As society becomes more concerned with the natural environment, businesses have begun to modify their behavior in an attempt to address society's "new" concerns. Some businesses have been quick to accept concepts like environmental management systems and waste minimization, and have integrated environmental issues into all organizational activities.
Unfortunately, a majority of people believe that green marketing refers solely to the promotion or advertising of products with environmental characteristics. Terms like Phosphate Free, Recyclable, Refillable, Ozone Friendly, and Environmentally Friendly are some of the things consumers most often associate with green marketing. While these terms are green marketing claims, in general, green marketing is a much broader concept, one that can be applied to consumer goods, industrial goods, and even services. For example, around the world, there are resorts that are beginning to promote themselves as "ecotourism" facilities, i.e., facilities that "specialize" in experiencing nature or operating in a fashion that minimizes their environmental impact [May 1991, Ingram and Durst 1989, Troumbis 1991]. A++ Rated MBA college in Bangalore
Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task. Indeed the terminology used in this area has varied, it includes Green Marketing, Environmental Marketing, and Ecological Marketing.
While green marketing came into prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was first discussed much earlier. The American 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 green marketing entitled "Ecological Marketing" [Henion and Kinnear 1976a]. Since that time a number of other books on the topic have been published [Charter 1992, Coddington 1993, Ottman 1993].
Green or Environmental Marketing consists of all activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants, such that the satisfaction of these needs and wants occurs, with minimal detrimental impact on the natural environment. [Polonsky 1994b, 2]
“Economics is the study of how people use their limited resources to try to satisfy unlimited wants.” [McTaggart, Findlay and Parkin 1992, 24] Thus mankind has limited resources on the earth, with which she must attempt to provide for the worlds' unlimited wants. Top MBA college in Bangalore
In market societies where there is "freedom of choice", it has generally been accepted that individuals and organizations have the right to attempt to have their wants satisfied. As firms face limited natural resources, they must develop new or alternative ways of satisfying these unlimited wants. Ultimately green marketing looks at how marketing activities utilize these limited resources while satisfying consumers' wants, both of individuals and industry, as well as achieving the selling organization's objectives.
WHY ARE FIRMS USING GREEN MARKETING?
When looking through the literature there are several suggested reasons for firms' increased use of Green Marketing. Five possible reasons cited are 1. Organizations perceive environmental marketing to be an opportunity that can be used to achieve their objectives [Keller 1987, Shearer 1990]; 2. Organizations believe they have a moral obligation to be more socially responsible [Davis 1992, Freeman and Liedtka 1991, Keller 1987, McIntosh 1990, Shearer 1990]; 3. Governmental bodies are forcing firms to become more responsible [NAAG 1990]; 4. Competitors' environmental activities pressure firms to change their environmental marketing activities [NAAG 1990]; and 5. Cost factors associated with waste disposal or reductions in material usage forces firms to modify their behavior [Azzone and Manzini 1994].
It appears that consumers are not overly committed to improving their environment and maybe looking to lay too much responsibility on industry and government. Ultimately green marketing requires that consumers want a cleaner environment and are willing to "pay" for it, possibly through higher priced goods, modified individual lifestyles, or even governmental intervention. Until this occurs it will be difficult for firms alone to lead the green marketing revolution.
Green marketing is quickly becoming essential to consumers as the trends of connectivity and transparency are giving consumers unprecedented access to information about a company’s internal workings. This information creates the ability to look at the perceived alignment of values between the consumer and the company. Additionally, integrated reporting becomes important to greening operations and communicating these changes.
Consumers want greener goods from greener companies. This focus on sustainable values has superseded a focus on product, lifestyle, and many other previous marketing methods. Consumers buy green for a reason. Companies need to understand what motivates the consumers so they can align their operations and communications to emphasize these values. True success comes not just from using a green message, but from applying all of the wisdom from the marketing discipline.
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