Much ado has been made about Newsweek's Green Rankings of the biggest corporations in America. But public perception of sustainability is just as important as reality—the greenest company in the world is worthless if it has no customers. But according to a survey organized by marketing and communications company WPP, most people's ideas about sustainability align with what's expressed in Newsweek.
Here are the top 10 greenest brands, ranked by Green Brands, Global Insights:
1. Clorox Green Works
2. Burt's Bees
3. Tom's of Maine
4. SC Johnson
Johnson & Johnson, Disney, Proctor & Gamble, Clorox (owner of Green Works and Burt's Bees), Colgate-Palmolive (owner of Tom's of Maine) and Wal-Mart all rank in Newsweek's top 50. The others don't qualify for the rankings because they're based outside the U.S., but it's hard to ignore Toyota's efforts in the hybrid vehicle arena or Ikea's sustainability initiatives.
So what does this all mean? As a group, consumers have an uncanny ability to see through greenwashing and hype. They can pick out brands that are actually making a difference. That should be incentive enough for any company considering a foray into the world of alternative energy and reduced waste streams.