A new consumer study reveals that there is still a gap between real and perceived sustainability action by top North American brands including Kraft, General Mills, Kellogg, Groupe Danone, Nike, Gap, P&G, L’Oreal, Microsoft and Amazon.com.
The study, conducted by Climate Counts and Angus Reid, includes measurements on climate change action being undertaken by more than 90 companies in North America, and perception measurements of these companies’ actions by consumers, reports Climate Counts.
General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg all have perception scores of 79 or above, but actual scores of 58 or below.
On the flip side, SAB Miller has a lowly perception score of 14, but an actual score of 44. Unilever has a perception score of 32 and an actual score of 79. Groupe Danone has a perception score of 33 and an actual score of 64.
The scoring on climate change action was provided by Climate Counts as part of their annual climate change study of big brand consumer companies based on 22 criteria. The perception measurements were provided by Angus Reid Public Opinion based on survey responses of 2,000 American adults.
The study, “MapChange 2010“, covers 10 sectors including food & beverage, apparel, household products, internet/software/media, electronics, airlines, hotels, food services, consumer shipping and banks. Across every sector, MapChange showed a disparity between actual sustainability activity of brands, and consumer perception of sustainable activity of those brands.
The study also indicates some sectors are sustainability leaders while others lag behind. As an example, consumer shipping brands all scored above 55, while the airline brands all scored below 50.
Climate Counts’ third annual corporate climate performance scorecard released in November last year also indicates that all 12 companies in the electronics sector and the four companies evaluated in the consumer shipping sector have earned a score above 50 points for the first time, all driven by increased competitive efforts in corporate sustainability.
Compared with the inaugural MapChange study in 2008, most brands had a higher perceived score among consumers, due to factors such as increased green brand communication, increasing consumer-facing “green” products, and heightened media attention in sustainable brands, reports Climate Counts.