Green marketing: Promoting environmentally friendly products


Green marketing is marketing of products that are environmental safe. Companies marketing their green achievements were once a tiny segment of forward-thinking organisations, but since grown into a group of unlikely advocates that includes an oil company and the world's largest retailer.

Environmental friendly production is vital in running future economies. Naturally, plants take skin tightening and from air and give oxygen in respiration process. Using this method, they make ecology sensible and sustainable. Companies should stop polluting the surroundings and make their existence sensible and sustainable. They is going green.

This paper discusses what's green marketing, and also to what extent are companies integrating its principles to their communications i. e. positioning green and green thinking into their operations? Paper also targets 'what is the effect of green marketing in the satisfaction of the needs and wants of consumers'.

The challenges in an effort of becoming enviromentally friendly are also put in the paper. Positioning strategies for Green i. e environment-friendly products are suggested in the paper.

Keywords: Green marketing, positioning green, environment


According to the American Marketing Association, green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus green marketing incorporates a wide 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 where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term. Other similar conditions used are Environmental Marketing and Ecological Marketing

Green marketing identifies the process of selling products and/or services predicated on their environmental benefits. Such a product or service may be environmentally friendly in itself or produced and/or packaged within an green way.

The clear assumption of green marketing is the fact potential consumers will view something or service's "greenness" as a benefit and base their buying decision accordingly. The not-so-obvious assumption of green marketing is the fact consumers will be willing to pay more for green products than they might for a less-green comparable alternative product - an assumption that, in my opinion, is not proven conclusively.

While green marketing keeps growing greatly as more and more individuals are willing to back their environmental consciousnesses with the dollars, it can be dangerous. The general public tends to be sceptical of green claims, to get started with and companies can seriously damage their brands and their sales if the green claim is discovered to be false or contradicted with a company's other products or practices. Presenting a product or service as green when it's not is called greenwashing.

Green marketing can be considered a very powerful online marketing strategy though if it is done right.

Also Known as: Environmental Marketing, Ecological Marketing, Eco-Marketing.

Common Misspellings: Geen marketing, gren marketing.


  • Chad's green marketing campaign bombed bec

Environmental Product Strategies

  • There are a large amount of environmental issues impacting on the production of goods and products. For instance:
  • What is the impact of production, sourcing of materials and packaging on the surroundings?
  • Can minimum levels of packaging and/or green packaging be achieved without compromising product quality or appeal?
  • Supplier practices i. e. are they at least as environmentally friendly as the organisation they are simply supplying?

Environmentally friendly products can increase and decrease production costs; environmentally friendly production may increase charges for organisations and their suppliers but this may be offset by lower fuel bills through energy efficiency measures or an increase in sales the effect of a positive product image. An organisation may able to pass increases in production costs (caused by EFS) to consumers. However, this will be based upon the amount of increase, kind of consumer, competitor prices for the same kind of product and the effectiveness of the economy. For example during times of recession consumers will place price above many if not absolutely all of the factors creating the marketing mix.

Environmental Place Strategies

All organisations should "carefully" time when their product reaches consumers; exact time of distribution will be based upon the merchandise or service being distributed. Such timing may provide an environmental implication.

Some products will need to reach the consumer soon after production for example fresh food in order to retain freshness, taste or vitamins and minerals. The fastest approach to distribution may damage the surroundings. Conversely a more green method e. g. via canals may effect on speed of distribution and consequently quality of the product. A way of distribution that combines speed with "environmentally friendliness" may increase distribution costs as many of these processes remain under development e. g. electric vehicles.

In addition to the kind of transport used for distribution, an organisation should review distribution techniques; For example timing deliveries in order that they occur during off peak hours, nor contribute to congestion. Some organisations attempt to make fewer deliveries, whilst others promote concentrated products (e. g. fabric conditioner) as they boost the quantity of products that can carried in each delivery vehicle.

Even if "green distribution" is not at the top of an organisation's list of priorities, government policies may elevate it to the most notable. Congestion charging and low emission zones have been introduced in the London. Apart from the obvious increase in costs emanating from observance of such policies, a failure to observe green regulations will lead to fines and sanctions and consequently negative publicity.

After reviewing internal distribution methods an organisation will need to review supplier and subcontractor distribution as consumers and the media expect organisations claiming environmental credentials to only liaise with other green organisations. . For example do the subcontractors use Bio-fuel? Are the subcontractors actively managing their "carbon footprint" or energy use?

Environmental Promotion Strategies

Due to the buyer, celebrity and government appetite for protecting the "environment" green practices are used as promotional tools. For example the award of ISO 14001 (which certifies an organisation has certain environmental standards, as certified by an independent external auditing organisation) is often quoted in marketing literature.

Product packaging that can be recycled will have a message on the packaging evidently stating the recycling properties for the packaging. Similarly organic and natural products will be labelled, not only on the packaging but also surrounding the shelving displaying the organic produce.

