How Green Are You? Green with Envy or Environmentally Friendly?
Green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally preferable to others. In order to be successful, a company must be able to ascertain the needs and feeling of its target market with regards to the importance of how ecologically/ environmentally friendly the product (or its packaging) and services are. Green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, recyclable packaging as well as modifying advertising, and even internal office practices.
Green, environmental and eco-marketing are part of the new marketing approaches which do not just refocus, adjust or enhance existing marketing thinking and practice, but seek to challenge those approaches and provide a substantially different perspective. In more detail green, environmental and eco-marketing belong to the group of approaches which seek to address the lack of fit between marketing as it is currently practiced and the ecological and social realities of the wider marketing environment.
The legal implications of marketing claims call for caution. Misleading or overstated claims can lead to regulatory or civil challenges.
Laws governing green marketing in Australia as reported in the most recent edition of Marketing Magazine include:
- The competition and Consumer Act 2010, which incorporates the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), states that businesses must not mislead or deceive consumers, or make false or misleading representations. The ACCC will “vigorously pursue companies that breach the law” and can issue fines of up to $1.1 million for businesses ad $220,000 for individuals. Environmental claims (refer ACC website for regulatory framework):
- Must be accurate and able to be substantiated
- Should be specific, not unqualified and/or generic statements
- Should only be made for a real benefit
- Must not overstate the benefit
- Should clearly whether claimed benefits refer to packaging or content
- Should use endorsement or certification with caution, and
- Take into account differing levels of knowledge among consumers
- Terms to treat with caution if you are a business touting ‘Green Marketing’ practices:
- Green, environmentally friendly, eco-friendly or environmentally safe
- Recyclable and recycled
- Renewable or green
- Carbon neutral, carbon offset and greenhouse emission
Has your business considered how it can help our environment? It may not be in the actual production of a product or service, but even what stationery materials you use, how you dispose of recyclable materials, incentives for staff to use public transport. Whatever your business or place of employment does, make sure you follow the rules when you market the fact that you are taking steps to help ‘Save the Environment’.
Yes, it’s great to be green!
Blog and tagged Ethics in Marketing, Green Marketing, Hall of Fame Marketing Bendigo