Green Marketing: No More Talking only Acting

Green marketing has become a buzz word.
Green marketing has become a buzz word. | Source

Green Marketing high on the Agenda

The United Nations' Climate Change Conference which was held in Durban, South Africa in November 2011, put the issue of climate change and what can be done about it in the spotlight again. Businesses are under continuous pressure to do something for the environment. Brand experts even suggest that “brands will be judged on what they do not what they say”. It is expected of businesses to be committed to adopt "green behavior" and to not only talk about it. Many businesses use what is known as green marketing to create an awareness of their "green behavior".

What is green marketing?

Green marketing is often referred to as environmental marketing or ecological marketing .A business gets involved in green marketing whenever products that are presumably environmentally friendly are being promoted. These marketing messages concentrate on how a product, production processes and packaging were changed to ensure a safer environment. Many businesses do not promote "green products" but "green living" and encourage their employees and customers to look after the environment by, for example, recycling products.

Green marketers have a tough task, as many consumers might not be interested in green marketing messages. Many consumers are also unfamiliar with environmentally friendly products and need to be educated first. Traditional marketing efforts may not be suitable to promote a “green” brand message, with many green marketers turning to different social media networks or unconventional marketing methods to spread their messages.

Zoom Advertising in South Africa, for example, embarked on a campaign known as “My tree in Africa” which gives travelers the opportunity to help plant trees to help the environment. By involving travel agencies, travelers are invited to contribute a small, extra amount on their tickets to donate trees to the South African green organization, Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA).

The question, however, is how sustainable green marketing is in the long-term as a business also needs to promote its core focus. A business should therefore plan its green marketing efforts carefully and be really committed.

As far as commitment is concerned, CNN money identified the following top 10 “green giant companies”, meaning that they went an extra mile, apart from complying with environmental laws:

  1. Honda (Japan)
  2. Continental Airlines (Houston, USA)
  3. Suncor (Canada)
  4. Tesco (Britain)
  5. Alcan (Canada)
  6. PG & E (San Francisco)
  7. SC Johnson (Racine, USA).
  8. Goldman Sachs (New York)
  9. Swiss Re (Switzerland)
  10. Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, California, USA)

References

Environmental Leader, Environmental & Energy Resources News, 14 September, 2010.

Interbrand Sampson

CNN Money


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