Sustainable Brand Index™ is Europe’s largest brand study on sustainability. The study measures the perception of stakeholders on a brand’s sustainability across industries and countries. Next to a yearly ranking and official report, Sustainable Brand Index™ provides brand-specific sustainability insights into markets, behaviours and stakeholder groups.

 

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About

  • SB Insight AB. Sustainable Brand Index™ is owned and run entirely by SB Insight. The company is based in Sweden and is privately owned by its employees. SB Insight finances Sustainable Brand Index 100%.

    Based on macro and micro trends, consumer behaviours, and brand analysis, the study seeks answers to the following questions:

    • How does sustainability affect brands?

    • How are brands perceived within the different areas of sustainability and why?

    • What can brands do to change and improve this perception?

    • What are the consumers’ attitudes and behaviours regarding sustainability, how do they change over time, and how do they affect brands?

    • Which future trends and developments within sustainability do brands need to be aware of and respond to? 

    Every year, Sustainable Brand Index™ results in:

    Rankings

    Our yearly brand rankings show how brands are perceived on sustainability by their important stakeholders. Brands are selected independently based on market share, turnover and general brand awareness.

    Official Reports

    Our official reports contain the complete ranking of each country over time, accompanied with key sustainability insights and stakeholder data.

    Tailored Insights & Analysis

    We provide brands with brand-specific data insights, tailored analysis, and strategic tools. Our unique data and sustainability insights help brands understand how they are perceived within sustainability, why they are perceived this way and how to build a more sustainable brand. Yearly, we provide brands internationally with tailored sustainability insights that help them in their goal-setting and strategic work, as well as external and internal communication.

What is Sustainable Brand Index™ B2C?

Sustainable Brand Index™ B2C focuses on the largest business-to-consumer brands across a variety of industries and countries.
Based on more than 60 000 consumer interviews in the Nordics, the Netherlands & the Baltics, the study looks at how sustainable your brand is perceived to be, why it is perceived this way and what to do about it. Currently, the study is conducted annually in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania. The ambition is to grow Sustainable Brand Index™ B2C to as many countries, industries and brands as possible.

What is Sustainable Brand Index™ B2B?

Sustainable Brand Index™ B2B study focuses on the largest business-to-business brands across a variety of industries. This study is based on desk research and on in-depth interviews with decision-makers with purchasing responsibilities within the B2B market. The B2B is part of Sustainable Brand Index™ since 2017 and currently only conducted in Sweden.

What is the purpose of Sustainable Brand Index™?

The purpose of Sustainable Brand Index™ is to drive the agenda, visualise the value of sustainable branding and increase the knowledge on sustainability within branding and communication. Based on data-driven insights, Sustainable Brand Index™ is able to identify important gaps between how brands think they are perceived on sustainability and the reality. By analysing important trends, mapping stakeholders’ attitudes and behaviours and evaluating several materiality areas, the study provides brand-specific data and strategic tools.

In doing so, Sustainable Brand Index™ encourages brands to improve their work and dares them to communicate about sustainability. The more brands talk about sustainability, the more consumers will know, care and demand. It creates a positive cycle for transparency and sustainability. Together we are on a mission to create sustainable brands.

What is Sustainable Brand Index™ reaLly measuring?

Sustainable Brand Index™ measures how brands are perceived on sustainability. Thus, we do not measure the actual level of sustainability operations in this study. The perception of each actor’s sustainability efforts is largely based on the consumers’ gut feeling, but in some cases also on their knowledge. In summary, we measure how much or how little the consumers know about each actor’s sustainability responsibility as well as how they value each actor’s sustainability responsibility.

Isn’t there a risk that the study encourages greenwashing?

We don’t think so. Instead, we can see that the study has the opposite effect. In fact, using branding and communication as a driver for sustainability is one of the purposes of the study. The more companies communicate about sustainability and their work, the higher the interest for these issues becomes amongst the consumers. When interest increases, the consumers’ knowledge about company operations in this field also increases. When consumers know more, they have higher demands. Therefore, it becomes increasingly risky from the companies’ point of view, to be perceived as sustainable but to not deliver. We see it as a positive cycle.

 

Methodology

How are brands selected?

