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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”).

“Sustainability has proven to be a strategic and profitable aspect of business and a brand-strengthening asset,” said Jez Frampton, Global Chief Executive Officer of Interbrand in a statement. “Toyota benefits from a powerful halo effect generated by the success and long-term visibility of the Prius, which, in many people’s minds, has become synonymous with the term ‘hybrid.’”

In second place, Johnson & Johnson was the highest ranking American company, lauded for its recent five-year sustainability plan, “Healthy Future 2015,” and winning four “Champions of Change” awards at the 2012 CleanMed Conference, which recognizes businesses “that successfully improved their environmental performance and helped their healthcare facility clients do the same.”