Sustainability Mix – Greening the Marketing Mix

Sustainability has been a growing concern regarding the natural environment, which has resulted in the transformation of the competitive landscape and constraining companies to take a look at the costs and profits of greening their marketing mix. Sustainability is defined as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability issues have turned out to be progressively critical to corporate decision-makers as companies face public sensitivity, stricter guidelines, and growing stakeholder pressures focused on saving the common habitat. There has been a shift in the consumer’s preferences towards environmentally friendly products and services.

Greening the marketing mix means incorporating the sustainability elements in the marketing mix. For example, HSBC is aiming for a zero-carbon footprint and Walmart is implementing procedures that empower sustainability among its suppliers.

Green pricing strategy refers to pricing exercises that record both the environmental costs and the economic costs of marketing. Strategically, firms can utilize pricing activities, for example, refunds for returning recyclable packaging or charge more for products that harm the environment. For example, Coca-Cola launched its RecycleBank that rewards its customers for recycling their bottles, and in Mark & Spencer, they now charge their customers for plastic bags to limit their usage.

Greening the place segment in the marketing mix refers to creating policies that require suppliers and distributors to adopt environmentally friendly responsibilities. For example, Hewlett-Packard has joined forces with Staples in its authorized recycling location program for printer ink cartridges. Firms could also set up eco unions with channel partners to refine the environmental impact on their joint activities, such as reconfiguring logistics arrangements to make them environmentally efficient, i.e. fewer and fuller cargos. World’s leading firms like Nestle and L’Oréal have partnered with Tesco, one of their biggest retail accomplices, to establish the Supply Chain Leadership Coalition, which stimulates ways to lower the carbon footprint in their distribution channels (suppliers to consumers).

When it comes to green promotion methods, these are methods that are intended to convey the environmental benefits of the company’s goods and services. Such efforts may include advertising environmental appeals and claims, publicizing environmental efforts, and incorporating environmental claims on product packaging. For example, Timberland has launched its Green Index rating framework that tells the customers about the environmental effect of every item Timberland produces. In the U.K, Procter & Gamble has succeeded in its campaign to lower consumers’ washer temperatures and to profit from development in Ariel’s technology by sparing 60,000 t of carbon dioxide every year.

The green marketing strategy for the product segment of the marketing mix can be beneficial for two main reasons. To begin with, by embracing more environmentally friendly products along with price, place, and promotion programs, companies may grow their image and status among consumers. By fulfilling stakeholder demands for environmentally friendly products, companies can get more positive exposure and stay away from issues that concern environmentally driven consumers. Second, if the green marketing strategy is carried out well then it may increase sales volumes as it will permit the companies to access new market fragments, i.e. consumers for whom the environment is an abrogating concern. It might likewise result in enhanced satisfaction and loyalty among consumers since a green marketing strategy may reinforce their impression of product value and address any environmental concerns. Therefore, we can conclude that implementing a green marketing mix is positively associated with product, price, place, and promotion strategies. As the companies are promoting sustainability strategies in their businesses, the marketing mix also needs to promote the same goal, and thus the 4P’s do not work with the current market trends.

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