The selection of brands in the study is independently selected by SB Insight and is based on three main parameters: activity on the market of the country, turnover & market share and general brand awareness. The purpose of these criteria is to create a selection that mirrors the brands that consumers meet in their everyday life. The selection is primarily focused on corporate brands but is also complemented with product brands based on market share and general brand awareness, which is relevant to create a justified image of each industry respectively.

Brands cannot choose to be included or excluded from the study and the annual results of Sustainable Brand Index™ are open to the public.

WHICH INDUSTRIES ARE INCLUDED IN SUSTAINABLE BRAND INDEX™? 

In the overview below, all industries included in Sustainable Brand Index™ are listed based on country/region. The differences in industries between the countries depend on the selection of brands in each country and on cultural differences between the markets. From the very beginning, the industries in Sustainable Brand Index™ were selected based on GICS – the Global Industry Classification Standard. However, as the study grew and the number of brands increased, it was difficult to keep to this fairly narrow definition. Today, industries are chosen based on how frequent they are in consumers’ lives and how important they are considered to be for the transition to a sustainable world. This means that we have everything from pure consumption-oriented industries such as food, clothes & fashion, 比特币门户交易网home appliances & consumer electronics, and interior design, to what can be called more society-oriented industries. The latter consist of, for example, caregivers, ities and forest owners. Industries that play a major role in people’s lives in different ways. Since the purpose of Sustainable Brand Index™ is to highlight sustainability and drive the agenda in society, it is of great importance to examine these industries as well.

overview of industries

B2C

Sweden

Airlines
Automotive
Banks
Beauty
Beverage
Clothes & Fashion - Brands
Clothes & Fashion - Stores
Consumer Goods Corporations
Digital
E-commerce
Electricity & Heating
Food
Forest Owners
Fuel
Furniture & Decoration - Brands
Furniture & Decoration - Stores
Gambling
Governmental Institutions
Grocery Stores
Healthcare Providers
Hobby & Leisure
比特币门户交易网home appliances & Consumer electronics
Hotels
Insurance
Opticians
Parcels & Logistics
Pension
Pharmacies
Real Estate
Restaurants, Cafes & Take-away
Telecommunications
Transport
Travel & Tourism

Vehicle Inspection


Norway

Airlines
Automotive
Banks
Beauty
Beverage
Clothes & Fashion - Brands
Clothes & Fashion - Stores
Consumer Goods Corporations
E-commerce
Electricity & Heating
Food
Fuel
Furniture & Decoration
Grocery Stores
Hobby & Leisure
比特币门户交易网home appliances & Consumer electronics
Hotels
Insurance & Pension
Parcels & Logistics
Pharmacies
Restaurants, Cafes & Take-away
Telecommunications
Transport
Travel & Tourism


Denmark

Airlines
Automotive
Banks
Beauty
Beverage
Clothes & Fashion - Brands
Clothes & Fashion - Stores
Consumer Goods Corporations
E-commerce
Electricity & Heating
Food
Fuel
Furniture & Decoration - Brands
Furniture & Decoration - Stores
Hobby & Leisure
比特币门户交易网home appliances & Consumer electronics
Hotels
Insurance & Pension
Pharmacies
Restaurants, Cafes & Take-away
Supermarkets
Telecommunications
Transport
Travel & Tourism

 

Finland

Airlines
Automotive
Banks
Beauty
Beverage
Clothes & Fashion - Brands
Clothes & Fashion - Stores
Consumer Goods Corporations
E-commerce
Electricity & Heating
Food
Fuel
Furniture & Decoration - Brands
Furniture & Decoration - Stores
Grocery Stores
Hobby & Leisure
比特币门户交易网home appliances & Consumer electronics
Hotels
Insurance & Pension
Parcels & Logistics
Pharmacies
Restaurants, Cafes & Take-away
Telecommunications
Transport
Travel & Tourism

The Netherlands

Airlines
Automotive
Banks
Beverage
Consumer Goods Corporations
Digital
E-commerce
Energy
Food
Hotels
Insurance
Mobility
Restaurants, Cafes & Take-away
Retail
Supermarkets
Telecom
Travel & Tourism

Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania

Banks
Electricity & Heating
Food & Beverage
Fuel
Grocery Stores
Pharmacies
Telecom
Transport/Travel

 

B2B

Sweden

Banking
Energy
FMCG
Fuel
IT & Technology
Pension & Insurance
Real Estate
Telecommunication
Transport & Logistics
Waste Management

How is data collected?

