Why is green marketing popular?

There are several possible reasons for firms increased use of Green Marketing:

  1. Organizations perceive environmental marketing to be an opportunity that can be used to achieve its objectives ;

  2. Organizations believe they have a moral obligation to be more socially responsible;

  3. Governmental bodies are forcing firms to become more responsible ;

  4. Competitors’ environmental activities pressure firms to change their environmental marketing activities; and

  5. Cost factors associated with waste disposal, or reductions in material usage forces firms to modify their behavior.

OPPORTUNITIES

All types of consumers, both individual and industrial are becoming more concerned and aware about the natural environment. Many customers have changed their behavior, including their purchasing behavior, due to environmental reasons. As demands change, many firms see these changes as an opportunity to be used.

Firms marketing goods with environmental characteristics will have a competitive advantage over firms marketing non-environmentally responsible alternatives. Many firms are striving to become more environmentally responsible, in an attempt to better satisfy their consumer needs.

McDonald’s replaced its clam shell packaging with waxed paper because of increased consumer concern relating to polystyrene production and Ozone depletion

Xerox introduced a “high quality” recycled photocopier paper in an attempt to satisfy the demands of firms for less environmentally harmful products.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Many firms are beginning to realize that they are members of the wider community and therefore must behave in an environmentally responsible fashion. This results in environmental issues being integrated into the firm’s corporate culture. Firms in this situation can take two perspectives;

  1. they can use the fact that they are environmentally responsible as a marketing tool; or

  2. they can become responsible without promoting their products and services.

Coca-Cola has invested large sums of money in various recycling activities, as well as having modified their packaging to minimize its environmental impact. While being concerned about the environment, Coke has not used this concern as a marketing tool. Thus many consumers may not realize that Coke is a very environmentally committed organization.

GOVERNMENTAL PRESSURE

In order to “protect” consumers and society, many governments establish regulations to control the amount of hazardous wastes produced by firms. Many by-products of production are controlled through the issuing of various environmental licenses, thus modifying organizational behavior..

  • In some cases governments try to “induce” final

consumers to become more responsible. For example, in some cases governments tax individuals who act in an irresponsible fashion. In Australia there is a higher gas tax associated with leaded petrol

COMPETITIVE PRESSURE

Another major force in the environmental marketing area has been firms’ desire to maintain their competitive position. In many cases firms observe competitors promoting their environmental behaviors and attempt to emulate this behavior. In some instances this competitive pressure has caused an entire industry to modify and thus reduce its detrimental environmental behavior. For example, it could be argued that Xerox’s “Revive 100% Recycled paper” was introduced a few years ago in an attempt to address the introduction of recycled photocopier paper by other manufacturers.

COST OR PROFIT ISSUES

Firms may also use green marketing in an attempt to address cost or profit related issues. Disposing of environmentally harmful by-products, such as polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated oil are becoming increasingly costly and in some cases difficult. Therefore firms that can reduce harmful wastes may incur substantial cost savings. When attempting to minimize waste, firms are often forced to re-examine their production processes. In these cases they often develop more effective production processes that not only reduce waste, but reduce the need for some raw materials. This serves as a double cost savings, since both waste and raw material are reduced.