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M&S No. 1 Company “Taking Environmental Sustainability Seriously”

M&SMarks & Spencer is the No. 1 company UK consumers name when asked which companies take environmental sustainability seriously, according to research conducted for the Carbon Trust.

The same study finds more than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents are unable to name a single company that is taking environmental sustainability seriously.

Rounding out the top five companies with sustainability cred, according to consumers surveyed, are the Co-operative Group, Tesco, BP and Sainsbury’s, in that order.

The research, conducted amongst 1,819 adults by YouGov, found that only 5 percent see businesses as being most effective in helping the environment when compared to environmental pressure groups, academics and the government. By contrast, 22 percent of those surveyed see businesses as being the most effective in helping the economic recovery.

Researchers says that this suggests that even companies that are communicating their actions to be more sustainable are not yet directly associated with taking responsibility for the environment. Instead, the public sees the quest for a greener future as lying in the hands of environmental organizations such as nonprofits and watchdog groups.

The study also finds the demand for green products appears to be increasing with only 6 percent saying they are less likely to buy a sustainable product and/or service than five years ago, while almost three in 10 (27 percent) say they are more likely. Increased concern about the personal impact of what they buy on the environment is the most important reason for this (45 percent) and 43 percent of the public surveyed said they lead a more sustainable life than they did five years ago.

Eight in 10 Americans don’t believe companies are addressing all of their environmental impacts, and only 44 percent trust companies’ green claims, according to research published last year by Cone Communications.

Marks & Spencer, National Grid, Aviva, RSA and BSkyB are the top five performers leading Carbon Clear’s most recent annual report ranking carbon measurement and reporting efforts of FTSE 100 companies.

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