Green Report Card


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The Green Report Card is The Taylor Group’s in-house research project (released in September 2008) on consumer perceptions of corporate greenness. We’ve really started to see our clients responding to the rise in consumer expectations for green products and green business practices. This summary offers a high-level overview of the Green Report Card findings. Phase II of the Green Report Card measures corporate greenness for 90+ business-to-consumer-based companies in a variety of industries and will be available for purchase in mid-April 2009 from

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Green Report Card

  1. 1. Green Report Card September 2008 Consumer Perceptions of Corporations’ Efforts to Go Green
  2. 2. The Green Report Card Study <ul><li>A Baseline Study of Perceptions of Corporate Greenness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gather “environmental friendliness” ratings for a range of companies. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Track perceptions against these initial baseline ratings over time . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies Measured: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>71 business-to-consumer-based companies, across a variety of industries: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Airlines </li></ul><ul><li>Automotive </li></ul><ul><li>Beverages </li></ul><ul><li>Computer/Software/Web </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer Electronics & Appliances </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery Services </li></ul><ul><li>Financial </li></ul><ul><li>Media & Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Oil </li></ul><ul><li>Pharmaceuticals </li></ul><ul><li>Retailers </li></ul><ul><li>Telecom </li></ul><ul><li>TV Service Providers </li></ul>
  3. 3. Study Approach <ul><li>Online Survey of U.S. Consumers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>617 Total Interviews: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews conducted from July 30-August 5, 2008. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews balanced to reflect nationwide gender-by-age distribution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7-minute average interview length </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data cleaned of poor quality (e.g., obviously inattentive) online respondents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key Measure: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>0-10 rating for each company. Full question wording: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Important Note: No answers/not sure responses were deliberately not accepted—respondents needed to provide a rating for each company. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Those not sure of a company’s environmental record likely answered “5” on the 0-10 scale. Thus, companies with mean ratings around 5 either have an “average” image or no clear image. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>We’re interested in your general impression of how environmentally friendly each company is, when it comes to its products, services, corporate policies, and business practices . Rate each company on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means your impression is that the company is not at all environmentally friendly, and 10 means your impression is that the company is very environmentally friendly . Base your responses on anything you may know or have heard about each company—even just a gut feeling.
  4. 4. Interpreting the Ratings <ul><li>The Greenness “Meter” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Throughout this report, companies are placed on a greenness “meter” based on the ratings offered by survey respondents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This graphical device was designed primarily for ease of presentation and comparison of ratings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, note that the distance between scale points 4, 5, and 6 is greater than the distance between other points. Since the majority of the companies rated fall in the 4-6 range, the additional space allows for clearer, less cluttered placement of companies on the scale. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For more precise results and comparisons, please refer to the table of actual mean ratings included on each chart. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Top-Rated Companies <ul><li>Image Perceptions: The 2008 Green Report Card study measures the environmental image of a variety of U.S. companies, based on consumer perceptions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s important to note that these perceptions may be based on anything relevant to the consumer—including direct knowledge of the company’s green initiatives, broader brand perceptions about the company generally, or in some cases, a lack of information about the company’s efforts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Top-Rated Companies: The companies with the highest green ratings as of September 2008: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Geographic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discovery Channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PBS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole Foods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The History Channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Johnson & Johnson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walt Disney </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Honda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Toyota </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Implications <ul><li>Three Green Groupings: The ratings results suggest that at present, consumers tend to group U.S. companies into three broad green categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A handful of companies that are clearly perceived as green, including companies with: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A specific environmental or “organic” legacy (National Geographic, Whole Foods) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A scientific or historical focus (Discovery Channel, The History Channel) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A family-friendly image (Disney, PBS, Johnson & Johnson) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A youthful, hip, or high-tech image (Google, Yahoo!, Apple, Microsoft, Staples) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A line of green/hybrid products, aggressively marketed (Toyota, Honda) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A handful of industries that are clearly perceived as not green, especially industries associated with the distribution or large-scale use of fossil fuels (oil companies, airlines). Note that even non-legacy companies in these industries are generally seen as un-green “by association” (JetBlue). