While most automakers are effectively meeting environmental goals and regulations, brand consultancy Interbrand asserts that the ones going beyond compliance to produce innovative products are being perceived as the greenest brands. Ford is a prime example in Interbrand's 2013 Best Global Green Brands report, as the company's fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine technology helped it rise 13 spots from last year to become the No. 2 brand in the world.
The Interbrand Best Global Green Brands report examines the gap between a company’s environmental practices and consumers’ perceptions of those initiatives, rating each marque on how well its sustainability efforts are resonating with the public. The high visibility for Ford's EcoBoost technology has come from the automaker's heavy promotion of the best-selling Ford F-150 pickup truck, which is available with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that produces 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque while still returning up to 22 mpg on the highway.
"The debut of EcoBoost technology in the F-150 a few years ago was a perfect transition point toward a greener outlook at Ford, because the efficiency gains came without sacrificing any of the performance that the brand's fans had come to expect," said John Melkonian, general manager of Stoneham Ford, a Massachusetts Ford dealer. "Since then, Ford has introduced EcoBoost engines for most of its lineup, so eco-conscious buyers can feel good about their purchase without feeling bored while driving."
Though Interbrand's new report focuses on consumer perception, Ford recently released a wealth of hard evidence showing how it has reduced its environmental impact. From 2000 to 2012, the automaker lowered its CO2 emissions at global facilities by 37 percent per vehicle, and it has planned a 30 percent reduction from 2010 to 2025. Meanwhile, Ford's tailpipe emissions have decreased by 16 percent per vehicle since 2007, thanks to the introduction of new, efficient vehicles like the Ford Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids.
Ford's gas-electric lineup, which also includes the Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid, has already broken the brand's full-year hybrid sales record in just five months of reported sales in 2013. The automaker has sold about 37,000 hybrid models through May, topping the previous record of 35,496 units sold throughout all of 2010.