any auto manufacturer would be listed above Honda on this scale because their corporate green policy has been in place since day one of the company.
Posted by monty0000 (20 comments )
Link Flag
Marketing
I agree that Toyota does a much better job than Honda at marketing it's image as a green company but as is stated in the article, not a significant preportion of consumers think that green is a significant factor. Honda's marketing is definitely aimed elsewhere, where it is more useful.
Posted by stupid_browner (24 comments )
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Marketing
I agree that Toyota does a much better job than Honda at marketing it's image as a green company but as is stated in the article, not a significant preportion of consumers think that green is a significant factor. Honda's marketing is definitely aimed elsewhere, where it is more useful.
Posted by stupid_browner (24 comments )
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sampling size too small
510 is a rather puny sampling size. I don't think it's prudent to say most Americans don't consider buying green when they make a purchase. I think the vast majority consider the green purchase and then opt not to go that route as it's generally more expensive. Even if the green choice pays for itself in as little as 2-3 years, we Americans are shortsighted (and often simply can't afford the investment) and we go with the cheaper choice, even if we'll spend more on gas. It's sort of a product of our Wal-Mart, I-deserve-the-lowest-price mentality.

I think Toyota and BP are the true leaders (amongst the majors) but VW and Mercedes should be in the runners up as they offer cars-sized diesels which get better mileage and can run biodiesel. Even Ford has atleast experimented with a battery electric vehicle in California. Honda should be a runner up too as they have several natural gas and hybrid options.
Posted by ugh333 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sampling size too small
510 is a rather puny sampling size. I don't think it's prudent to say most Americans don't consider buying green when they make a purchase. I think the vast majority consider the green purchase and then opt not to go that route as it's generally more expensive. Even if the green choice pays for itself in as little as 2-3 years, we Americans are shortsighted (and often simply can't afford the investment) and we go with the cheaper choice, even if we'll spend more on gas. It's sort of a product of our Wal-Mart, I-deserve-the-lowest-price mentality.

I think Toyota and BP are the true leaders (amongst the majors) but VW and Mercedes should be in the runners up as they offer cars-sized diesels which get better mileage and can run biodiesel. Even Ford has atleast experimented with a battery electric vehicle in California. Honda should be a runner up too as they have several natural gas and hybrid options.
Posted by ugh333 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No Question, Green is Great, But Unfortunately....
I believe it's been proven a number of times that yea, consumers
are glad to adopt something that's good for the environment as
long as it doesn't cost them anymore or much more.

That's not even close to the case yet with hybrids. As much as
I'd love to get a hybrid (and almost did), the costs still outweigh
the financial incentives to do so. I started seeing how much
some hybrid repairs cost (in a related article) and it's absolutely
outrageous.

At least here on the East coast, from what I've seen BP gas is
always among the highest priced.

Saying you're green while it's not economically viable for most
people to purchase your products will only get you customers
who are outside of the mainstream.

Charles Whealton
Chuck Whealton @ pleasedontspam.com
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No Question, Green is Great, But Unfortunately....
I believe it's been proven a number of times that yea, consumers
are glad to adopt something that's good for the environment as
long as it doesn't cost them anymore or much more.

That's not even close to the case yet with hybrids. As much as
I'd love to get a hybrid (and almost did), the costs still outweigh
the financial incentives to do so. I started seeing how much
some hybrid repairs cost (in a related article) and it's absolutely
outrageous.

At least here on the East coast, from what I've seen BP gas is
always among the highest priced.

Saying you're green while it's not economically viable for most
people to purchase your products will only get you customers
who are outside of the mainstream.

Charles Whealton
Chuck Whealton @ pleasedontspam.com
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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