Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy and author of the annual Best Global Brands report, has released its 2013 Best Global Green Brands report. The automotive sector dominates with Toyota (#1), Ford (#2), and Honda (#3) claiming the top three spots in this year’s report. Nissan (#5), Ford (#2), Nokia (#9), and UPS (#32) earn honors as the year’s top risers, and new entrants include Nestlé (#14), Kia (#37), ZARA (#48), and Colgate (#50).

Interbrand’s 2013 Best Global Green Brands report examines the gap that exists between a corporation’s environmental practices and consumers’ perceptions of those practices. When identifying the top 50 Best Global Green Brands each year, Interbrand starts with the 100 brands that make up its annual Best Global Brands report. Interbrand then conducts extensive consumer research to capture public perception of the brand’s sustainable or green practices and compares that to environmental sustainability performance data provided by Deloitte—data that is based upon publicly available information.

Automotive brands make up 50 percent of this year’s top ten with Toyota (#1), Ford (#2), Honda (#3), Nissan (#5), and Volkswagen (#7) topping the list. Collectively, the heavily regulated auto industry has effectively showcased its innovations and firm commitment to manufacturing vehicles in an increasingly sustainable way. Although most automotive brands have invested in meeting sustainability goals and complying with regulations, those brands that have invested in creating innovative products as evidence of their commitment to sustainability (e.g., Toyota Prius, Ford EcoBoost, Nissan LEAF) are receiving more recognition from consumers.

Toyota, the #1 Best Global Green Brand for the third consecutive year, continues to dominate the hybrid vehicle market. The company sold more than 2.9 million Prius models worldwide in 2012.

Nissan (#5), the Japanese automaker, emerged as the top riser on this year’s report. The brand moved up 16 places (from #21) and broke into the top 10. As with other brands in the auto sector, Nissan is becoming increasingly committed to developing and promoting its green credentials. In February, the company announced that 50,000 LEAFs had been produced worldwide, making the LEAF the most widely sold electric passenger car of all time. Nissan plans to cut 15 percent of vehicle weight starting in 2017, and it has joined forces with Daimler and Ford to develop a line of affordable fuel-cell cars that will roll out in 2017.