Ms. Vanashree Karkare
Asso. Prof.& Head, Faculty of Commerce
L.A.D & Smt. R.P. College for Women, Nagpur.
Green marketing is a vital constituent of the holistic marketing concept today. It is particularly applicable to those businesses that are directly dependent on the physical environment. Changes in the physical environment may pose a threat to fishing, processed foods tourism and adventure sports industries. Consequently new types of products were created, called “green” products, which would cause less damage to the environment. Thus green marketing plays an important role to promote and reinforce the idea of environmental protection and sustainable development both in the minds of the customer and the firms. Worldwide evidence indicates people are concerned about the environment and are changing their behavior. As a result of this, green marketing has emerged which speaks for the growing market for sustainable and socially responsible products and services. Thus the growing awareness among the consumers all over the world regarding protection of the environment in which they live, People do want to bequeath a clean earth to their offspring. Various studies by environmentalists indicate that people are concerned about the environment. Companies all over the world are striving to reduce the impact of products and services on the climate and other environmental parameters. This study will focus on the importance of green marketing for sustainable business and initiatives taken by the Indian Companies to promote Green Marketing in Indian Society.
Keywords: Green Marketing, Green Products, Environmental Protection, Sustainable Business.
Green Marketing refers to holistic marketing concept wherein the production, marketing consumption and disposal of products and services happen in a manner that is less detrimental to the environment with growing awareness about the implications of global warming, non-biodegradable solid waste, harmful impact of pollutants etc. Both marketers and consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to the need to switch into green products and services. While the shift to “green” may appear to be expensive in the short term, it will definitely prove to be indispensable and advantageous, cost-wise too, in the long run. As resources are limited and human wants are unlimited, it is important for the marketers to utilize the resources efficiently without waste as well as to achieve the organization’s objective. So green marketing is inevitable. There is growing interest among the consumers all over the world regarding the protection of the environment. Worldwide evidence indicates people are concerned about the environment and are changing their behavior. As a result of this, green marketing has emerged creating awareness among the consumers all over the world regarding protection of the environment in which they live. Today it is evident that many consumers are becoming more concerned about environment-friendly products.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Dileep Kumar (2010) in his study, analysed that how far the hotel business organizations in the tourism sector meet the customer‘s needs through green marketing effort and how they influence the consumer behaviour and their satisfaction by inducing environmentally responsible behaviour.
Vijay Jain et. al. (2010) in their study, summarized the three C‘s process for green marketing implementation as Consumer Value Positioning, Calibration of Consumer Knowledge and Credibility of product.
Artee Aggrawal et. Al. (2010) in their study, outlined that Eco-responsible (Green) organizations have a tough task to optimise their product offering mix in such a way so that they can not only attract customer towards them but also can have their products price competitive.
Ramakishen et. Al. (2010) in their study understood that the factors for going green as Goodwill, Differentiation, Competition, Pressure Groups, Government Pressure, Customer Demand, New Market Entry.
The study conducted by Sourabh Bhattacharya (2011) states that the green marketers in India should carry out heavy promotional campaigns, because majority of the Indian consumers are price-sensitive and are not sure about the quality of green products.
The study by Saloni Pawan Diwan & B. S. Bodla (2011) observed that it is not a smooth sailing of the ship carrying green products and services in the sea of intense competition. The boat can encounter an iceberg of increased cost and prices and inflated claims of greenness.
According to Joseph & Rupali Korlekar (2012), there is a scope for in-depth studies on green marketing to be conducted in developing countries like India, not only on understanding consumer’s perception but to study the detailed profile of such consumers who have a more positive attitude towards green marketing and green products.
- To study the concept of Green marketing.
- To understand the benefits of Green Marketing in India.
- To study the various pre-requisits of Green marketing.
The study is based on secondary data. Relevant data are availed from various sources of information such as Research Papers, Reports, Books, and Websites etc.
- The study is undertaken by the use of secondary data collected from various sources which may have some deficiencies.
- Due to the limitation length of paper, Researcher was unable to develop a detailed insight into the topic.
BENEFITS OF GREEN MARKETING
Today’s consumers are becoming more and more conscious about the environment and are also becoming socially responsible. Therefore, more companies are responsible to consumers’ aspirations for environmentally less damaging or neutral products. Many companies want to have an early mover advantage as they have to eventually move towards becoming green. Some of the advantages of green marketing are:
- It ensures sustained long term growth along with profitability.
- It saves money in the long run, though initially the cost is more.
- It helps the companies market their products and services keeping the environment aspects in mind.
- It helps in accessing the new markets and enjoying the competitive advantage.
- Most of the employees also feel proud and responsible to be working for an environmentally responsible company.
- Companies that develop new and improved products and services with environment inputs in mind give themselves access to new markets.
- It also increase their profit sustainability, and enjoy a competitive advantage over the companies which are not concerned for the environment.
PRE-REQUISITES FOR EFFECTIVE GREENMARKETS
Green marketing mirrors the goals of traditional marketing, which is to “facilitate exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants.” The point of difference is that green marketing seeks to accomplish that with minimal detrimental impact on the natural environment.As companies face limited natural resources, they must also develop new or alternative ways of satisfying their customers’ needs. So green marketing is also a way of looking at how marketing activities can make the best use of these limited resources while meeting corporate objectives.
- Demonstrate Social Responsibility :
Many companies realize that they are part of the wider community and must behave in an environmentally responsible way. They set their environmental objectives as well as corporate and profit objectives. In some cases, concern for environmental issues has become integrated into the company’s culture—a fact which is recognized by customers and other influencers. Companies who manufacture products can make a further contribution to environmental improvements by encouraging their suppliers to behave in a more environmentally-responsible way.
