Green marketing: sales-oriented but environmentally friendly

On 17 June, EACA participated in the webinar “Evolving Environmental Marketing Regulation” organised by the International Advertising Association (IAA). The webinar defined green marketing and provided an update on key green marketing rules around the world.

What is green marketing?

Green marketing refers to all activities that contribute to the development, marketing and promotion of products and services that have a lower environmental impact than the alternatives offered on the market.

The 4 P’s of Green Marketing

There are four pillars on which Green Marketing should be based:

  • Product policy: the product should be made of natural or at least environmentally friendly materials. In the best case, this not only helps to protect nature but also to mitigate existing environmental damage.
  • Pricing policy: additional costs resulting from ecological orientation may be reflected in the price to a certain extent. If the price increase is communicated transparently and plausibly, many consumers are willing to pay a higher price for sustainably produced goods. If the opportunity arises, leasing or sharing options with social and resource-saving components are also possible.
  • Place policy: The transport routes needed within a production and distribution cycle are crucial for the ecological footprint of a product. They should therefore be organised as environmentally friendly and resource-saving as possible. This can be achieved, for example, by using regional raw materials.
  • Promotion policy: On the one hand, advertising measures should be made as environmentally friendly as possible, e.g., by eliminating flyers, which often end up in the rubbish bin after a glance, and by encouraging the use of media channels to implement one’s marketing strategy. On the other hand, a communication strategy must be developed for the company’s activities in favour of the environment. It is about informing (future) customers and keeping them in the long term.

Ultimately, each company must decide how seriously it implements green marketing strategies and how it communicates them to the outside world. The perception must be credible, otherwise one risks the accusation of greenwashing. This term describes public relations measures that present a company or individual products as exceptionally environmentally friendly and sustainable, without this being the case. Consumers are thus deliberately misled to gain short-term advantages. This approach, however, risks permanently damaging the company’s image.