Some organisations have sought to lessen costs through the promotion of environmentally friendly strategies. The use of carrier bags has changed significantly in the UK during the last 2-3 years. Retailers actively promote the advantage of reusable bags as they have many benefits

  • Lower costs for the retailer
  • Consumers "feel great" as they think that the use of an reusable bag is helping the environment
  • Fewer carrier bags go to landfill

Another example is hotels offering guests the possibility to engage in fewer linen and towel changes. Such strategy is environmentally friendly as it reduces the utilization of detergents and energy but it addittionally reduces costs for the hotel and increases corporate image.

Some organisations providing products and services which might harm the surroundings have added "off setting" solutions to their portfolios and marketing literature. The idea behind "off setting" is the fact that the consumer emerges the possibility to indirectly engage in a task (such as tree planting) that benefits the surroundings and for that reason balances/evens out the damage they caused for example through flying. Such schemes try to ease the consumer's conscience and retain a good image for the organisation providing the environmentally unfriendly product or service.

Environmental Pricing Strategies

Throughout this informative article we've discussed how environmentally friendly strategies can either increase or decrease organisational costs. The perfect marketing mix is a decrease in costs and/or an increased in costs which is exceeded by a rise in profits.

Pricing must reflect the demand for the product an incorrectly priced product will reduce demand; this is currently further complicated by the impact environmental issues have on pricing. If an organisation is paying more for recycleables because the supplier is "environmentally friendly" it could opt to "spread" this price increase to the buyer, the amount the ideal amount will be dictated by the target consumer.

On the other hand companies cutting costs and increasing profits at the trouble of the environment may be risking negative publicity, fines, sanctions or may simply lose out to organisations actively promoting their environmentally friendly practices even if such competition offer more expensive products and services.


The environmental marketing mix is now extremely important in the current business community. Firms will have to carefully manage this mix if they are to successfully operate in a global which is becoming increasingly alert to climatic changes.

Where's the beef?" may not be the most accurate phrase, but it is the first that involves mind.

Seriously, that is the only thought I could come up with when confronted with this news: McDonald's is swapping out the red in its logo for "a deep hunter green" to tout its environmental credentials in Europe.

From an Associated Press article by Mary MacPherson Lane:

About 100 German McDonald's restaurants will make the change by the end of 2009, the company said in a statement Monday. Some franchises in Great Britain and France have previously started using the new color scheme behind their Golden Arches.

"This is not only a German initiative but a Europe-wide initiative, " Martin Nowicki, McDonald's Germany spokesman, told The Associated Press. [. . . ]

The company has warmed to "greener" practices, including environmentally friendly refrigeration and converting used oil into biodiesel fuel.

"With this new appearance you want to clarify our responsibility for the preservation of natural resources. In the foreseeable future we will put an even larger focus on that, " Hoger Beek, vice chairman of McDonald's Germany, said in the statement.

Leaving aside the fundamental unsustainability of the junk food industry all together, this is not to say that there is nothing behind McDonald's claims of environmental action -- the business is working on green buildings, electric vehicles and published a written report earlier this year highlighting its best green efforts.

Who are the green consumers?

Understanding the demographics of green consumerism can help entrepreneurs explore the environmental market, and home in on likely prospects. Research has shown that green consumers:

  • are sincere in their intentions, with a growing commitment to greener lifestyles;
  • almost always judge their environmental practices as inadequate;
  • do not expect companies to be perfect in order to be considered 'green'. Rather, they look for companies that are taking substantive steps and also have made a committed action to improve.

However, in addition they:

  • tend to overstate their green behaviour, including the amount of green products they actually use;
  • want environmental protection to be easy, rather than to entail major sacrifices;
  • tend to distrust companies' environmental claims, unless they have been independently verified;
  • lack knowledge about environmental issues, and usually do not trust themselves to judge scientific information about environmental impacts. However, at exactly the same time they are eager to learn, and this means that consumer education is one of the very most effective strategies that entrepreneurs can use.

The most responsive generation is commonly young adults, a lot of whom are influenced by their children. Furthermore, women are a key target for greener products, and frequently make purchases on behalf of men.

The best 'green' customers are people with more money to spend. Because of this, the most promising products for 'greening' have a tendency to be at the higher end of the marketplace. The most promising outlets for green products are shops frequented by better-off shoppers.

In general, green consumers have the education and intellectual orientation to appreciate value; they will understand evidence that is presented to get environmental claims.

In the US, children and teens are usually more concerned than adults about the surroundings, and will be more knowledgeable about green alternatives. Increasingly, they influence their parents' purchasing decisions. Equally importantly, an incredible number of them will reach adulthood in the next decade, and gain purchasing power of their own.

At the contrary end of the age spectrum, US consumers born prior to the 1950s will be the least 'green'. As their numbers diminish, their share of consumer purchases will dwindle.

In Canada, children and parents alike generally have strong environmental concerns. The elderly, too, have a tendency to be active green purchasers.

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