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Green Marketing Strategies Unleashed

02 Nov, 2023
Green Marketing Strategies Unleashed

We are living in an environmentally conscious world where people are concerned about the effects and repercussions of their decisions. People are well aware and mindful of the effects of climate change, and with increasing awareness around concepts like sustainability, people across nations are now conscious of their choices and are tracking their purchasing patterns. We are living in an era where people are actively reading the fine print of goods and services and are interested in investing or buying only such things that align with their ideals of sustainability and all-inclusive growth. Words like ‘cruelty-free’, ‘chemical-free’, ‘toxins free’, ‘organic’, etc., have become marketing strategies now to attract such a huge ardent customer base by aligning business practices with environmental and social ideals. Businesses and enterprises are joining the bandwagon by catching up with these norms and have started investing profoundly in sustainable practices with the objective of contributing to their corporate social responsibilities and, at the same, gaining a competitive edge in the market. One such approach is adopting green marketing strategies, which is not merely a trend but rather is something that has gained exponential importance over the years for long-term economic sustainability as well. In this article, we will explore what are these green marketing strategies and how businesses can benefit by adopting them. 

What are Green Marketing Strategies?

First thing first, let us understand what are green marketing strategies after all. Green Marketing Strategies refer to adopting approaches and practices that are committed to transparency, credibility and sustainability. In a layperson terms, these are simply techniques and practices of publicising your goods and services that are environmentally friendly. It is essentially a part of a much wider societal movement that forces corporate enterprises and commercial businesses to pivot towards more ethical and sustainable business practices. The growing environmental and climate concerns make such sustainable and green practices the need of the hour.

There are various terms used to describe these green marketing strategies, such as Eco-Marketing, Environmental Marketing, etc., all of which basically point towards environmentally friendly pursuits. By adopting green marketing strategies, what businesses actually do is they market their eco-friendly goods and services by advertising such aspects and approaches that may be perceived as sustainable by the general public. It is a way of showcasing their active commitment and efforts to the public that their enterprise is actually proactively taking care of the environmental and social effects that may arise from their business decisions. These green marketing strategies may involve activities like product redesign, changing product processes, using environmentally-friendly packaging materials, altering distribution channels, etc.

However, this should not be confused with merely following a ‘trend’ of going green by using environmentally friendly language in your advertising to label your products as green or organic. It actually involves adopting green and sustainable practices right from the beginning of the production cycle and not merely ‘greenwashing’ your products later at the promotion and advertising stage. Greenwashing is in fact an anti-thesis of green marketing, which is used to mislead and delude the customers by inducing them to believe that they are sustainable and eco-friendly, when they are actually not.

The Triple Bottom-Line Approach in Green Marketing Strategies

The Triple Bottom Line, commonly known as TBL in economics and marketing, refers to the practice of focusing on environmental, social and economic aspects of a business activity.          

Strategic business planning often caters to maximising profit and reducing costs. The whole premise of a business is to make a profit and cut down redundant expenses. However, with time, the way of doing business has transformed. It is now important to incorporate the environmental and social impacts of your business operations into the strategic business planning right from the very beginning. The concept of the triple bottom line demands the attention of the stakeholders towards all three components while making investments and other business-related decisions.

The concept of the triple bottom line caters to the idea that businesses and companies should not just be concerned solely about the profit, but should also pay attention to the environmental and social impacts of their business operations and decisions. They must incorporate sustainable practices and green marketing strategies right from the beginning of their product’s life cycle. Thus, the 3 Ps of the Triple Bottom Line are commonly known as People, Planet and Profit. In light of these arguments, the need to pivot towards incorporating environmental and social concerns in your business plans cannot be stressed enough. Companies using these metrics have been witnessing exponential growth and garnering tremendous support from their investors and customers alike.

How Do Green Marketing Strategies Pay Off?

There has been a major shift in consumer behaviour in recent times. Studies have shown that around 92 per cent of consumers are likely to switch to brands that accommodate environmental and social concerns and demonstrate some level of corporate social responsibility as opposed to one that completely disregards it. In fact, studies also support that around 55 per cent of these consumers are also willing to shell out more money on brands that are eco-friendlier and more sustainable than those that are not. The green marketing revenue generated in 2019 was around USD 4.6 billion, from which it has grown to a whopping USD 5.6 billion in just one year.

