Green marketing, put simply is the marketing of products that have a green tag to them and have been prepared using sustainable environmental practice and are considered environmentally safe.
One traditional problem associated with green marketing is that it sometimes asks consumers to forego something in order to do their bit for the environment. Consumers rarely like it when they have to give up something, so a green marketing approach that provides a sound, safer environmentally conscious product at not very high costs is likely to meet with larger success and acceptance.
This has led to a parallel shift between consumer and company approaches between money and environment relationship. Investing in green technologies by a company is more for cutting down costs on fuels or to earn credits while a consumer that chooses to buy an environmentally safe product makes a decision to spend his money for the larger environmental benefit. The decrease in time lag between economic gain and environmental impact has led to urgent actions for ensuring that economic growth is no longer at the expense of environment. Green marketing comes later, at the final step and tries to sell off the environmental safe practices adopted for the larger good. Sometimes the green practice may even become the signature selling point if the campaign is cleverly designed.
However, it is absolutely essential that the firm pay close attention to its environmental friendly practices as any claim if found to be fraudulent can spell disaster for the company and its products. Sometimes a firm may simply claim that a product is environmentally friendly or may claim adoption of cleaner practices when in reality they may not actually be doing anything for the environmental cause, such practices are labelled under Greenwashing.
Concerns have been raised over the lack of a universal framework over what classifies as green, the lack of a universally accepted standard also creates confusion in the minds of consumers. The ability to spearhead an environmental movement solely on consumer faith is limited as choices are decided often by the pricing and the paying ability of the consumer and the effectiveness of the product; the environmental benefit is the last thing on a shopper’s mind. Development of labels such as energy star and Eco mark may go a long way to ensure people’s faith and provide them with a simple measure of how environmentally friendly a product is.
The CDM under the Kyoto Protocol is considered as one such example of a positive framework that can serve as a valuable source of funding to fuel sustainable projects in developing countries.