Tag Archives: BP

Sustainability and Green Lists

In an earlier posting I talked about values washing kin to green washing and referenced the plethora of green lists out there to include Forbes’ Best Corporate Citizens, Most Ethical Companies, Newsweek Green Rankings (click for their green oil and gas company listings), and the Global 100 by Corporate Knights. I suggested that there is nothing  better than these types of awards or lists to further confuse consumers and our citizens.

Research from the New Scientist showed that there is a huge gulf (their word) between perception and reality on the part of consumers.

I actually started this posting on EarthDay after receiving another list this time from Brandkeys, a consulting company specializing in customer loyalty. Their list in alphabetical order is of the 25 Top “Green” companies (see below).  BP is on this list (but not on the ones above) and gave me pause even before the recent catastrophe.   The press release notes that their research suggests consumers “want brands to walk-the-talk, and “green” has become the cost-of-entry in many categories, making larger and larger contributions to brand engagement and loyalty.” There are some excellent companies on this list including Seventh Generation and Tom’s of Maine in the consumer products category and the Marriott in the lodging industry. And many of these companies have strong sustainability initiatives backed up by a track record.

Environmental sustainability

The problem is that this business of lists when it comes to the topic of green, the keyword for where sustainability and consumerism intersect, is the business of marketing, not sustainability and certainly not when it comes to environmental sustainability. In terms of marketing, it is my opinion that these lists mislead consumers, add to the confusion in the marketplace, and are based on unsubstantiated claims.  The next question is what role do the CSR folks play in all this list making and is it responsible CSR?

Top-25 Green Brands from this year’s Brand Keys Loyalty Engagement Index:

1. American Express
2. Apple
3. Avon
4. BP
5. Coke
6. Coors
7. Dell
8. Ford
9. Honda
10. HP
11. Johnson & Johnson
12. Kellogg’s
13. Kohl’s
14. Marriott
15. McDonalds
16. Microsoft
17. Nike
18. Pepsi
19. Samsung
20. Seventh Generation
21. Staples
22. Starbucks
23. Tom’s of Maine
24. UPS
25. Wells Fargo