• Planet Brands

Planet Brands

Posted by in blog June 5, 2012

What is a Planet Brand?

Futerra believes big business brands can make change happen and that they have the potential to lead on encouraging the public to adopt sustainable behaviours.

We found the Planet Brands by comparing three factors:

Brand Influence. Which brands enjoy the highest recognition and loyalty? Trusted brands have a huge opportunity to make sustainability behaviours desirable.

Global Scale. Which brands touch the most people? Global mass market brands are best placed to make these behaviours normal.

Sustainability. Which brands understand sustainability? Consumers will only trust brands who already manage their own footprint.

The highest scoring brands across these criteria made the final list.

Why are Planet Brands important?

Brands generate emotion and loyalty. Brand choices reflect a consumer’s own personality. Brands carry promises, empathy, and reflect our aspirations and our values.

They guide consumer behaviours – from doing laundry to buying a new car. Which makes them powerful tools for sustainability. Consumer habits have a huge impact on sustainability, but affecting those behaviours is an equally huge challenge.

Brands can change behaviours. From carbon labelling to cause marketing and green advertising, many leading brands are already doing just that. Futerra has direct experience of how powerful that can be. So we asked ourselves:

Which 100 brands could have the greatest impact on our behaviour?

A decade of research at Futerra has found that there are ‘three Ps’ of behavioural marketing.

Persuasion, Placement, Product

These are the three ways that we believe big name brands, in the commercial world, can inspire consumers towards sustainability.


Brands are extraordinary persuaders. Compelling behaviour change messages can work in packaging, advertising, social media, point of sale, across touch points and campaigns, and through employee advocates.

Match your marketing skills with the new behavioural research and sustainability expertise to make a real impact.


How can your brand ‘model’ the sustainable behaviour you’re promoting? Showing positive behaviours in product advertising and employees visibly demonstrating the behaviour in their everyday habits are great tactics.


The guaranteed way to change habits is to “build in” behaviour change. Understanding the full lifecycle impact of your products comes first. Then things get creative.

Can you build in reuse? Minimise the water, energy and resources your consumer needs to use your product? Build in health? Innovate wellbeing?

The Planet Brands Index

This Planet Brands Index lists the 100 brands that have the most potential to help us all live greener, safer and more sustainable lifestyles. The brands that could change the behaviours of billions, for a better future.

Being named on the Planet Brands Index isn’t a mark of achievement; it’s a call to action. Together, these brands could save the world. Planet Brands can be found in a number different industry sectors and in countries spanning the globe.

To find out more information about our latest thought leadership Planet Brands, click here to download the brochure (pdf).

Here you can find out who made it onto the final list, discover how the Index was created, browse FAQs plus much more.

This is only the beginning of the journey so watch this space for more Planet Brands news coming soon.


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  • Johan Steilburg
    June 05, 2012

    “Together, these brands could save the world.”

    I just despair at the dishonesty and/or stupidity of that statement. More stuff won’t “save” the world. More consuming of more “environmentally friendly”, “sustainable”, “insert soulless buzzword here” stuff won’t save the world. Sustainable development does not exist. If it ever did, we are so far beyond the point at which such a phrase could make any sense that it is sheer dishonesty to continue to push that agenda. We are overdeveloped, overconsuming, and overpopulated, and no amount of brand awareness bulls**t of this sort will change that. I think you probably know that, deep down, unless you are very good at lying to yourself.

    All of this kind of “environmentalism” looks very much like commerce masking itself in green clothes as it tells us how we can “change”, whilst actually promoting absolutely the same set of essential behaviours (consume, consume, consume) now modified, mitigated and hidden by new technologies.

    You tell me how a finite planet can sustain an infinite economic growth model system, and then I’ll consider giving green consumption some credence. Until then, I think we would be better off using our energies elsewhere, like in attempting true radical change, not “brand-led” persuasion of consumers, fiddling while Rome burns.