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The great amorphous in-between, including companies that either have no green strategy to speak of, have not promoted their green strategy, or have not promoted their strategy effectively enough to make a dent in consumer consciousness. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Implications <ul><li>Amorphousness is a Double-Edged Sword: The fact that so many U.S. companies have an average or indistinct environmental image means that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most have much work to do if they wish to be perceived as strongly environmentally focused, especially if they wish their green image to be both distinct and compelling. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The green brand image field seems wide open at this point, with much opportunity for companies to set themselves apart from a generally indistinguishable competitive set. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Industry Group Averages <ul><li>Computing/Web is seen as the greenest industry of all. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies in this group received the highest average ratings from consumers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery services, media & entertainment, consumer electronics, and automotive cluster in a second tier; each is above the average rating (5.7) for all companies tested. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By far the lowest-rated industries on environmental friendliness: airlines and oil. </li></ul></ul>TV Service Providers - 5.4 Consumer Electronics/Appliances - 6.0 Telecom - 5.6 Media & Entertainment - 6.0 Financial - 5.6 Delivery Services - 6.1 Beverages - 5.8 Retailers - 5.9 Automotive - 6.0 Computer/Software/Web - 6.3 Overall Mean Oil - 4.2 Airlines - 4.5 Pharmaceuticals - 5.6
  9. 9. Computing, Software, Web <ul><li>Google is considered the greenest of the Computing/Web companies. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tier two is made up of Microsoft, Apple, and Yahoo, all with identical ratings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The oldest computing company in the group (IBM) trails the field—but still receives a higher rating than the average company included in the survey. </li></ul></ul>Industry Mean Google Microsoft Yahoo Apple HP Dell IBM Overall Mean IBM - 5.9 Hewlett-Packard - 6.1 Dell - 6.2 Google - 6.6 Yahoo - 6.4 Apple - 6.4 Microsoft - 6.4
  10. 10. Delivery Services <ul><li>UPS has a slight edge over FedEx in the Delivery category. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both companies receive similar, above-average grades, although UPS has a two-tenths of a point rating advantage. </li></ul></ul>UPS FedEx Industry Mean Overall Mean FedEx - 6.0 UPS - 6.2
  11. 11. Media & Entertainment <ul><li>Perceptions vary widely in the Media & Entertainment industries. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leading the group are nonprofits with a strong environmental or philanthropic legacy (National Geographic, PBS), a network with a focus on science (Discovery Channel), and a company with a strong family image (Disney). The History Channel also enjoys high ratings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The music and movie industries are considered the least green in this category, with significantly below-average ratings. </li></ul></ul>National Geographic Discovery Channel PBS The History Channel Disney A&E CNN Time FOX ESPN USA Today NY Times Music industry Movie industry Sports Illustrated Industry Mean FOX - 5.7 TIME - 5.7 Sports Illustrated - 5.3 The History Channel - 6.6 NY Times - 5.3 PBS - 7.0 USA Today - 5.6 Discovery Channel - 7.4 CNN - 5.9 A&E TV Network - 6.0 Disney - 6.4 National Geographic - 7.6 Overall Mean Movie industry - 5.0 Music industry - 5.1 ESPN - 5.6
  12. 12. Consumer Electronics & Appliances <ul><li>All Consumer Electronics/Appliances companies receive above-average ratings. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Electric narrowly edges out Sony and LG as the most environmentally friendly company tested in the category. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Samsung receives the lowest ratings of the four, but is still seen as slightly more green than the average company. </li></ul></ul>Sony GE LG Samsung Industry Mean Overall Mean Samsung - 5.8 LG - 6.0 Sony - 6.1 GE - 6.2
  13. 13. Automotive <ul><li>Stark differences exist among Auto manufacturers based on U.S. versus non-U.S. status. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The two non-U.S. companies tested (Toyota and Honda) both receive strong ratings on their green efforts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The two U.S. manufacturers (GM and Ford) both receive below-average ratings. </li></ul></ul>Toyota Honda Ford GM Industry Mean Overall Mean GM - 5.5 Honda - 6.4 Toyota - 6.4 Ford - 5.5
  14. 14. Retailers <ul><li>Whole Foods’ environmental/organic focus helps contribute to a strong green brand image; Staples is not far behind. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forming a second grouping are three other retailers—The Home Depot,, and Target. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starbucks’, Sears’, and Best Buy’s ratings are all perceived as marginally less green than average, with Blockbuster falling further behind. </li></ul></ul>Whole Foods The Home Depot Staples Amazon Target Starbucks Best Buy Blockbuster Sears eBay Wal-Mart Industry Mean Wal-Mart - 5.7 eBay - 5.8 Best Buy - 5.6 The Home Depot - 6.1 Sears - 5.6 Staples - 6.5 Starbucks - 5.6 Whole Foods - 6.7 Target - 6.0 - 6.1 Overall Mean Blockbuster - 5.4
  15. 15. Beverages <ul><li>Little variation exists among the three Beverage companies measured. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>However, the two soft drink/water companies (Coca-Cola, Pepsi) fare somewhat better than the beer company (Anheuser Busch). </li></ul></ul>Coca-Cola Pepsi Anheuser Busch Industry Mean Overall Mean Anheuser Busch - 5.7 Pepsi - 5.9 Coca-Cola - 5.9
  16. 16. Pharmaceuticals <ul><li>Johnson & Johnson stands apart in the Pharmaceutical industry. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pfizer is the only other pharmaceutical company with an average or above rating. All others hover around the 5.0 mark, suggesting either an “average” image, no strong image either way, or an unknown green track record. </li></ul></ul>Johnson & Johnson Bristol-Myers Squibb Pfizer GlaxoSmithKline Sanofi-Aventis Industry Mean Overall Mean Sanofi-Aventis - 4.9 Johnson & Johnson - 6.6 GlaxoSmithKline - 5.3 Bristol-Myers Squibb - 5.5 Pfizer - 5.7
