According to the American Marketing Association, green marketing is the marketing of products or goods that are supposedly believed to be environmentally safe. Green Marketing is also alternatively termed as environmental marketing or ecological marketing. Thus green marketing refers to the holistic marketing approach and concept wherein a broad range of activities include product modification, changes to production process, packaging changes as well as modifying advertisements.
Understanding green marketing
According to Pride and Ferrel (1993), green marketing which is also known as environmental marketing or sustainable marketing/ refers to the organization’s efforts at designing, promoting, pricing and distributing products that will not harm the environment.
Polonsky (1994) defines green marketing as all activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants that has minimal detrimental impact on the natural environment.
Elingston (1994:93) defines green consumer as one who avoids products that are likely to:
- Endanger the health of the consumer and others.
- Cause significant damage to the environment during manufacture, use or disposal, consume a disproportionate amount of energy.
- Cause unnecessary waste.
- Use materials derived from threatened species or environments.
- Involve unnecessary use of, or cruelty to animals.
- Adversely affect other countries.
Reading articles in newspapers and knowing more about issues like global warming, extinct animal species, pollution and more, is the evidence that people today are aware about the damages caused to the nature by people. Green marketing is the need of the hour. It only indicates a growing market for socially responsible and sustainable products and services.
Companies and brands indulged in green marketing
Companies are venturing into green marketing for the following reasons:
With the increase in consumers who prefer environment-friendly products and those who have become health conscious, there is a vast opportunity for green marketing in India. The Surf Excel water-saving detergent (with the message…….”do bucket paani roz bachaana”) and LG consumer durable are examples of green marketing.
Many companies have started realizing that they must behave in an environment-friendly fashion. They believe both in achieving environmental objectives as well as profit related objectives. The HSBC became the world’s first bank to go carbon neutral last year. Other examples include Coca Cola, which has invested in various recycling activities. Walt Disney World in Florida, US, has an extensive waste management program and infrastructure in place.
The Government of India has framed and prepared various regulations and legislation to protect the society at large and reduce the production of harmful goods. For eg: Ban on use of plastic polythene bags in India and prohibition of smoking at public places in India.
Many companies take up green marketing to maintain their competitive edge. The green marketing initiatives by niche companies such as Body Shop and Green & Black have prompted many mainline competitors to follow suit.
It is believed and proven that the reduction of harmful ways will cut down the cost of the final product also. Some companies have now developed a symbiotic relationship in which one company uses the by-products of another company as raw materials. In this manner, the problem of disposing off the effluent waste is reduced.
Green marketing ensures:
- Sustained long term growth.
- Saves money in the long run.
- Helps promoting products in an environment friendly manner.
- Helps in breaking through newer markets for competitive advantages.
- Green Marketing in India: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges. Pavan Mishra and Payal Sharma, 25th December, 2010. Journal of Engineering, Science and Management Education/Vol. 3, 2010/9-1.