Volvo has been named the top automaker in the 2011 Sustainable Brands survey. That's definitely an achievement, but before we applaud the Sweden-based automaker for grabbing the top spot it's worth mentioning that Sustainable Brands surveyed 3,000 Swedish consumers to compile its final rankings. Seems like someone may have had a home court advantage, doesn't it?

The Sustainable Brand survey gauges how consumers perceive companies in the areas such of social responsibility and environmental performance. Food retailers Co-op and ICA grabbed first and second in the poll, respectively, while Volvo captured third place, the highest of any automaker. Not surprisingly, Swedish automaker Saab nabbed seventh place overall, besting all of the other 16 automotive brands included in the survey.

Linn Fortgens, director of sustainability issues at Volvo Car Corporation, stated that the automaker's:
Focus on green cars is the core of our work in this field and we have almost 100,000 green cars on Swedish roads alone, more than any other maker. It's great that Volvo is perceived as one of Sweden's most sustainable brands.
This may be true, but the survey results were a bit skewed. Still, Volvo's lineup of DRIVe models include some of the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicles in the world, so we'll let this one slide.

[Source: Volvo]
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Volvo Cars is the top car make in Sustainable Brands:

Volvo Cars - a sustainable brand

Volvo Cars was named the best car make in Sustainable Brands, Sweden's biggest sustainability survey for various brands.

"We have a broad-based approach to sustainability, which contributes to the company's profitability. Our focus on green cars is the core of our work in this field and we have almost 100,000 green cars on Swedish roads alone, more than any other maker," says Linn Fortgens, director of sustainability issues at Volvo Car Corporation.

Sustainable Brands 2011 is a survey of 151 companies based on a consumer perspective. The survey follows the UN's Global Compact, which in turn is founded on ten principles that relate to corporate responsibility. These principles take into account human rights, good working conditions and action against corruption, as well as environmental responsibility.

The purpose of Sustainable Brands is to create an independent and annually recurring survey of the various companies' sustainability communication. In 2011, Volvo Cars made it to the very top among the 18 car brands included in the survey. All told, the company took third place among the 151 brands studied.

"It's great that Volvo is perceived as one of Sweden's most sustainable brands. We've worked systematically on our social and environmental responsibility, and it's clear that our hard work has given results," says Linn Fortgens.

Volvo Cars tackles its sustainability responsibilities on a broad front and the core of the company's approach is its range of green cars. The popular DRIVe series, launched in 2008, encompasses seven models all classed as green cars. Volvo Personbilar Sverige reports that it has now sold almost 100,000 such cars on the Swedish market.

"The Volvo V50 DRIVe is the best-selling green car in Sweden. All told, we account for 21 percent of green cars sold in Sweden," relates Linn Fortgens.

The company's sustainability work covers much more than just its range of green cars.

"We also work on these issues internally, for instance by improving the efficiency of our energy usage and refuse handling. We launched a new environmental strategy last year that includes a zero vision for environmental accidents, climate-smart logistics solutions and focus on the company's water usage," says Linn Fortgens and continues:

"Diversity is another important prerequisite for profitable sustainability work. Our goal is to create and develop entirely new solutions, so we are very dependent on having a creative working environment. We quite simply take better decisions in a heterogeneous group from the viewpoints of gender, age, ethnicity and other parameters."

When it comes to social responsibility, traffic safety continues to remain an important consideration for Volvo Cars. The company has a concrete goal: that nobody should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo car by the year 2020.

The Sustainable Brands survey is undertaken by IDG Research, Relation Capital Partners AB and Novus Group International.

Read more about Sustainable Brands (Swedish) at and about UN's Global Compact

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