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Supermarkets dominate green brands poll

LONDON - The Body Shop has been voted the UK's 'greenest' brand by consumers, closely followed by supermarket chains Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda.

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The 2008 ImagePower Green Brands Survey is backed by WPP's Landor Associates, Cohn & Wolfe and Penn, Shoen & Berland Associates.

This is the second year that the Body Shop, the cosmetics and toiletries chain founded by the late Anita Roddick, has topped the poll, for which 1,500 adults were questioned over the course of April.

The remaining top 10 "green" brands were deemed to be Dove, Google, the Co-operative Bank and E.ON, the home energy group formerly known as Powergen.

Phil Gandy, senior consultant at branding agency Landor, said: "The British public have clearly responded positively to initiatives such as Marks & Spencer's widely publicised Plan A campaign and most recently its move to charge for plastic bags.

"Companies and brands that aspire to be green need to find ways to connect with consumers and stakeholders in similarly direct ways."

The survey found that a practical focus on reducing waste and recycling has now replaced the "big picture" of climate change as the top environmental concern of the British people.

Despite supermarkets coming out on top a massive 94% of Britons think products, especially their food purchases and groceries, are over packaged. In an effort to reduce waste half of them are choosing products that use less packaging or recycled packaging.

Six out of 10 people say they now avoid plastic bags when shopping for groceries and 75% of consumers say that environmental buzzwords including "recyclable", "renewable" and "sustainable" will have a strong impact on their intent to buy.

The survey also reveals a preoccupation with the state of the economy, with almost two thirds of the public rating the economy as their prime concern. However 80% plan to spend as much or more on green products and services this year as they did last.

Geoff Beattie, leader of Cohn & Wolfe's global sustainability practice, said: "The reason the supermarkets have done so well in our survey is that they are able to talk to people about the environment in concrete terms that they can understand and relate to."

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