Green Marketing: What Does it Really Mean?

Sam Jacobs

Sam Jacobs
Paid Search Director

6 min read

30th Jan 2024

Today’s consumers are more informed than ever before, choosing to spend their money with brands that share their sustainable values, and operate businesses using environmental and socially responsible practices. 

Consumers are doing their research and fact checking the authenticity of the brands they are buying from. For organizations in the sustainable community, it’s not good enough to just ‘talk-the-talk’. Your product needs to walk the proverbial walk, too.

What is green marketing?

Green marketing, also known as sustainable marketing, is a strategic approach that focuses on promoting products or services in an environmental and socially responsible way. 

It involves incorporating sustainable practices and principles into all aspects of marketing, including product design, pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion.

Why is green marketing important?

With the growing concern for the climate crises and the future of our planet, green marketing is becoming increasingly more important.

Green marketing not only helps to preserve our planet for future generations but also appeals to the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers. 

Companies that embrace green marketing practices not only contribute to a better world, but also gain a competitive edge in the market. By promoting eco-friendly products and services, businesses can attract a loyal customer base and build a positive brand image.

What is an example of green marketing?

An example of green marketing can be seen in the campaigns of companies that promote environmentally friendly products, such as OceanSaver. Their plastic free cleaning ranges are plant-based and non-toxic, are not tested on animals and produce zero plastic waste. Their brand was developed because of our oceans, and the growing concern for plastic waste that ends up in the sea. 

Another example is the use of environmentally friendly messaging in advertising, such as promoting the benefits of using renewable energy sources or encouraging consumers to choose reusable products over disposable ones.

What are some green marketing companies?

Green companies are organizations that prioritize sustainability, eco-friendliness and social responsibility in their business practices. We’ve already mentioned a great example above in OceanSaver, but a few others to check out are:

Patagonia, who have been supporting environmental projects for decades.

Ben & Jerry’s, who use their business practices to “advance human rights and dignity, support social and economic justice for historically marginalized communities, and protect and restore the Earth’s natural systems”

Who Gives A Crap, who offers carbon-neutral shipping options, their products are plastic-free, and offer both recycled and bamboo toilet paper options that use significantly fewer resources than conventional toilet paper brands.

How to make a green marketing strategy

What does it actually mean to have a green marketing strategy? First and foremost, it involves incorporating sustainability and eco-friendly practices into all aspects of a company’s operation.

Sustainable product design

First things first, you can’t implement a green marketing strategy if you haven’t got a sustainable offer to promote. Developing a sustainable product means thinking about the environmental impact of your materials sourcing, product design, manufacturing, packaging and distribution.

Green pricing

To be competitive in any market you need to get your pricing point right, but to price sustainably; you need to ensure you are not exploiting any parts of your supply chain, and not charging extortionately for the product post-production. Pricing your product accordingly can make or break a green marketing campaign. 

Skipping printed media in favor of digital marketing

A lot of green marketing strategies will not use printed media, in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the campaign. In a world where most consumers are shopping online, digital marketing can help promote your products to your audience, without using up valuable resources unnecessarily.

Use eco-friendly paper and inks for print marketing materials

Where printed media is required for your campaign, using eco-friendly paper and ink can ensure you keep your campaigns carbon footprint as low as possible. By using eco-friendly printed products, you can effectively promote your campaign while also doing your part to protect the planet.

Use responsible shipping and distribution methods

Developing an environmentally responsible product can all be for nothing if your shipping is not sustainable. It’s important to consider how you’re going to get your product to your customers when developing your green marketing strategy.

What are the advantages of green marketing?

The advantages of green marketing are numerous, both for businesses and for the environment. It allows businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors by showcasing their commitment to sustainability. 

Green marketing principles will help companies reduce their carbon footprint, reduce waste of unnecessary resources and reduce their cost for overspend on resources. 

Most importantly, the key advantages of green marketing are the protection of our natural environment, the support of environmental projects and the reduction of waste plastics that usually end up in the oceans.

What are the disadvantages of green marketing?

Some consumers criticize companies that use green marketing strategies simply for the sake of appealing to trends.

Another potential disadvantage of green marketing is sometimes the initial increase in costs, as it can take many resources to develop and implement new advertising strategies.

What is green-washing?

Green-washing refers to the deceptive marketing tactics used by some companies who try to make their products or services seem more environmentally friendly than they are. 

This can include using misleading labels, making false claims about their sustainability efforts, misrepresenting data to build misleading narratives. 

Companies who use green-washing practices are attempting to attract environmentally conscious consumers to boost sales, without actually making any significant efforts towards sustainability.

Should your business be doing green marketing?

Green marketing works for a certain audience. If your target consumer is an audience of customers who are conscious of protecting our planet, and who chose to buy from sustainable brands, then the answer is; “yes”, your business should have a green marketing strategy. 

You might need support when developing a green marketing strategy, and if you chose to reach out to a specialist green marketing agency, make sure you do your research, and ensure the agency is aligned with your goals and understands the market you operate in. 

Not sure where to begin? Let’s talk. Get in touch with our team today.

Frequently asked Questions

Product, price, place and promotion.

Green marketing exists so that environmentally conscious businesses can promote sustainable products and services to a consumer who values sustainability also.

Green SEO incorporates eco-friendly and socially responsible strategies into the process of optimising websites for search engines.

Some brands we love who promote green marketing are OceanSaver, Patagonia, Medik8, Allbirds, Ben & Jerry’s, Who Gives A Crap, to name just a few.

The primary goal of green marketing is to encourage consumers to choose products or services that have a reduced impact on the environment or offer sustainable benefits.

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