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Green Marketing 30

Green Marketing 30

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06/05/2013

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Green Marketing:
 
Better Late Than Never
 
-- Ambika Lal Faculty Member, INC Ghaziabad.The author can be reached at lal.ambika@gmail.com
Green marketing is the need of the hour when we are seeing environmentaldegradation every single day. Although eco-friendly products are slightly expensivecompared to their traditional counterparts, they offer many advantages. While themarket for green products is definitely on the increase, the "green marketing"campaign is yet to achieve a critical mass. There is an urgent need for both marketersand consumers to appreciate the importance of green products.
We are not here to sell the consumer on saving the planet. This is about `saving me' we are the next endangered species on the list.
 
-- Jacquelyn OttmanAuthor of "Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation" 
Green marketing can be de- fined as the marketing of products that are regarded tobe safe for the environment. The quality of our environment is deteriorating with eachpassing day. It has become a challenge for all human beings to safeguard MotherEarth and green marketing is a small endeavor in this direction. Green marketing canserve as an effective tool for encouraging the sale of a product by using its ecologicalcredentials.It all began with the perception that many consumers will choose products that do notdamage the environment over less environment-friendly products, even if they costmore. Green marketing incorporates a wide range of activities to meet ecologicalstandards. These include: product modification, changes in the production process,packaging changes as well as alterations in advertising, so as to have minimumdetrimental effect on the environment. In the long run, green marketing benefits oneand all²the environment, businesses and human beings.Green marketing is also known as environmental marketing or ecological marketing. Itincludes marketing of products that are phosphate-free, replenishable, eco-friendly,ozone-friendly and recyclable. Consumers spend billions of dollars on buying goodsand services every year, many of which harm the environment by way of how they areharvested, made or used. The drive is on to motivate consumers to adoptenvironmentally safe alternatives, while encouraging manufacturers to develop moreeco-friendly products by offering incentives to them.It would be incorrect to state that the concept of green marketing originated quiterecently. It has been in existence since the first Earth Day in 1970. But nothing muchhappened until the 1980s. This was the time when people visibly started takinginterest in saving the environment, eventually leading to increased interest in greenproducts and services. There was reciprocation from the manufacturers to the rising
 
demand for environment-friendly, energy efficient, biodegradable and compostableproducts from the customers.In 1992, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came forward with guidelines for theapplication of environmental terms like, `biodegradable', `compostable', `recyclable',`reusable', etc. According to FTC and the US Environmental Protection Agency,"environmentally preferable products" may be defined as those goods and servicesthat have a smaller adverse impact on the environment and the human health, whenweighed against other goods and services that are used for the same purpose. It is allabout how the raw materials are obtained, given shape to, enclosed, distributed andrecycled, and how the service and the products are made available to the consumers.If any company wants to promote itself or any of its products/services as beingenvironment friendly, it must then abide by the rules laid down by FTC.Green marketing has evolved through three phases. The first phase was termed as`ecological' green marketing. During this period, all marketing activities revolvedaround ecological problems, providing timely and effective remedies for the same. Thesecond phase was `environmental' green marketing during which, the focus was onthe development of technology which is environmentally safe. The thrust was ondesigning new products which help in the reduction of waste effluents and pollution.The third phase commenced in the late 1990s and this phase was actually the`sustainable' green marketing phase. This was at its peak when the former Presidentof the United States, Bill Clinton, had directed all federal offices to buy and useenvironmentally safe products.Green marketing campaign can be started by ensuring credibility of the green claims.This can be achieved by having the product certified that it was produced in anenvironmentally sound manner. Once certified, the eco-labels enable the consumers tomake educated and responsible choices.
C
all to
C
hange Peoples' Mindset
It is a general tendency among customers to go in for a cheaper alternative, ratherthan purchase a more costly green and eco-friendly product. It has really been anuphill task for the `green activists' to reach to the masses and change their way of thinking. The proponents of green marketing emphasize that the `greenness' of aproduct should be considered as a necessity by customers while taking the buyingdecision, rather than a luxury.It is also possible that marketers may put on a show of supporting the environmentwithout actually doing so. This is known as `greenwashing'. It is the presenting of aproduct or service as green, when it is actually not.However, green marketing can be a very powerful marketing tool, when it is usedcorrectly and with fair intentions. We need to follow three principal dictums foreffective green marketing; which are:
y
 
Be genuine
 
y
 
Educate your customers, and
y
 
Give them the opportunity to participate.
Acc
omplishments in Green Marketing
There has been a significant change in the mindset of customers, and manufacturersare leaving no stone unturned to respond to the shoppers' demands. The hotelindustry is showing maximum inclination towards green marketing by projecting theireco-testimonials more aggressively. The concept of `green inn' is catching on. Forexample, hotels have been suggesting to their guests to reuse towels for the period of their stay, so as to save water and energy spent on laundering.A lodge at Sun Ranch in Cameron, Missouri (in the US) dedicatedly plants 10 trees inthe Amazon region for every guest's stay in its place. Another effort is being made atThe Hilton in Naples, Florida (USA). The hotel is growing a Confederate Jasmine vinegarden on top of its roof, which keeps the building effectively cool and the best featureis that the garden is watered with condensation waste from the air conditioners.According to The American Hotel and Lodging Association, when it put up `Green BestPractices' resource guide on its official website, it soon became one of the most visitedsites in recent times.Clearly, the environment is becoming a priority for hoteliers and that too for goodreasons. The general public too has started taking a firm stand on its responsibilitytowards the environment and according to the Travel Industry Association-USA, moreAmerican adults are keen to select an environmentally responsible hotel. "Putting the`eco' in front of your name gets attention", according to Ted Martens, director atSustainable Travel International, a nonprofit organization in the US that educatestravelers and travel providers about ecology conservation. As an offshoot, the conceptof `Green IT' has evolved as well, which is being taken very seriously by manycompanies, particularly in Britain. Here, almost half of the large IT firms have adoptedthe green IT strategy.
Measures Taken in India
y
 
I
ntroduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Unleaded Petrol inDelhi:
This improved the quality of petrol and has helped bring down pollutionlevels.
y
 
S
olar Equipment:
Solar equipments are the need of the hour, as they assistin enhancing the quality of our environment by not generating noise or airpollution. They also conserve energy.
y
 
Energy Conservation:
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) provide an energysaving alternative to incandescent lamps, and they are also very effective inbringing down electricity expenses. Today, we find widespread use of CFLs.Similarly, introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles is a useful measure forreducing air pollution.
y
 
Eco-friendly Furniture:
It is a good substitute for classical wooden furniturewhich we use in our households. Eco-friendly furniture draws more on waste

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