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Green Marketing

Green Marketing

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Published by Dinesh Kumar

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Published by: Dinesh Kumar on Aug 17, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The term Green Marketing came into prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
TheAmerican Marketing Association (AMA) held the first workshop on "Ecological Marketing"in 1975 . The proceedings of this workshop resulted in one of the first books on greenmarketing entitled "Ecological Marketing".
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports started with the ice cream seller Ben &Jerry's where the financial report was supplemented by a greater view on the company'senvironmental impact. In 1987 a document prepared by the World Commission onEnvironment and Development defined sustainable development as meeting ³the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need´, this became known as the Brundtland Report and was another step towards widespread thinkingon sustainability in everyday activity. Two tangible milestones for wave 1 of green marketingcame in the form of published books, both of which were called Green Marketing. They were by Ken Peattie (1992) in the United Kingdom and by Jacquelyn Ottman (1993) in the UnitedStates of America.
According to Jacquelyn Ottman, (author of "The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies,Tools, and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding" (Greenleaf Publishing
and Berrett-Koehler Publishers, February 2011)) from an organizational standpoint, environmental considerationsshould be integrated into all aspects of marketing ² new product development andcommunications and all points in between.
The holistic nature of green also suggests that besides suppliers and retailers new stakeholders be enlisted, including educators, members of the community, regulators, and NGOs. Environmental issues should be balanced with primary customer needs.The past decade has shown that harnessing consumer power to effect positive environmentalchange is far easier said than done. The so-called "green consumer" movements in the U.S.and other countries have struggled to reach critical mass and to remain in the forefront of shoppers' minds.
While public opinion polls taken since the late 1980s have shownconsistently that a significant percentage of consumers in the U.S. and elsewhere profess astrong willingness to favor environmentally conscious products and companies, consumers'efforts to do so in real life have remained sketchy at best.
One of green marketing'schallenges is the lack of standards or public consensus about what constitutes "green,"according to Joel Makower, a writer on green marketing . In essence, there is no definition of "how good is good enough" when it comes to a product or company making green marketingclaims. This lack of consensus²by consumers, marketers, activists, regulators, andinfluential people²has slowed the growth of green products, says Makower, becausecompanies are often reluctant to promote their green attributes, and consumers are oftenskeptical about claims.
Despite these challenges, green marketing has continued to gain adherents, particularly inlight of growing global concern about climate change. This concern has led more companiesto advertise their commitment to reduce their climate impacts, and the effect this is having ontheir products and services.
Ecological Marketing
Ecological marketing was based on the idea that environmental protection and resourceconservation can be better advanced through less regulation by the public sector and moreenterprise in the private sector. This idea, in turn, is based on the premise that theecologically concerned consumer is a legitimate but largely unused market segment ² onethat is identifiable, accessible and measurable.
In the 1970s the importances of a smallnumber of environmental issues like oil use or pollution for a narrow range of industries (for example cars and chemicals) was framed as something that was relevant to engineers,lawyers and marketers within companies.
Originally proposed at the American Marketing Association first conference on ecologicalmarketing in 1975,
the idea was compatible with the antiregulatory mood of these days in theU.S. It found supporter at the 1979 conference, who felt that government and business shouldstrike a better balance in the division of responsibility for the management of negative socialexternalities.
Green/ environmental marketing
Unfortunately, a majority of people believe that ecological (green) marketing refers solely tothe promotion or advertising of products with environmental characteristics. Terms likePhosphate Free, Recyclable, Refillable, Ozone Friendly, and Environmentally Friendly aresome of the things consumers most often associate with green marketing. While these termsare green marketing claims, in general green marketing is a much broader concept, one thatcan be applied to consumer goods, industrial goods and even services. Thus, green marketingincorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes of the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising. Green marketingcame into prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was first discussed much earlier.The American Marketing Association (short: AMA) held the first workshop on ³EcologicalMarketing´ in 1975 .The proceedings of this workshop resulted in one of the first books ongreen marketing entitled ³Ecological Marketing´. According to Dainora Grundey and RodicaMilena Zaharia Green or Environmental Marketing consists of all activities designed togenerate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants, such that thesatisfaction of these needs and wants occurs, with minimal harmful impact on the naturalenvironment .
 Greenhouse gas reduction market
The emerging greenhouse gas reduction market can potentially catalyze projects withimportant local environmental, economic, and quality-of-life benefits. The Kyoto Protocol¶sClean Development Mechanism (CDM), for example, enables trading between industrial anddeveloping nations, providing a framework that can result in capital flows to environmentally beneficial development activities. Although the United States is not participating in the KyotoProtocol, several US programs enable similar transactions on a voluntary and regulatory basis.
While international trade in greenhouse gas
reductions holds substantial promise as a sourceof new funding for sustainable development, this market can be largely inaccessible to manysmaller-scale projects, remote communities, and least developed localities. To facilitate participation and broaden the benefits, several barriers must be overcome, including: a lack of market awareness among stakeholders and prospective participants; specialized, somewhatcomplicated participation rules; and the need for simplified participation mechanisms for small projects, without which transaction costs can overwhelm the financial benefits of  participation. If the barriers are adequately addressed, greenhouse gas trading can play animportant role supporting activities that benefit people¶s lives and the environment.
Popularity and effectiveness
Ongoing debate
The popularity of such marketing approach and its effectiveness is hotly debated. Supportersclaim that environmental appeals are actually growing in number±the Energy Star label, for example, now appears on 11,000 different companies'
models in 38 product categories, fromwashing machines and light bulbs to skyscrapers and homes. However, despite the growth inthe number of green products, green marketing is on the decline as the primary sales pitch for  products. (NEEDS CITATION) On the other hand, Roper¶s Green Gauge shows that a high percentage of consumers (42%)
feel that environmental products don¶t work as well asconventional ones. This is an unfortunate legacy from the 1970s when shower headssputtered and natural detergents left clothes dingy. Given the choice, all but the greenest of customers will reach for synthetic detergents over the premium-priced, proverbial "HappyPlanet" any day, including Earth Day. New reports, however show a growing trend towardsgreen products .
One challenge green marketers -- old and new -- are likely to face as green products andmessages become more common is confusion in the marketplace. "Consumers do not reallyunderstand a lot about these issues, and there's a lot of confusion out there," says JacquelynOttman(founder of J. Ottman Consulting and author of "Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation.")
Marketers sometimes take advantage of this confusion, and purposely makefalse or exaggerated "green" claims. Critics refer to this practice as "green washing´

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