Sainsbury’s leapfrogs Tesco in WPP Green survey

Retail brands continue to be the greenest in the UK in the eyes of consumers, despite Tesco slipping down the list, according to WPP’s fourth green brands survey.

Four out of the top five brands perceived by consumers as “greenest” are supermarkets, although The Body Shop retains the number one spot for the third year running in the poll of 1,000 people, conducted by WPP consultancies Landor, Cohn & Wolfe and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates.

Marks & Spencer’s efforts to communicate its moves to become a sustainable retailer through its “Plan A” initiative continue to pay dividends, with consumers rating it as the second greenest brand in the UK.

However Tesco, which has refocused its marketing on value messages during the recession, has slipped to number five. This has allowed Sainsbury’s to climb above its rival to secure the third greenest brand slot, while the fourth slot is taken by Waitrose, which reaches the top five for the first time since the survey began in 2005.

Utilities brands e.on and EDF Energy come in at sixth and seventh place, while the last three places in the top ten are occupied by, respectively, Google, the only internet brand to make the list, personal care brand Dove and car marque Honda.

The survey also shows that terms including “recycled” are popular with consumers because they understand them, while terms such as “carbon neutral” and “hybrid” are not popular because they have no or little meaning to them.

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