Plus some of the vehicles that got it there...
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 1, 2012
2012 Toyota Prius c -- The most affordable ($18,950 to start) and fuel efficient (50 mpgUS combined) non plug-in vehicle in the world.
The Prius – Instantly recognizable with its wedge shaped silhouette and 50 mpgUS combined rating here in the US. As Toyota’s “green” halo car, nobody has yet been able to match its combination of low emissions, low total cost of ownership and what I consider a beautiful differentiation vs. the rest of the world’s automobile lineup. In addition Toyota is well on their way to Hybridizing the entire automobile product lineup and in doing so, are practically embarrassing the rest of the industry with truly sustainable products vs. a hodge podge of unaffordable and over hyped one offs. What this means to you and I is value and sustainability. What this means for Toyota is a green brand juggernaut the rest of the industry can only hope to match let alone catch and surpass.
Toyota is the “Best Global Green Brands” according to Interbrand
Toyota retains the number one position in the second annual Best Global Green Brands report
, published by Interbrand this week.
The report gauges the gap between public perception of a brand’s environmental performance – its “green image” – and its actual environmental practices, using publicly available data and information.
Overall, environmental sustainability is deeply ingrained in the company’s culture and has been a core management priority since the early 1990’s. Since then, Toyota’s dedication to sustainability has kept them ahead of the clean vehicle trend and resulted in steady improvements in energy use, water consumption, waste, and toxic emissions year after year.
The future? Toyota continues to embark on companywide initiatives to improve environmental performance and builds on its reputation for cutting-edge eco vehicle development through innovation, key partnerships and strategic campaigns. Toyota benefits from a powerful halo effect generated by the success and long-term visibility of the Prius, which, in many people’s minds, has become synonymous with the term “hybrid.” However, Toyota’s outstanding performance on all levels proves that sustainability isn’t just about winning hearts and moving product—it’s a winning way of doing business.
Honda - #2
Two Prius v’s on the shores of Lake Michigan… Two of Toyota’s best leading the way to a cleaner and more sustainable future.
Honda reduced the discrepancy between its overwhelmingly positive publicity and actual performance this year. Honda has been a campaign leader in sustainability among automakers since 1972.”
Hitting its zero-landfill goal in North America, Honda’s manufacturing plants continue to develop methods to diminish waste throughout the product life cycle. The company also publicizes an ecological evaluation of its suppliers and consistently tops lists as the greenest automaker for low emission ratings and nontoxic design measures.
Honda will be launching the 2013 Fit EV later this month that will support a faster battery charge. This launch is to be fortified by the joint venture EV charging pilot project—a collaborative endeavor that will allow energy providers to better manage peak charging hours and encourage adoption of electric cars. In addressing battery charge concerns, Honda may alleviate some of the stigma surrounding the limitations of electric cars and consequently enhance consumer demand.
Honda and the World Environment
Volkswagen -- #4
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid – A fits and start hybrid program continues but there is no
denying its 77 mpgUS RT drive in the Milwaukee- Chicago corridor last year.
This ranking builds on a growing list of accolades for Volkswagen, including recent recognition as “2012 Global Advertiser of the Year” by the CLIO Awards for the brand’s creative leadership and commitment to innovation in advertising.
Think Blue, Volkswagen’s approach to sustainability, has provided an effective platform for taking VW’s environmental strategy global. Recently launched in the United States, Think Blue unifies all of the company’s environmental efforts and fuel-efficient technologies under one strategic umbrella.
Volkswagen offers consumers a broad range of fuel efficient vehicles, including the recently introduced Passat TDI. The company will introduce the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid in the United States later this year
Volkswagen continues to establish its position as one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable car manufacturers. The goal of becoming the world’s most profitable, fascinating and sustainable automobile company by 2018 is being constantly substantiated: incorporating sustainability into its value chain, increasing fuel efficiency for every new vehicle generation by 10 to 15 percent, pushing hybrid and electric vehicles and committing to making production facilities 25 percent greener within the next 6 years are just some of the initiatives that demonstrate ambitious goals and measurable proof points. The fact that Volkswagen backs these goals with large-scale investments – some $700 million was put towards the expansion of renewable energy plants and a Group Chief Officer for the Environment, Energy and New Business Areas was appointed – underscores the brand’s long-term commitment.
VW Sustainability and Responsibility
BMW -- #10
2012 VW Passat TDI – Its 43 mpgUS highway rating with its tall ratioed 6-speed recently traveled over 1,600 miles on a single tank of fuel. Not bad for a larger midsize!
BMW has increased awareness about its performance, but the public is not yet fully cognizant of its green practices and its branded “EfficientDynamics”.
