Adopting green marketing practices is one avenue where businesses can both lower their ecological footprint while basking in the good PR karma of becoming a greener business, if their efforts to uphold sustainability principles are sincere, measurable and verifiable. A failure to understand what green marketing is, as well as the inability to demonstrate improved sustainability measures, while making efforts to portray one’s business as green is simply another example of corporate greenwash. So how can a marketing professional avoid the pitfalls of greenwash while embracing the principles of green marketing? Let’s begin with the definition of green marketing.
Green marketing is the promotion and selling of services, products, or a combination of the two, that are assumed to be safe for the environment. Green marketing, also called eco marketing or environmental marketing is used for products and services that are presumed to have little or no effect on the environment, which is thus seen as an advantage to consumers. By making their advertising campaigns green, businesses can then reach additional customers by spreading the word of their green products or services.
A green advertising campaign, or green marketing campaign, is used to show how a business’s products or services are green, or environmentally friendly. To do this, a green advertising campaign showcases the eco-friendly features of the products or services. For example, green advertising may show that a product is organic, or made from entirely natural ingredients, without any synthetic proponents. A green advertising campaign may also note that a product uses environmentally friendly packaging. A green marketing campaign shows how the business’s services or products are presumed to be environmentally sound and safe, thus appealing to customers and increasing your business.
Have your product or service eco certified. By having your product or service certified green, you can prove to your customer base that your goods or services are green and reach additional customers. Some certifications you can get for your product or service include getting organic certification, fair trade certification, green business certification, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, or Green Seal certification. All of these types of green certification will help you green your marketing campaign.
Use marketing that doesn’t add waste. By choosing to use e-marketing, television marketing, or any other form of marketing that isn’t wasteful, you’re greening your marketing campaign. Using wasteful forms of marketing such as flyers and brochures adds to the waste of your business and therefore, is not green. However, if you still want to market your product using paper advertising, you can green your marketing somewhat by using recycled paper and environmentally friendly ink.
Make your product or services greener. By making your goods or services greener, you can make your marketing campaign greener. To do this, consider using more recycled materials in your products, making sure your products are energy efficient, or making your products more easily recyclable. To green your services, you can use natural and organic products, make sure your location is energy efficient, use renewable sources of energy, and reduce waste while increasing recycling. A successful green advertising campaign will keep getting greener by showing consumers how the business is constantly greening their products or services.
Consider stewardship programs and industry partnerships. Industry partnerships and stewardship programs are great for green marketing campaigns as they increase the life cycle of your products. By using a stewardship program or industry partnership, you can reduce the harmful output you put out through the manufacturing of your product, as well.
Use greener manufacturing. There are a number of ways to employ greener manufacturing processes when creating your products that help to green your marketing. Find manufacturing processes that use less energy, create less waste, use less harmful materials, and create less waste.
By keeping these green marketing tips in mind, you will be well on your way to truly greening your marketing campaign, rather than embarking on a greenwashing campaign instead.