It won’t be an exaggeration to conclude that adopting green marketing strategies is not only good for your plant but also for your business’s profitability. That’s why top guns like Twitter, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Nike, etc., have pledged to reach zero carbon emissions by 2040. In fact, India has also joined the net-zero race by pledging to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2070. Thus, brands and companies are altering their business approach and practices by investing more in green marketing strategies to stand out and go that extra mile in this corporate race in order to be distinguished from their competitors.

Why look so far? In India, there are so many major companies that have adopted green marketing strategies and are proactively making efforts to promote sustainability via their goods and services. Tata Group has launched various initiatives, like Tata Solar Power and Tata Sustainability Group, by introducing and implementing sustainable practices in their core business operations. Brands like ITC have also introduced the “Triple Bottom Line” approach. One of the most popular brands, Mamaearth, which uses organic ingredients in all kinds of skincare and cosmetic products, has gained popularity by planting more than 2000 trees and by recycling and reducing their plastic usage. Their entire marketing relied on the use of such green and sustainable practices, and the result is before you!

Importance of Green Marketing Strategies

With changing times, our society has become ever-so-conscious about accountability and sustainability. In light of the increased transparency and credibility, businesses are expected to give due consideration to green marketing strategies. Building a financially competitive product is no longer enough to attract customers; brands and businesses are now expected to appeal to the environmental and social concerns of the public as well. By investing in green marketing strategies, businesses can reap the following benefits:

Environmental Benefits

Business operations tend to have all sorts of environmental and social impacts. Businesses that incorporate these from the beginning can help mitigate some of these concerns. By adopting green marketing strategies, they can create awareness amongst the public as well about the significant repercussions of their choices and promote sustainability and preservation of the environment. These strategies often involve adopting practices like recycling, reusing, reduction in waste, cruelty-free methodologies, proper and effective waste management, etc., which leave a long-lasting positive impact on our environment and overall society. These green marketing campaigns tend to highlight the importance of environmental protection and encourage your other counterparts in the industry to tread on the path of sustainability as well.

Competitive Advantage

You may wonder that apart from helping the environment, what else is in there for you? Well, millennials are about sustainability. Brands and businesses that value and prioritise environmental and social metrics have been able to experience an added advantage as opposed to their counterparts. People who value these parameters are more likely to associate with your brand if you hold these values in high regard as well. As discussed earlier, around 92 per cent of consumers are likely to switch to brands that accommodate these concerns and demonstrate some level of corporate social responsibility. This way, businesses can not only attract more clients but can maintain a strong, loyal customer base.

Increased Investments

Adopting green marketing strategies has another added advantage as the same makes your business a lucrative opportunity for investors to venture in. These green marketing strategies not only help you appeal to a loyal customer base but also help you lure investors. Many studies across the globe have highlighted that investors and venture capitalists prefer those businesses that have integrated environmental and social metrics into their business portfolios. Therefore, they use these parameters and metrics to consciously identify such sustainable business models that are likely to provide them with long-term economic viability.

How Can Businesses Adopt Green Marketing Strategies?

As discussed, green marketing is gaining importance day by day. Brands and companies across the globe are investing heavily in green marketing strategies to showcase their commitment towards the environment and society. Consumer choices and behaviour are now dependent on the brand’s sustainability and discharge of its corporate social responsibility. While some may argue that green marketing strategies can be more expensive than conventional marketing strategies, the truth is their overall benefits can eventually outweigh the price. In order to be able to enjoy these long-term benefits, the business needs to adopt the basic elements of a green marketing strategy, some of which are as follows:

Green Product Design and Development

The product design is very critical due to its potential impacts on the environment and society. Apart from its financial impacts, a sustainable design can contribute to maximising environmental and social benefits as well, as highlighted by the triple bottom-line framework. This further ensures improved compliance, reduced waste and preservation of resources. Businesses and enterprises need to pivot towards more sustainable product designs and find ways to feasibly implement the same, in order to discharge their environmental and social responsibility right from the very start.

Sustainable Sourcing and Supply Chain

This pertains to the integration of environmental, social and ethical metrics into the process of selecting suppliers. In order to ramp up your environmental commitments, it is necessary to source only such materials that are green or eco-friendly so that negative impacts can be reduced tremendously, again right from the beginning of the life cycle of the product. These sustainable supply chains are becoming increasingly important for businesses to demonstrate their social and ethical responsibilities under CSR. This increased transparency and accountability helps your businesses in gaining that extra mile advantage in the market.