In line with other automakers, BMW has embraced new fuel efficiency goals and sustainability measures. BMW has developed a factory run by 100 percent on-site wind power in Germany, installed British Columbia’s first commercial wind turbine in one of its dealerships and built a new BMW factory in China that will raise standards on environmentally friendly vehicle production. The result of BMW’s Project i, the all electric BMW i3, is set to launch in 2013 and will feature zero emissions. A high-end electric hybrid sports car is soon to follow. Through its “EfficientDynamics” initiative, BMW applies green thinking to every stage of product development and has invested in communicating the company’s strides toward fuel efficiency, emission reduction, and water conservation. That investment continues to pay dividends as The Dow Jones Sustainability Index named BMW the world’s most sustainable automotive company for the seventh consecutive year. Public perception about BMW as a green automaker continues to improve, but the brand faces a challenge in North America where consumer interest in electric cars remains unstable.
Ford -- #15
2014 BMW i8 – a 30-mile PHEV that incorporates lightening technology (read Carbon Fiber) never
before used on a consumer based vehicle to the extent that it will. The only issue may be the price.
2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid – Little attention is being garnered its way but with the possibility of Prius hatch like fuel economy and Prius v like utility and versatility, this could prove to be the real sleeper for Ford in 2013.
While Ford once trailed behind competitors in sustainability, the company’s steady efforts to green products and operations have paid off handsomely in 2012. With the Ford Focus EV now on the market, a slew of fuel-efficient vehicles and new hybrids in their fleet, and green initiatives that are transforming their facilities and manufacturing practices, Ford has earned recognition as a leading green brand and jumps into our top ten this year. Operationally, Ford reduced energy intensity, water intensity and GHG emissions from its global manufacturing facilities and expanded green building. The first automaker to join The Climate Registry, Ford also voluntarily measures, independently verifies, and publicly reports GHG emissions annually. In addition to high scores in the Products & Services and Operations Pillars, improvements in the way Ford has communicated about environmental targets and initiatives boosted their Governance score as well. By answering the public’s demand for cleaner cars, dramatically improving operational efficiency and communicating effectively and transparently, Ford has attracted positive publicity, increased sales and acquired a new and improved reputation as a socially conscious organization.
Mercedes Benz -- #16
Mercedes-Benz is well known for its high quality, durability and precision engineering. The brand’s relevance is timeless, and continues to shape the definition of luxury.
It is latest models that have broadened the brand’s reach. The S250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY was declared the 2012 World Green Car at the New York International Auto Show in April this year. The E300 BlueTEC Hybrid and the futuristic F125! concept car powered by zero emission hydrogen fuel cells demonstrate Mercedes-Benz’s long-term commitment to producing cleaner, more responsible vehicles. Capitalizing on its sustainability credentials in Europe, Mercedes-Benz is now a top 10 green brand in Germany and Italy, and, in 2012, the brand won a special Plus X Award as the world’s most sustainable automobile manufacturer. Moving forward, Mercedes-Benz is in a strong position to become a global beacon of green performance and innovation in the premium automotive sector.
Hyundai -- #17
While still lacking a flagship product like the Prius, Hyundai is a recognized fuel economy leader.
Named #1 in fuel economy and CO2 emissions in America in the EPA’s fuel economy rankings for the 2010 model year
, Hyundai beat out traditional leaders like Toyota. Validating the effectiveness of their Blue Drive strategy, Hyundai is committed to developing a suite of smart, fuel-efficient offerings, from hybrids to high-technology gasoline vehicles. Though Hyundai maintains high scores in the Products and Services and Operations pillars and improved its performance in the Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Supply Chain pillars, its overall improvements did not match improvements of other similar scoring companies. Hyundai is currently outpaced by competitors and took a steep drop in our rankings this year, but focus on consumer benefits and fuel efficiency, coupled with the environmental appeal, seems to be working well for the company.
The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid on its climb to the summit of Pikes Peak three weeks ago –- And what I consider to be the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing
Hybrid on the market today. With the ability to knock out 60 mpgUS + at will, Hyundai is more than just “capable
” in the consumer sustainability brand space.
According to Interbrand, Hyundai will have to step up its performance on multiple levels and make more of its green achievements if it wants to turn its value brand into a valuable brand.
According to us, with the most fuel efficient fleet in the US and promises to rapidly improve that fleet to a number some manufacturers are only dreaming about matching over a very long term development, it’s the best we have for not brand but placing fuel efficient products on the road that are both desirable and affordable. Only Toyota’s and its HSD equipped lineup has a better overall product offering while many of the rest posted directly above are placing “Lipstick on a pig
”. The Fuel Sucking Pig variety in particular!
Interbrand’s rankings were determined by a survey which questioned more than 10,000 respondents in 10 countries to analyze each company’s environmental record and how the company is perceived by consumers.