Two-thirds of UK's leading brands must do better on carbon emissions, report finds

LONDON - 122 leading UK brands, including Barclays, Sky and eBay, saw their carbon emissions increase in 2008, while a further 250, including Google, McKinsey and Amazon, failed to publish any emissions information, new research has found.

ENDS Carbon surveyed 600 of the biggest brands in the UK for Brand Republic and its sister title Marketing. The survey found that 400 brands either increased the amount of carbon they were producing, had weaker targets for cutting their carbon emissions or did not publish any information on the subject.

Among those brands that did not publish any data were Google and Amazon, while McDonald's and Porsche were criticised for their failure to publish data on their reduction targets.

Brands that were found to be leaders in cutting carbon emissions include British Airways, Dell and Abbey. Supermarket brands performed well in the survey, with Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, Sainsbury's and Morrisons all being dubbed "leaders".

Car makers also performed well, with BMW, Volkswagen, General Motors and Renault receiving top ranking.

Rachael Stilwell, publishing director at Haymarket Brand Media, said: "For brands in the UK it is no longer enough to have a statement of intent on carbon reduction. Year on year the Brand Emissions survey will track progress against the government's goals.

"With Copenhagen around the corner and the consumer agenda becoming ever more green these results will become an important reputational milestone for brands."

A total of 122 of the brands that reported their carbon emissions published data which showed the level increased in 2008.

Sky, which found itself included in this group, said while it recognised this year its emissions had increased slightly, over the past five years it had reduced overall emissions by 12% and it has set itself "ambitious targets" to cut CO2, increase its use of renewable energy and make its buildings more energy efficient.

The broadcaster also pointed out that it is "one of the few FTSE 100 companies who fully report on our emissions and have a clear set of targets for the future".

The research was conducted using data from the Carbon Disclosure Project. Overall performance tables can be seen at

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