The coming of age of ‘GREEN’ Marketing

Published on 24th Feb 2020

The conversation around the environment & sustainability has gained momentum in recent times and is influencing consumer behaviour. Issues like climate change and plastic waste have dominated the global discourse. What 2019 has done, is put the spotlight on an evolving problem for marketers and increasingly brands are getting involved around the idea of conscious consumption in a throwaway society.

The matter of plastic waste is well documented and shared across social media. There are several high profile campaigns on the issue – Sky’s #PassOnPlastic to the #BeatPlasticPollution movement.

Aside from these initiatives’, brands are finding ways to usher in the change that doesn’t bump bottom-lines. For those involved with brands and branding, however, walking the tightrope between people, planet and profits are increasingly unorthodox.

The wave of eco-consciousness is now evident in India as consumers make daily choices. Considering the environment when shopping at a store or even online is fast catching up. And Government policies and societal pressures are gaining momentum.

‘The advertising industry can be a force to bring about smarter communications so that brand communications meet societal needs, that does not mean that advertising should not stimulate the imagination of the consumer and create aspirations for a brand.'

-Professor Freda Swaminathan of FORE School of Management

A few examples of ‘friend-of-the-planet’ initiatives in India

  1. ITC launched Savlon’s Swachchata Ka Gullak, an initiative for school children to ‘sensitise students on the need for an eco-friendly life’.

  2. Laundry brand, Fabricspa, launched a ‘Back to sender’ campaign, an effort to take back and responsibly recycle all plastic material used for packing.

  3. Mother Dairy created a 25-feet Raavan made of plastic waste, later dismantled and sent to a recycling station.

  4. Brigade, in collaboration with its customers planted #12,000 select trees to create an Urban Forest at one of their projects.

  5. Dalmia Cement, India’s fourth-largest cement maker is working hard towards sustainability, and wants to be carbon negative by 2040, making cement, one of the most polluting materials, green.
  6. Seven years ago MRF Tyres took a step towards being an environmentally conscious brand with the launch of the ZSLK series. It was all about creating eco-friendly tubeless tyres made from unique silica- based rubber.

Notable Global Initiatives:

  1. Saltwater Brewery, Florida
    This sustainable-driven brewery makes a whole-hearted effort to maintain the health of our oceans. The Brewery recently released its edible six-pack rings, a new approach to solving the issue of the commonly used plastic in beer packaging. These rings are 100% biodegradable and edible, as they are made from barley and wheat ribbons used during the brewing process. This packaging can actually be eaten by animals.

  2. Evian, France
    Evian is going carbon neutral and plastic free by being on the forefront in the battle to reduce plastic waste. By 2025, the company has made a pledge to only produce bottles which are 100 percent recycled.
  3. Brand Collaboration
    Pepsi and Coca-Cola in association with Diesel created fashion lines that incorporated recycled plastic within the fabric.

  4. Costa Coffee
    As one of the world’s largest coffee companies, Costa Coffee takes its sustainable responsibilities seriously. The company is targeting an astonishing half a billion recycled cups, apart from sourcing 100% of their coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and recycling 4000 tons of coffee grounds for biofuel.

  5. Dell Computers
    The company integrates alternative, recycled and recyclable materials in its product and packaging designs, improvements in energy efficiency, and design for end-of-life and recyclability. The company has made a commitment to reduce the energy intensity of its product portfolio by 80% by the end of 2020.

The Marketable Eco-friendly Movement
Burger King is gradually removing free plastic toys from kids’ meals, which has been a long-standing and highly successful incentive for the fast-food giant.

Unilever is experimenting with refill-reuse models, new solutions in packaging and distribution, and designing deposit and rewards schemes. It recently set up refill stations in some southeast Asian markets.

Chile is piloting an app-powered, intelligent dispensing system that uses electric tricycles to deliver.

According to a recent report by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, replacing just 20% of single-use plastic packaging with reusable alternatives offers an opportunity worth at least $10 billion.

Carlsberg has developed a prototype of a Green Fibre Bottle – made from sustainably-sourced wood fibre.

Source: The Economic Times; 12th November 2019

Many celebrities and social influencers are associated with environment-friendly initiatives. Not just the consumer, we are seeing new opportunities to build markets and brands in this environment. From consumer to conserver, from passive to active, from observer to participant – businesses today must have more than just a point-of-view about ‘sustainability’.

Advertising Agency in India