  17. 17. Financial <ul><li>Consumers see little difference across the three Financial firms included in the survey. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American Express scores at the all-company average of 5.7, with Bank of America and Citibank within two-tenths of a ratings point. </li></ul></ul>American Express Citibank Bank of America Industry Mean Overall Mean Bank of America - 5.6 American Express - 5.7 Citibank - 5.5
  18. 18. Telecom <ul><li>Verizon and AT&T receive identical green ratings from consumers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both score slightly above average. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sprint Nextel falls significantly behind, perhaps a function of lower familiarity with/use of the company. </li></ul></ul>Verizon AT&T Sprint Nextel Industry Mean Overall Mean AT&T - 5.8 Sprint Nextel - 5.3 Verizon - 5.8
  19. 19. TV Service Providers <ul><li>Four key nationwide Television Service providers are seen as virtually indistinguishable. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ratings around 5.0 for all four suggest that consumers don’t have a strong sense of environmental initiatives on the part of these companies. </li></ul></ul>DIRECTV Time Warner DISH Network Comcast Industry Mean Overall Mean DISH Network - 5.3 Time Warner - 5.3 Comcast - 5.4 DIRECTV - 5.4
  20. 20. Airlines <ul><li>All Airlines tested score far below the survey average. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With so much recent attention paid to airlines’ reliance on fuel (and the costs of fuel), it’s perhaps not surprising that consumers offer low scores to all airlines tested. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even the non-legacy airlines tested (Southwest, JetBlue) don’t escape the less-than-green perception. </li></ul></ul>American Southwest United Continental US Airways JetBlue Delta Industry Mean Overall Mean United - 4.5 American - 4.5 JetBlue - 4.6 US Airways - 4.4 Continental - 4.4 Delta - 4.5 Southwest - 4.7
  21. 21. Oil <ul><li>Oil companies receive the lowest green ratings by far. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BP sets itself apart somewhat, receiving a higher rating than Chevron and ExxonMobil. </li></ul></ul>BP Chevron ExxonMobil Industry Mean Overall Mean ExxonMobil - 3.9 Chevron - 4.1 BP - 4.5
  22. 22. Summary: Highest and Lowest Ratings Overall <ul><li>Across all 71 companies measured by consumers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Geographic and Discovery Channel receive the highest overall green ratings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chevron and ExxonMobil receive the lowest ratings. </li></ul></ul>Total Sample Lowest Rated Highest Rated 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Toyota Honda Yahoo! Apple Microsoft Walt Disney Staples Johnson & Johnson Google The History Channel Whole Foods PBS Discovery Channel National Geographic 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.6 6.6 6.7 7.0 7.4 7.6 3.9 4.1 4.4 4.4 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.9 ExxonMobil Chevron US Airways Continental BP Delta United Airlines American Airlines JetBlue Southwest Sanofi-Aventis 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61
  23. 23. Highest and Lowest Among Green Purchasers <ul><li>The green image rank order is similar among those consumers who are especially likely to say they “make environmentally responsible purchase decisions.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Geographic and Discovery Channel are still the highest rated; Chevron and ExxonMobil are still the lowest rated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note that the rating for any given company tends to be a bit higher among this segment than for consumers generally. </li></ul></ul>Among those most likely to say: “ I try to make environmentally responsible purchasing decisions” Lowest Rated Highest Rated 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Dell Honda Yahoo! Apple Microsoft Walt Disney Johnson & Johnson Staples Google Whole Foods The History Channel PBS Discovery Channel National Geographic 6.5 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.8 6.9 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.1 7.5 7.8 8.0 3.8 4.1 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.9 4.9 ExxonMobil Chevron US Airways BP Continental Delta United Airlines JetBlue American Airlines Sanofi-Aventis Southwest 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62 61
  24. 24. Top of Mind: Most and Least Green <ul><li>Survey respondents were also asked to name the one company that “comes to mind” as the most green and the one company that comes to mind as the least green. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole Foods and National Geographic are almost equally likely to be named most green, followed by Discovery Channel, Toyota, Johnson & Johnson, and Wal-Mart; however, no single company runs away with this measure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “least green” choice was less controversial, with over 1 in 4 choosing ExxonMobil. </li></ul></ul>% Naming % Naming Which company comes to mind first as being . . . The least environmentally friendly The most environmentally friendly Wal-Mart Johnson & Johnson Toyota Discovery Channel National Geographic Whole Foods 5% 5% 6% 7% 11% 13% 5% 6% 28% Wal-Mart Chevron ExxonMobil
  25. 25. Additional Data Cuts Available <ul><li>This summary report offers a high-level overview of the Green Report Card findings. </li></ul><ul><li>Upon request, the findings from this report can be cut by a variety of attitudinal, behavioral, and demographic consumer characteristics, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Degree of attention and concern about environmental issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Degree of concern about global warming in particular </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Green” habits engaged in currently (recycling, efforts to reduce energy use, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political philosophy and party identification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marital status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presence of children in household </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Home area characteristics (urban, suburban, rural, small town) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Race/ethnicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Income </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. For More Information <ul><li>For further information about this report or additional data, please contact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jeff Radcliffe, Director of Client Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>603-422-7612 </li></ul></ul>