Understanding The "Green" Movement in Your Marketing Efforts

by : colettechandler

Companies, cities and individuals are getting involved in the green movement. They are doing there part to keep the environment healthier by reducing humans' impact on the land, using recycled metals and nontoxic substances, organic gardening, adding more green space, building using environmentally friendly materials and more.

An increasing number of businesses are beginning to see it as a market advantage, especially when you consider organic foods is one of the fastest growing markets.

Here are some reasons that organizations and businesses have moved in that direction:
* Employees care
o According to a recent survey by progressive community network Care2, 48 percent of employees say they would work for less pay, if they could work for a socially responsible company. And they would work hard; according to the survey 40 percent of employees would be willing to work longer hours for a job at a socially responsible company.
* Research dictates they need to be concerned
o Turner Construction company conducted a study that revealed more than 70% of executives believe that green buildings enhance student performance.
* Environmental groups are forcing companies to become more responsible
* Due to pressure from environmental groups, now the top 30 banks have stopped funding environmentally and socially irresponsible corporations and have become more "green."
* Competition from other environmental activities pressures companies to change their marketing initiatives
* Levi's is introducing its 100% organic jeans this fall.
* Nike is making organic sportswear and talking about becoming a responsible citizen.
* A growing number of retailers are experimenting with more environmentally sensitive and energy efficient stores.
* McDonald's started serving Fair Trade Certified(tm) coffee in 658 of its restaurants in New England and Albany, NY. These locations switched 100 percent of their coffee products over to Fair Trade Certified(tm) organic coffee from Newman's Own Organics, roasted by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. They started this as a regional launch and with a goal of expanding it across the country.

Even more so, companies are starting to recognize that they need to be concerned with the triple bottom line-how they make decisions based upon the economic, environmental and social impact.

Unfortunately, the majority of people believe that green marketing refers solely to the promotion or advertising of products with environmental characteristics. This is only part of the equation. Green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising.

Here are some of the things you can do to incorporate the green movement into your marketing efforts:

* When manufacturing your products - consider using recycled materials for packaging and incorporating organic fibers or other materials. Once you have changed the way you manufacture, then make sure to make people aware that your product packaging or materials are made using natural materials that do not harm the environment.
* When renovating or building new - consider choosing alternative, environmentally sound building materials and using more insulation to minimize energy use. Make people aware that you're a company who practices socially responsibility.
* Designate a place to recycle for both your internal and external employees as Staples does. They promote recycling programs at its stores for printer cartridges and consumer electronics.
* Identify local and global causes where your company and employees can get involved and make a difference in the environment. o Consider the efforts of Clif Bar Co., which was aware of scientific predictions of global warming and how it would diminish the snowpack by up to 70 percent in western U.S. coastal mountains over the next 50 years. Last winter, it launched a campaign to help ski resorts, skiers and snowboarders combat global warming. Research dictate consumers care about the environment. Even in the Midwest, consumers feel the same-eight-four percent of general consumer population indicate they care about protecting the environment, according to the Ohio Health and Wellness Research Report(c), a research report by The Marketing Insider found in its August 2005 survey of 1,100 consumers in Ohio. They want to know that companies care as well and the only way they can know is if you tell your story.