    • Ed
      June 07, 2012

      Hi Johan

      Thanks for your comments however may I suggest that I think you may have misinterpreted what ‘Planet Brands’ is all about. I’m not sure anywhere the Index or Futerra generally for that matter has ever claimed that ‘more stuff will save the world’, and nor is it about simply repackaging consumerism and consumption in a natty green outfit. Of course we all agree that indefinite infinite growth on a finite planet is probably impossible.

      So something needs to change and that something needs to be radical as you suggest. The simple fact is that if you want to leverage the biggest change you can at the largest scale in the shortest time then perhaps the smartest way of doing this is by engaging the world’s ‘Planet Brands’ in order to do so. This is not about propping up unsustainable consumption by being in denial or deceiving ourselves. Trust me the good folk at Futerra are very very good at asking the difficult questions on sustainability and have been doing so for over eleven years! Rather it is hopefully about a savvy pragmatism that can begin to deliver planetary scale change.

      A world of brands that swiftly dematerialise their supply chains, encourage collaborative consumption or shared ownership models and that promote simpler, more elegant, smarter sustainable lifestyles will in all likelihood be a better one to live in and could even reboot a stagnating global economy through re-localisation. Planet Brands is not about giving credit or credence to existing unsustainable business models, nor is it a badge of achievement or recognition to be on the index. Instead it’s a kick-in-the-ass, call to action for those businesses listed that genuinely have the power, influence, scale and potential to change the world. Which begs the question, what are they going to do about it?!

      So hopefully our provocation is not perceived as just ‘dishonest and stupid’, or ‘fiddling while Rome burns’, but instead a rallying cry for the radical change the world so desperately needs. Some businesses are already doing this and as the sci-fi writer William Gibson puts it so well ‘the future’s out there – it’s just not evenly distributed yet’. If brands act with passion, commitment, creativity and determination that violin sound might be a lot more harmonious and the Roman fires subside…our challenge is to stir them into doing so, support them in their efforts and deliver that positive change.

  • June 11, 2012

    […] a sustainability communications firm based in the United Kingdom, released its list of the top 100 Planet Brands. The list is a who’s who of some of the world’s most iconic brands, from Google and Samsung in […]

  • June 11, 2012

    […] sustainability communications firm based in the United Kingdom, released its list of the top 100 Planet Brands. The list is who’s who of some of the world’s most iconic brands, […]

  • June 11, 2012

    Hi, unless I am mistaken, there are no OTC pharma brands in your list – Advil, Strepsils, Viagra, Vicks, Tums, Tylenol etc…did you skip this whole sector ? And there’s Durex too, of course…. and what about Rx drugs ? Don’t they also have the power to change the world ?

    Also, I find the list rather odd in that several are companies and several are actual brands … Unilever brands such as Ariel and Dove are also going a long way to changing behaviours but neither the brands nor the parent company are included (except for Gillette).

    In other words, it is unclear to me how you made your selection – without transparency in your methodology, it would be hard to take this list seriously.

    best, elaine

    • lucy
      June 26, 2012

      Thanks Elaine – great comments.

      The methodology is pretty simple. The brands you mention didn’t make the list simply because they aren’t widely recognised by consumers. As a business they have huge potential to change (every business does) but as a brand per se they don’t have the recognition, loyalty, status or ubiquity of others.

      That doesn’t mean they are off the hook. The Planet Brands Index is a call to action for powerful brands to use their influence to change behaviours. Every brand has that potential – the Planet Brands have it at huge scale.

  • June 25, 2012

    […] particularly liked UK Sustainability Communications firm Futerra’s Planet Brands research, which has created an index of the scale of a brand and consumer relationship with that […]

  • March 16, 2013

    […] reluctant to use their scale and influence to nudge consumers towards more sustainable lifestyles. The Planet Brands Index, a recent study of 100 brands, finds only a “handful that are doing something”, […]