Green Marketing: Avisionary step towards sustainable development
The article talks about the role of green marketing in sustainable development. The importance and benefits of green marketing in todays environment with examples of various companies those who have implemented green marketing. The challenges faced and their respective solutions.
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Is Climate Change Real?
There is an indubitableevidence that Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate and human activitiesare the principal cause
The stats state that Earth'sclimate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 800,000 years, therehave been eight cycles of ice ages and warmer periods the currentwarming is happening at a rate not seen in the past 10,000 years. This differenceis clearly the result of human activities since the mid-1800s, which isproceeding at a rate not seen over many recent millennia. 97% ofactively publishing climate scientists and most of the leading scienceorganizations around the world including United NationsIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree that humans are causingglobal warming and climate change. A report claimed that 39lakh peoplein India were displaced in 2020 due to climate disaster and conflicts, makingit the worst hit country in the world. The increasing level of such incidentsare generating concerns, awareness and importance is now given to this acuteproblem of climate change. From the various solutions those are provided forthe problem of climate change green marketing is one of them.
What is Green Marketing ?
Environmental marketing, more popularly known as greenmarketing or sustainable marketing is defined as the effort by a company todesign, promote, price, and distribute products in a manner that satisfies theneeds and the wants with minimaldetrimental impact on the natural environment and its stakeholders.
The 1st phase of greenmarketing began when the concept was first discussed in the late 1980s. It wastermed as ‘Ecological’ green marketing. Wherein the industries and theirmarketing activities were focused on providing solutions to environmentalproblems. It was thought that people would buy green products and thiswould therefore increase the organization’s goodwill. Nevertheless, nothinghappened, reason given for this was greenwashing. Businesses wereonly showing that they were green but the truth is that they were doing nothing. The2nd phase was termed ‘Environmental’ green marketing wherein the focal pointshifted to clean technology, which was about designing new products which wouldnot harm the natural environment. During this phase people were becomingmore alert about the environmental problems and protection and preservation ofnature. This marked the third phase which latter was termed ‘Sustainable’ greenmarketing. As customers were buying products and services that were lessdetrimental to the natural environment, organizations were forced to changetheir selling behaviours.
Importance Of Green Marketing
The importance of greenmarketing can be found from the definition of economics. Economics is the studyof how people use their limited resources to try to satisfy unlimitedwants. Resources are limited and human wants are unlimited. So the companieswill have to find new ways to satisfy these unlimited needs with fewerresources available. Therefore, the concept of green marketing has made itpossible for organizations to use the resources in an efficient way and at thesame time minimizing waste. As there is a increase of awareness among the consumersregarding the protection of the natural environment and the consumers arechanging their purchasing behaviour. Forcing the companies to adopt the conceptof sustainable green marketing.
Example Of CompaniesImplementing Green Marketing
One of the examples ofsustainable marketing is the clothing retailer H&M, which in recent yearshas made significant improvements in its environmental policies and procedures.The “Conscious Collection” is the primary emphasis of H&M, which isrecognized as one of the most environmentally responsible corporationsoperating in the fashion sector. The reports show that
·The collection of clothing has 50% of items thatare created from environmentally friendly materials. 65% of the companiesmaterials are now from recycled and sustainable sources.
·100% of H&M cotton is organic and recycled.
·There is 14% reduction in packaging including 24%less plastic packaging.
·The company has a recycling program that allowscustomers to return any brand of clothing in-store.
·It has a policy certified by CanopyStyle to avoidthe destruction of ancient and endangered forests, and it makes use ofrenewable energy sources as part of its supply chain.
As we’ve seen in itsSustainability Report, it has set some great goals and it sets a good exampleof how companies can make productive changes towards sustainability. The benefits that the company get include:
·These companies get a competitive edge and afirst mover advantage over their competitors, also providing a opportunity tocater new markets.
·There is sustainable long-standing growth together with highprofit.
·With so many options available in the market for the buyersthey have a tough time maintaining the brand loyalty, in such a environment thecustomers are more inclined towards environment friendly products eventuallyincreasing the market share.
·Employees feel proud and responsible to work in anenvironmentally responsible organization.
·It helps to improve brand equity and gaincustomer loyalty.
There are various other Indiancompanies such as Mumbai-based Pappco Greenware, Pune-based start-up Blink Green which makes fashionable footwear using tyre scrap, Beco the company manufactures trashbags, kitchen towels, and tissue rolls made out of the bamboo pulp and cornstarch, EcoRight which sells eco-friendly bags with an emphasis on design toattract the customers. These examples show that with concentrated efforts businessescan bring a change in its customers preferences of choosing environmentally-friendly products over theircompetitors. The challenges faced by the companies are as follows:
·As this is a new concept the Indian consumers aregetting more aware about the advantages of using green products. But it isstill new for masses in India. The consumers need to be educated and create awarenessabout environmental threats and how green marketing activities can help insaving our environment.
·Lack of Standardization: It is found that veryfew marketing campaigns are green in true sense whereas others are merelycommitment to society. A standard quality control needs to be implemented forsuch labelling and incensing.
·Long Term Investment: The investors as well ascorporates need to view this initiative as long term investment which surelywill become source of return in future but it is important that they show patienceas it will take time.
·Avoiding Green Myopia: All activities whichcompany will plan under green marketing must be customer centric focusing onthe customer delight which will eventually motivate them to, switch over theconventional brands to your brand. For this to happen the (CPV) customers mustperceive their benefits more against their cost of opting our alternative.
·Organizations must make sure that their actionsare not misleading customers or violate any regulation dealing withenvironmental marketing for this they need to make sure that they have goodscientific knowledge about what they are providing.
Forexample, in the aerosol industry, firms switched from CFCs(chlorofluorocarbons) to HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). However, afterward, it wasfound that HFCs are also greenhouse gas.
Therefore the companiesshould establish a personal relationship with the customers and include the companiesgreen initiatives into their brand’s narrative. Show the audience what theirbusiness is about and tell them that it isn’t only about making money.
Initiatives taken by the Government
There are also various initiativestaken by the government where in the IRCTC has allowed its customers to carry PNRno. of their E-Tickets on their laptops and mobiles. Customers do not need tocarry the printed version of their ticket anymore. Also there are variousschemes such as building toilets to ramping up cleanliness through the Swachh Bharat Mission,Namami Gange Programme recognising the cultural andenvironmental importance of the river Ganga,Green Skill DevelopmentProgramme refers to those that contributeto preserve and restore environment and create a sustainable future.National Clean Air Programme,NationalPolicy on Resource Efficiency, etc.
Therefore green marketingacts as a major tool towards sustainable development which is a concept thatsays to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability offuture generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development requires"sustainable marketing" that is marketing efforts that are not onlycompetitively sustainable but are also ecologically sustainable. Hence, greenmarketing that focuses on undertaking the marketing activities while protectingthe environment. On the other hand sustainable development demands that thefuture generations inherit the natural environment in the same state or betteras inherited by the previous generations. This calls for the protection andimprovement of the environment. Therefore, sustainable development is adependent variable of green marketing and other factors as independent factors.
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