Many of the firms are adopting the societal marketing concept of preserving scarce resources or developing products that do not harm the environment, thus practicing green marketing. Green marketing involves developing products & packages that are less harmful to the environment.Green marketing includes many areas ranging from conservation to control of pollution. For example, Pacific Gas & Electric has joined with environmental groups to develop every conservation programs. Procter & Gamble Co., are developing containers that are less damaging to the environment. Corporations that excel in green marketing will benefit from better relations with customers, regulators, suppliers, and other firms in their industry.
To have a successful green marketing program, a
company must have the commitment of top management, as well as an internal environment that encourages employees to act as environmentalists. Some companies have established new positions, such as vice president of l environment, health, and safety. Others reward employees for reducing waste or developing new products that are less harmful to the environment. But green marketing can also be abused by firms that are not socially responsible. The popularity of environmentally sound products has led to concerns that firms may make exaggerated claims about products to show their concern for the environment. Thus some firms are learning that rhetoric is not enough. California, New York, and Rhode Island, for instance, recently passed laws limiting what marketers can say about the environmental benefits of their products.
As individuals become more committed to the environment, green products will gain a competitive edge. But because environmental claims have been used to mislead consumers, some firms are finding it difficult to successfully launch a green marketing program. In addition, in some cases consumers have not responded well to green products because of the confusing language that surrounds the products. Terms such as recyclable, recycled, degradable, biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and ozone safe are examples of claims that are confusing. Successful green marketing requires being as precise as possible to enable consumers to understand the claims made in the message.Phrases like “this product contains 60 percent recycled material” should be used rather than “friendly to the environment.” And if a package cannot be recycled, manufacturers should not call it recyclable.
As a result of all this, some firms have retreated from making environmental claims about their products, even though they continue to develop products and packages that are better for the environment. Part of the reason is that firms do not know which claims violate which state laws; to date, there are no federal standards regulating green marketing. Price is also a big concern, since green products’ typically cost more than competing brands, sometimes considerably more. Consumers prefer green products when they are readily available and their price and quality are similar to that of other products.
Some Key Principles for 1990’s Green Consumer
Given the rapidly increasing awareness on the part of the general public of the importance and urgency of the green issues summarised above, Elkington and Hailes identify some key principles for the 1990’s green consumer. These are that in general, the Green Consumer should avoid products (or services) which are likely to:
●endanger the health either of the consumer or of others;cause significant damage to the environment during manufacture, use or disposal;
●consume a disproportionate amount of energy during manufacture, use or disposal;
●cause unnecessary waste, whether because of over- packaging, an unduly short useful life or because they are not suitable to re- use or recycle;
●use materials derived from threatened species or from threatened environments;
●involve the unnecessary use of, or cruelty to ani-
mals, whether this be for toxicity testing or other purposes;
●adversely affect other countries, particularly in the Third World.
●The more widely these basic principles are promoted and understood by the general public as consumers, the greater will be the effect on consumer behaviour, and the greater the resulting impact on the productmarket strategies pursued by suppliers to consumers and industrial markets.
Environmental consciousness, and green consumer behaviour are likely to diffuse through consumer, then industrial markets in the west at an increasing rate showing an increasingly potent “cascade effect”. This increasing public awareness and propensity to act in an environmentally conscious manner will simply reflect the wider socio-cultural and political climate as it develops in response to a (potentially) deteriorating environmental context, over population (etc).