Green marketing refers to the strategy of creating and promoting sustainable products, services, and business practices. It's a strategy that many businesses implement and many customers appreciate.
There's a lot more to green marketing than first meets the eye, but you can start out small and take little steps to make your business more environmentally friendly.
In this article, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about green marketing, including its benefits and ways you could implement it, to help you decide whether it could be right for your business.
What Is Green Marketing?
Green marketing (sometimes referred to as eco marketing or environmental marketing) is the practice of a business adapting its products or services to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. This applies to the business itself and its manufacturing process. That's not all, though – green marketing means that you'll be highlighting these aspects in your promotional materials and marketing campaigns.
An environmentally conscious business may choose to highlight certain eco-friendly aspects of its products, such as:
- Sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes
- Using renewable and/or recycled materials
- Avoiding materials that are harmful to the environment
- Using minimal amounts of packaging materials and ensuring they’re recyclable
Today, it’s increasingly important to be seen as a business that implements sustainable business practices.
Going green means that your business positions itself as a socially responsible one, and this can help you attract like-minded customers for whom this will be an important factor.
The Benefits of Green Marketing
When implemented correctly, green marketing can offer your business several benefits – both for your revenue and for reducing your carbon footprint. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits:
- Cultivate a reputation as a socially and environmentally responsible business, and as a result, improve your brand’s credibility.
- Reduce your business expenses and improve your revenue. Incorporating sustainable practices, such as using recycled packaging, can help you cut certain aspects of your expenses while charging higher prices.
- Solidify your relationship with consumers that consider sustainability and green practices important.
- Reduce your environmental footprint by saving energy and contribute toward making the world a more sustainable place by doing so.
5 Green Marketing Ideas
Green marketing is about more than just broadcasting the message that your business cares about the environment. It’s about actually embodying that message, both in the way your business operates and in the message you put out to the world.
Let’s look at 5 ways in which you can move your company toward its goal of being more green.
1. Implement Sustainable Design
Before you can start marketing your business as eco-friendly and sustainable, you need to actually consider your products and services. This includes how you source the materials and energy that go into them, the labor and amount of waste generated throughout their manufacturing process, and the emissions from their shipping.
Consider every stage of your product’s life cycle. Next, adapt or entirely overhaul its design if you need to, in order to make it as sustainable as it can be. This way, when you do launch green marketing campaigns, you’ll have something to back it up and can stand up to any scrutiny thrown your way.
2. Support Green Initiatives
If your business isn’t already running any philanthropic outreach efforts, starting now will help you move towards being a more green company. Try to target green charities and nonprofits, particularly those that run campaigns that help your local area. This is especially important if most of your business is done locally.
Supporting organizations that work to further green initiatives will help you solidify your reputation as a business that supports these types of causes.
3. Get Green-Certified
Once you’ve adapted your business practices and made them sustainable and environmentally friendly, consider reaching out to organizations that offer green certifications.
Getting certifications from well-recognized third-party organizations such as Green Seal, Green America, or Green Business Certification Inc. can add credibility and authority to your green marketing efforts.
4. Use Sustainable Packaging
Using excessive, often non-recyclable plastic packaging is something a lot of businesses are guilty of. It's also one of the leading contributors to landfills across the globe.
This is something consumers today are hyper-conscious of, and those people may immediately write off your business as an environmentally damaging one if you use plastic packaging.
Consider rethinking your packaging strategy if it currently includes plastic. Try incorporating recycled non-plastic alternatives instead.
5. Create a Culture of Sustainability
Creating a culture of sustainability within your company is key to firmly establishing yourself as a green business. Make sure it’s part of your company’s core values, and that employees are informed regularly of this.
Consider overhauling your operational practices to be more green. For example, you could encourage employees to use the printer as little as possible; use recycled ink and toner; go paperless for corporate communications; use eco-friendly cleaning products, and use energy-saving computer hardware and light fixtures.
The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider
When you choose Pay.com as your payment service provider, you can focus your efforts on transforming your business while leaving the behind-the-scenes of the payment process to us.. You can send out fully digital invoices, contributing to your business’ efforts to become paperless.
Getting set up with Pay.com is easy, even if you’re a first-time business owner. The onboarding process is simple, and you can easily accept a wide range of payment methods.
Once you’re all set up, the Pay Dashboard offers you clear and thorough oversight of all your transactions in real time.
The Bottom Line: Is Green Marketing Right for Your Business?
When used right, green marketing can be a very powerful strategy. Over the last decade, sustainably sourced and manufactured products have accounted for a growing share of store sales, with an increase of over 25% since 2014.
Consumers are increasingly conscious of environmentally harmful business practices, and many look to buy products that minimize negative environmental impact.
Remember, however, that it’s important for your green marketing to align with your brand and its values. Having one green product among other non-green products won’t make sense, and it can make your brand seem inconsistent.
If you decide to go down the green marketing route, make sure you can back up your claims: falsely advertising as green can do a lot more harm than good for your business.