Communication and Transparency

Communication and transparency play a significant role in enhancing a brand’s value and reputation. They stand testimony to the proactive efforts your business takes for the betterment of the environment and society, and this increased transparency and communication helps you attract investors and venture capitalists. This way, you can enhance their trust and the clients’, and that is where green marketing strategies play a key role, as there is a need to promote and advertise such green products and make the consumers aware of the effect of their consumer choices.

Packaging and Eco-Friendly Materials

Sustainability involves integrating sustainable designs sourcing eco-friendly materials and packaging for end-of-life product management. In a survey conducted, around 42 per cent of the millennials said that they would prefer products with sustainable packaging and are even willing to pay more for the same in order to reduce their carbon footprint and help in the reduction of carbon emissions and minimising waste. In fact, in 2022, the green packaging market was valued at around USD 306.7 billion and is now expected to grow by 6.5 per cent between 2023 and 2030. With increased competition in the market, choices like using eco-friendly packaging materials will set your business and product apart, and by minimising waste and enhancing product efficiency, you can bring more resilient strategies to grow your business while recouping the unnecessary cost of waste management.

Conclusion

There is a widespread surge in the adoption of eco-friendly and sustainable practices across the globe. People are concerned about making this world a better place. With increasing environmental consciousness, people are willing to pay more for goods and services that adhere to environmental and social safety norms. Brands and companies also realise the growing importance of sustainability in the eyes of their customers and investors and are those incorporating green marketing strategies in their corporate strategic planning. The whole idea is to proactively commit to transparency, credibility and accountability for your actions and not just think about the profitability aspect alone. However, care must be taken that these green marketing strategies are not just a mere ‘trend’ that these businesses can follow by simply resorting to greenwashing their business practices without actually making any real difference.

FAQs

What do you mean by green marketing strategies?

Green Marketing Strategies refer to adopting approaches and practices that are committed to transparency, credibility and sustainability. In layperson terms, these are simply techniques and practices of publicising your goods and services that are environmentally friendly.

What is green strategy? 

Green strategy may involve activities like product redesign, changing product processes, using environmentally-friendly packaging materials, altering distribution channels, focusing on sustainable supply chains, etc.

What are four effective green marketing strategies?

The four effective green marketing strategies are Sustainable Design, Responsibility, Green pricing and Sustainable packaging.

What are the strategies and benefits of green marketing?

A green marketing strategy refers to the practice of promoting and advertising goods or services that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Businesses that adopt green marketing strategies often benefit from increased customer base, loyalty and an enhanced brand reputation and, at the same, contribute towards the preservation of the environment and promoting sustainability.

What is the main purpose of green marketing? 

The main purpose of adopting green marketing strategies is to showcase the commitment of your brand or business towards environmental and social concerns and to garner the attention and loyalty of the customers and investors who value these metrics of sustainability. 

Who introduced green marketing in India?

An Eco-mark scheme was launched by the government of India in 1991 to increase consumer awareness regarding the adoption of environmentally friendly goods and services. The main objective of the scheme was to encourage customers to purchase those goods that have less harmful environmental impact. ISO 14020 is a guide to the awards of eco-labels.

What are the objectives of green marketing in India?

The primary objective of green marketing strategies in India is to make efforts to reduce the adverse effects of the goods and services on the environment and to make use of sustainable, eco-friendly and biodegradable products amongst the public. It encourages businesses to focus on profit as well as sustainability.

What are the three phases of green marketing?

The three phases of green marketing are Ecological Marketing, Environmental Marketing and Sustainable Marketing. 

What is the future of green marketing?

The green marketing revenue generated in 2019 was around USD 4.6 billion, from which it has grown to a whopping USD 5.6 billion in just one year. The green marketing strategies promote long-term economic viability as well as enhance brand reputation. These strategies also help with attracting a loyal customer base and investors who value the environmental and social metrics in corporate strategic planning.

How successful is green marketing?

Adopting green marketing strategies can be extremely helpful and lucrative for businesses and enterprises. Studies have shown that around 92 per cent of consumers are likely to switch to brands that accommodate environmental and social concerns and demonstrate some level of corporate social responsibility as opposed to the ones that completely disregard it, and around 55 per cent of consumers are willing to shell out more money for environmentally friendly and organic products. 

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