Sustainable Brand Index™ is an independent study, based on desk research and two main quantitative web-surveys. Each brand is assessed by at least 1 000 respondents.*

  • The average length of the surveys is approximately 10 minutes

  • In accordance with our policy, we do not use panels that are self-recruited

  • In the surveys, we set quotas for gender, age and geography

  • In a final step, the data is weighted for further fine-tuning

    *In Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania, each brand has been randomly assessed by at least 800 respondents.

HOW IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE IN SUSTAINABLE BRAND INDEX™ DEFINED?

B2C Study

Sustainable Brand Index™ B2C focuses on the target group: consumers. In other words the general public in each country, 16-75 years.

B2B

Sustainable Brand Index™ B2B focuses on the target group: decision-makers with purchasing responsibilities.

In the 2017 and 2018 study, the respondent target group was executive decision-makers within purchasing and procurement working at companies with a turnover of more than 500 million SEK. In short, very big companies. In Sweden there were approximately 2500 companies of this size, making the target group quite narrow. In the 2019 study, the target group has been redefined to SMEs – Small and Medium-Sized Companies. This refers to companies that have from 40 and up to 500 employees. The reason for this change is that decision-makers at these companies are judged to be more relevant to study from a sustainability perspective. The knowledge of the biggest companies on the market and their purchasing habits are well known, not least by their suppliers. By focusing on smaller companies, the Sustainable Brand Index can instead cover a hitherto fairly unknown target group in sustainability. Please note that this change in the respondent target group means that there is no comparability between the data from 2019 and the previous years.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RESPONDENTS?

B2C

The respondents come from so-called consumer panels belonging to a subcontractor. The panels thus consist of regular citizens in each country that have been recruited to answer questions at even and uneven intervals. Respondents are recruited through requests made on websites on the internet (either on news sites or in connection with an online purchase). We do not work with self-recruited panels, i.e. panels made up of people who themselves have signed up to answer questions.

The respondents who then answer the questions in Sustainable Brand Index™ are selected from the mentioned panels. To get a so-called nationally representative selection, we use so-called quotas. This means that, even before we ask questions, we decide that there must be a certain distribution of respondents, based on gender, age and geography (to reflect the population of each country).

B2B

Sustainable Brand Index™ B2B focuses on the target group: decision-makers with purchasing responsibilities. Based on the study’s questions and target group, the research method was designed as a quantitative survey. The survey method consisted of telephone interviews. This method was chosen due to an assessment that telephone interviews would give us the lowest shares of dropouts.

To reach our selected target group, the sample population was based on a register on all companies operating on the Swedish market with 40 to 500 employees. The register contains the companies’ names, turnover and contact details to the telephone exchange of the companies. During each phone interview, respondents evaluated a randomised selection of brands based on his or her position and, especially, the industry from which they purchase goods or services.  

Do you use the same respondents every year?

No, we don’t use the same respondents every year. It is important not to have the same respondents to avoid distortion of the results. For example, if we use the same respondents every year, they become "experts" on the questions we ask. We want answers from ordinary consumers, not just people who are knowledgeable of sustainability.

How Is Sustainability defined in Sustainable Brand Index™

The basis for the ranking in Sustainable Brand Index ™ is the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDG). The evaluation is done on an overarching level with the goals as a basis for the definition. In addition, the ranking is only the tip of the iceberg in the study. We also look at consumers’ perception of what sustainability is and their expectations and demands on companies. Furthermore, the study also digs deep within specific focus areas relevant to each industry.

Facts & Figures - Sustainable Brand Index™

In total, more than 60 000 respondents have been interviewed. These respondents are spread across all countries in the study (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania).

 

Countries

Sweden B2C

Norway B2C

Denmark B2C

Finland B2C

The Netherlands B2C

Estonia B2C

Latvia B2C

Lithuania B2C


Total

Respondents

23 400

10 460

 6 800

 9 900

 9 000

    800

    800

    800


69 760

Brands

393

257

236

212

199

51

51

50


1449

industrieS

34

24

24

25

17

8

8

8


34


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