Southern California environment news and trends

Toyota, Johnson & Johnson top world’s greenest brands list

Global brand consultancy firm Interbrand has just released the second annual Best Global Green Brands report, ranking the companies with the most environmentally based missions and accomplishments over the past 12 months. This year’s list finds Toyota at number one (the automaker also topped last year's list), with Johnson & Johnson, Honda, Volkswagen and Hewlett-Packard rounding out the top five. Danone (#9), Ford (#15), Starbucks (#36) and UPS (#43) were the brands that saw the biggest jumps up the chart from last year's list.

The brands are ranked based on two criteria: Performance (“organizations must demonstrate that they source, produce, and distribute products and services in an environmentally responsible manner”) and perception (“organizations must work to build value amongst key audiences by credibly conveying the benefits of their environmental practices”).

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Prius for the rest of us? Toyota introduces new C class for less than $19,000

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Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

With the 2012 North American Auto Show in full swing, automakers are showing more green features and vehicles than ever. From concepts like Volkswagon’s electric Beetle (coined the E-Bugster) to Ford rolling out the much-ballyhooed Fusion update, it’s quickly becoming the greenest show to date.

The big news from the show floor today comes from Toyota, who introduced the new Prius C, a stylish subcompact hatchback that promises up to 53 MPG for around $19,000.

The “C” is for city; given the car’s ability to travel short distances in all-electric mode means it will get the better gas mileage in the city (the aforementioned 53 MPG) than on the highway, where mileage tops out at 46 MPG.

At those prices, we hope they plan on producing a lot of them. The Prius C seems like the ideal vehicle for tooling around Los Angeles, where they’re sure to sell like the proverbial hotcakes.

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