What is Green Marketing?
Green marketing is the marketing of environmentally friendly products and services. It is becoming more popular as more people become concerned with environmental issues and decide that they want to spend their money in a way that is kinder to the planet.
Green marketing can involve a number of different things, such as creating an eco-friendly product, using eco-friendly packaging, adopting sustainable business practices, or focusing marketing efforts on messages that communicate a product’s green benefits.
This type of marketing can be more expensive, but it can also be profitable due to the increasing demand. For example, products made locally in North America tend to be more expensive than those made overseas using cheap labor, but they have a much smaller carbon footprint because they don’t have to fly across the globe to get here. For some consumers and business owners, the environmental benefit outweighs the price difference.
Consumers who prefer to purchase green products even though they might be more expensive fall into the ‘LOHAS’ category. LOHAS stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. According to Wikipedia:
“LOHAS describes an integrated, rapidly growing market for goods and services that appeal to consumers whose sense of environmental and social responsibility influences their purchase decisions.”
These consumers are active supporters of environmental health and are the heaviest purchasers of green and socially responsible products. They also have the power to influence other consumers.
Green Marketing Methods
Beyond making an environmentally friendly product, business owners can do other things as part of their green marketing efforts. The following can all be part of a green marketing strategy:
- Using eco-friendly paper and inks for print marketing materials
- Skipping the printed materials altogether and option for electronic marketing
- Having a recycling program and responsible waste disposal practices
- Using eco-friendly product packaging
- Using efficient packing and shipping methods
- Using eco-friendly power sources
- Taking steps to offset environmental impact
Some marketers try to capitalize on the growing number of green consumers by simply taking a green marketing approach to products that might not otherwise be considered green. They try to position their products as a better choice for the environment when they’re really not. An example of this is when a company uses the color green in their packaging, or the word green somewhere in their messaging, when there isn’t anything particularly eco-friendly about their product, nor it’s not more eco-friendly than competing products. Greenwashing is not only misleading, but it can also be damaging to a company’s reputation.
If consumers want to be certain they are indeed buying a green product, they should look for official certifications listed on the product packaging.