The Sustainable Opportunity

By Jez Frampton

The response to the Bangladesh garment factory disaster. Consumer “range anxiety” over electric vehicles. Global protests over genetically modified foods. Sustainability continues to dominate the headlines and minds of executives managing brands across industries and sectors. Customers, too, are concerned about the health and welfare of their families and communities—and how their spending is impacting people and the planet. However, as our research shows, that concern doesn’t always translate into modified consumer behavior.

It’s against this background that we bring you Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands report, our annual look at the top 50 sustainable brands—brands that are, quite literally, trying to change the world. The report provides a sharp focus on what defines a “green brand” in these challenging times. Interbrand’s research takes a deep-dive into the consumer perception of the brands’ sustainability initiatives and messaging, while Deloitte closely examines their performance. We then compare our findings to discover the gap that lies between how a brand performs and how it is perceived in the marketplace.

While it’s not easy living up to the ambitious goals these companies set for themselves, their employees, customers, and partners, our report reveals the payoff for making sustainability a priority. As our own research shows this year, consumers across markets have a high level of mistrust when it comes to the information that companies provide about their environmental efforts. Actions speak louder than words, but the words (and numbers) tell the story, both internally and externally, about brands driving change, innovation, goodwill, and more sustainable, cost-effective, efficient operations. It’s all about striking a balance between performance and perception, and being transparent, open, and honest about the journey (with its occasional stumbles) on the road to sustainability.

I hope this year’s Best Global Green Brands report sparks conversations and inspires world-changing strategies and ideas to drive your business forward.

Jez Frampton

Global Chief Executive