- Comply with Legislation :
Apart fromproactivelyembracing greenmarketing, it is also essential to complywith environmental legislation. Governments try to protect consumers and society byminimizing the impact of business on the environment. For example, they try to reduce production of harmful goods, modify consumer and industry’s use of harmful goods, and ensure that businesses provide accurate information on the environmental aspects of their activities.
- Provide Accurate Environmental Information :
If you intend to practice green marketing, it is essential that your activities and your communications do not mislead consumers or industry, and do not breach any of the regulations or laws dealing with environmental marketing.Any green marketing claims should:
- Clearly state environmental benefits;
- Explain environmental characteristics;
- Explain how benefits are achieved;
- Justify any environmental claims;
- Use meaningful terms and pictures.
- Identify Products with Green Characteristics :
There are a wide variety of products that support sustainable development and demonstrate commitment to green marketing, including:
- Products made from recycled goods;
- Products that can be recycled or reused;
- Products with environmentally responsible packaging;
- Organic products;
- Services that rent or loan products-such as car sharing;
- Products that meet or exceed environmentally responsible criteria.
Whatever the product or service, it is vital to ensure that products meet or exceed the quality
expectations of customers and are thoroughly tested.
- Set Realistic Prices :
Pricing is as critical in green marketing as in conventional marketing. Concerns about the
overpricing of organic foods, for example, has made consumers skeptical about certain green claims. Most customers will only be prepared to pay a premium if they perceive additional value such as improved performance, function, design, visual appeal, or taste. Environmental benefits alone may not be a justification for higher prices. However, there is a case for communicating the potential hidden savings in green products.
- Eliminate Unnecessary Packaging :
Packaging has become an environmental issue for marketing for a number of reasons:
- Packaging is amajor component of domesticwaste and therefore an important contribution to landfill.
- Discarded packaging is very visible as litter.
- Packaging reduction initiatives can reduce the environmental impact of a product while also saving companies money.
- Retailers also play a role in reducing packaging waste by encouraging suppliers to minimize excess packaging or offering customers “shopping bags for life” to reduce the volume of plastic bags.
- Practice Greener Distribution :
Distribution is a key issue in attracting the right customers for green products and behaving in an environmentally responsible way. Experience indicates that customers will not go out of their way to buy green products just for the sake of it; where possible, products should be distributed through mainstream outlets so that they are not just available to a small niche market of green consumers.
- Promote Green Credentials Efficiently :
The key to successful green marketing communications is credibility. Never overstate environmental claims or establish unrealistic expectations, and communicate simply through sources that people trust. Larger corporations may run major advertising and public relations campaigns to promote their commitment to environmental improvement, but promotion on this scale is not essential. Green marketers reinforce their environmental credibility by using sustainable marketing and communications tools and practices. Examples include:
- Providing electronic statements or billing by e-mail;
- Using e-marketing rather than paper-based direct mail;
- Offering downloadable publications to reduce print quantities and paper usage;
- Printing on recycled materials using processes such as waterless printing;
- Eliminating unnecessary packaging;
- OfferingWebcasting as an alternative to live events to reduce representatives’ travel.
Make It Easy for Customers to Be Green :
Experience indicates that consumers and business customers are increasingly concerned about the environment and are changing their purchasing behavior. That means there is a growing market for sustainable and socially responsible products and services. The challenge for green marketing is to make it easy for customers to become green themselves. Commentators believe that when other factors such as quality, price, performance, and availability are equal, environmental considerationsmay tip the balance in favor of a green product.
KEYS POINTS TO BE FOLLOWED BY INDIAN COMPANIES FOR SUCCESSFUL GREEN MARKETING
It is impotant that company must show its potential customers that it follows green business practices. Green Marketing is not just a concept, it is a marketing strategy that can help the businesses get more customers and make more money. But only if it is done in aright manner. For green marketing to be effective, Businesses have to do three things; be genuine, educate the customers, and give them the opportunity to participate.
- Being genuine means that businesses are actually doing what they claim to be doing in their green marketing campaign and that the rest of the business policies are consistent with whatever they are doing that is environmentally friendly. Both these conditions have to be met for business to establish the kind of environmental credentials that will allow a green marketing campaign to succeed.
- Educating the customers is not just a matter of letting people know whatever business is doing to protect the environment but also a matter of letting them know why it matters. Otherwise, for a significant portion of the target market, it remains a simple markrting strategy and their greenmarketing campaign become useless.
- Giving the customers an opportunity to participate means personalizing the benefits of environmentally friendly actions, normally through letting the customer take part in positive environmental action.
- Know your customer : If the business want to sell a greener product to consumers, it first need to make sure that the consumer is aware of and concerned about the issues that the product attempts to address.
- Empower consumers : Make sure that consumers feel, by themselves or in concert with all the other users of the product, that they can make a difference. This is called “empowerment” and it is the main reason why consumers buy greener products.
- Be transparent : Consumers must believe in the legitimacy of the product and the specific claims the businesses are making.
- Reassure the buyer : Consumers need to believe that the product performs the job it is supposed to do because they won’t forego product quality in the name of the environment. Besides, products that don’t work will likely wind up in the trash bin, and that’s not very kind to the environment.
- Consider product pricing : If the business is charging a premium for the product and many environmentally preferable products cost more due to economies of scale and use of higher-quality ingredients they must make sure that consumers can afford the premium and feel it is worth it.
Green marketing is a relatively quite recent phenomenon and it is growing awareness amongst consumers and businesses about minimizing the adverse impact on the environment. Environmental issues are given more importance these days .This paper helps us to know the various practices made by companies for promoting green environment and also aimed at transforming the consumer minds and their perceptions towards environment. Well in this scenario, many corporate has taken green marketing further and as a part of their company strategy just to create brand image, gain the attention of the consumers. More and more companies need to emerge and also facilitate to the environment.
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