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Burt’s Bees, Whole Foods Perceived Greenest US Brands

A global study on consumer perceptions of green brands and corporate environmental behavior reveals global differences about their top environmental concerns. A key finding shows that while climate change is important across most countries, 30 percent of Brazilians and 26 percent of Indians cite deforestation as the top issue, and in Australia, 68 percent of consumers say it’s important that companies manage water efficiently.

In the United States, energy use is the biggest green issue or problem, although economic concerns are taking precedence over environmental ones with 79 percent of those polled citing greater distress about the economy. Thirty-five percent of respondents say they will spend more on green in the coming year, which is down slightly from last year.

The fifth annual ImagePower Green Brands Survey polled more than 9,000 people in eight countries and was conducted by WPP agencies, Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates, Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), and independent strategy consulting firm Esty Environmental Partners.

The survey also reveals that the majority of global consumers plan to spend the same or more money on green products in the coming year, with more than 70 percent of consumers in China, India and Brazil saying they will spend more.

The majority of consumers — over 60 percent — in all countries want to buy from environmentally responsible companies, but the cost of green products continues to be a challenge in developed countries. Selection and labeling are the biggest challenges in developing economies, according to the report.

More than two-thirds of respondents in each country say reducing toxics and dangerous substances is the most important activity a company can do to be green, followed by water conservation or recycling.

Seventy-five percent of U.S. consumers also say that it is somewhat or very important to buy brands from green companies, although more people said that this was ‘very important’ in 2009.

The top ten U.S. brands perceived to be the greenest in this year’s study includes several new companies: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Google, Aveeno, Publix and Microsoft, compared to last year’s survey. Dropped from the 2009 list are Clorox Green Works, Toyota, P&G, Wal-Mart, Disney and Dove.

Other significant changes to the ranking includes Burt’s Bees move from the second position to number one, while SC Johnson dropped to number seven from number four and Ikea fell to number ten from number eight.

Here is the list of the top ten brands.

–Burt’s Bees

–Whole Foods

–Tom’s of Maine

–Trader Joe’s



— SC Johnson




The results seem to indicate that Burt’s Bees favorable association with “green” has not been damaged since Clorox acquired it, as some feared.

The study also finds that “helper brands,” which provide useful information, are growing in importance as well as brands that help consumers go green easier through online tools, tips and other communications.

Here are the top green issues:

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5 thoughts on “Burt’s Bees, Whole Foods Perceived Greenest US Brands

  1. The question these surveys always seem to miss is WHY do consumers rank certain brands as particularly green? Do they really know what Wholefoods is doing to tackle climate change or is it just clever marketing? In order to meet increasing consumer awareness and demand, brands need to take concrete action to meet significant emission reduction targets so that they can send out a clear, consistent and credible message to their customers. An interesting white paper on the topic of how brands manage carbon is available here: http://www.carbonneutral.com/knowledge-centre/white-papers/

  2. I wrote to Burt’s Bees to ask them if their Lip Shimmers had any ingredients made in China. A company representative responded quickly and said that they do “outsource” some products, but she was not specific in her answer, and I still don’t know if the Lip Shimmers have any ingredients made in China. The Lip Shimmer tube does not say “Made in U.S.A.” (It only gives the company address in this country.) I wrote her again, asking her to be more specific. I hope she writes me back. If the Lip Shimmers are made in China, I hope the company will start making them in the U.S.A. I am writing to every company whose products I use to find out if they are really made in the U.S.A.

  3. I think it is always interesting that the brands that are recognized as environmental leaders are already HUGE COMMERCIALIZED BRANDS. I use a few amazing small scale product lines that are way more enviro saavy than these brands, but obviously not on such a large scale (which in itself is more sustainable)!

    Anyway, A skin/bodycare line that just recently emerged in Canada from Thailand called Thann has been a godsend for my skin and it is ALL NATURAL, child-labour free and no animal testing. I use Thann’s Aromatic Wood Salt Scrub on my entire body – most scrubs I used in the past were great for exfoliation but stopped there, but Thann’s scrub moisturizers too saving me that extra step. There are a bunch of different blends of essential oils but this one has tangerine oil which is really helping with my stretchmarks post-baby.

    For skincare, I found this incredible collection called Seaflora based out of Vancouver Island British Columbia. The concept is based on embracing the natural nutrients found in the ocean through seaweed and after 6 months using their full facial care regime, I am convinced in the power of seaweeds. I really like the Iridaea Light Facial Masque is perfect for me – I use it twice a week to calm my skin and always feel refreshed and moisturized afterwards.

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