BERLIN: Consumers in Germany are placing an increased emphasis on the environmental credentials of brands, a survey has revealed.

Reader's Digest magazine polled 8,000 adults, who provided their opinions of 3,817 rival products in 33 categories, and found 74% of the panel believed most major companies were not concerned with issues related to sustainability.

The survey also showed two-thirds of participants favour sustainable goods and services, and 38% agreed with the statement "I prefer brands that are committed to social matters."

Among the operators perceived as leading the way in this area were Persil detergent, Frosch household cleaner and appliance manufacturer Miele, and energy specialist E.ON.

More broadly, established "classic" players secured the highest trust levels in the country, according to Reader's Digest.

Volkswagen was named the number one automaker, a position assumed by C&A regarding clothing, Coca-Cola for soft drinks, Kellogg's in the cereal segment, and Nivea covering haircare and skincare.

Nokia claimed an equivalent status for mobile phone handsets, Visa achieved pre-eminence for credit cards, and Allianz topped the insurance charts.

"Trust is the basis for the relationship between consumers and businesses," said Anett Groch, managing director of Reader's Digest, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

"Only consumers who repeatedly have their confidence reaffirmed remain loyal to a brand. Sustainable management therefore ensures both the current and future success of brands."

Data sourced from Reader's Digest; additional content by Warc staff