Jacquie Ottman's
Green marketing Blog

Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing Blog

Now Even Your Eyeglasses Can be “Green”

Look for ECOs the next time you shop for eyewear. ECO stands for EARTH CONSCIOUS OPTICS, a new line of eyewear from our client MODO. We are proud to be assisting them in their exciting launch.

ECOs Logo

ECOs come in all kinds of fashion colors (not just green!) and are made from a minimum of 95% recycled stainless steel or 95% recycled plastic. (Another client of ours, ULEnvironment has validated the claims.)  Reflecting a life cycle approach to sustainable design, …Read more...


Defining Biobased

Biobased products are getting a lot of attention lately. Who doesn’t like the idea of making products out of corn, soy and other agricultural ingredients? We are proud to be working with the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred program. It’s a USDA-led initiative designed to increase the purchase, use, and evaluation of biobased products, including biopolymers.

USDA defines biobased products as those composed in whole or in significant part of biological ingredients; forestry or renewable agricultural materials - including plant, animal, or marine (e.g. algae) ingredients. USDA identifies more …Read more...


Method’s New Laundry Detergent—A Drop in the Bucket?

Method deserves kudos for its new super-concentrated laundry detergent: 50 loads packed into a trim squirt bottle and 95% plant-based. Sounds great! A major achievement that should put Tide and Wisk on notice and turn heads at Wal-Mart. But let’s not let Dropps get lost in the hoopla.

Dropps, the product of a Philadelphia-based start-up, represents what may be an even greater achievement in source reduction. Eschewing the concept of dispensing with detergent from a bulky plastic jug, 20 dissolvable detergent capsules (“dropps”) come packed in a collapsible plastic pouch. …Read more...


How Nike Reduces Toxicity to Balance Consumer Needs with Enhanced Corporate Reputation

Toxicity affects products at every stage of their life cycle, so naturally, reducing toxicity is good for business.  As I discuss at more length in my latest book on green marketing to be released later this year, it reduces the liability associated with worker rights, and via alternatives that are safer to handle, can enhance productivity and cut workers’ compensation claims.  And of course, there’s the opportunity to market to the growing number of mainstream consumers looking for safer alternatives.

Nike’s Considered line of reduced toxic shoes

Nike aims to …


Underscore Health Benefits to Add Relevance to Green Marketing Messages

AVM Safecoat Paint

As I have said numerous times over the years, the number one reason why consumers buy greener products is not to “save the planet” but to save their own health. AFM understands this well—and puts their understanding of this green marketing fundamental to work in two ads that do a great job of underscoring the health benefits of their line of Safecoat paint.

One ad features 16 buckets of paint lined up in a row. Fifteen of the buckets are painted …Read more...


When it Comes to Marketing Green Appliances, Silence is Golden

Ads for Bosch’s super quiet, high performance appliances make a point about doing green marketing right loud and clear: focus on the benefits most relevant to consumers.

As I discuss at more length in my soon-to-be-published book, “Consumers buy products to meet basic needs, not (primarily) to save the planet.” Said another way, consumers walk into the store with their, well, consumer caps on, not citizen ones.

Commercials for Bosch’s super-energy efficient appliances focus on how quiet they are, with secondary emphasis on their environmentally preferable attributes. In one ad …Read more...


Opportunities for Marketing to the Green Consumer

Consumers buy over $200 billion of natural personal care and cleaning products, organic produce, hybrid cars, fair trade coffee, compostable plates and cups, and other green products and services.

Please join me on February 4, 2010 (in New York City) for Opportunities to Market to the Green Consumer.  Network with members of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club and other senior marketing professionals from New York.  Listen to green marketing practitioners from HSBC, Ozocar and Sundance Channel talk about opportunities to build green brands, innovate new products and services, and …Read more...


Why Jacquie Ottman’s Green Marketing Remains Relevant

Guest post by Peter Korchnak, who writes the Sustainable Marketing Blog.

I recently read for the first time and reviewed Jacquie Ottman's Green Marketing: Opportunity for Innovation (2nd edition) and this is what struck me: "[M]ost of what I read nowadays about sustainability and marketing, Jacquie covered in Green Marketing more than a decade ago."

Though sustainability* has made inroads throughout the corporate world, with the likes of Nike and Walmart implementing sustainable practices on a large scale, green marketing literature and blogs recycle the …Read more...


Scott Naturals—Green Done Right?

Does a new line of green paper products really live up to its tag line of “Green Done Right?” By Jacquelyn Ottman, with Sarah McGrath

On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Kimberly-Clark launched Scott Naturals, a line of household paper products made from partially recycled content. Marketing communications sport the tag line “Green Done Right.” One could argue this line overstates Kimberly-Clark’s achievement, but the company deserves to be lauded for taking a step in the right direction.

“Turn over a NEW leaf…and take a green step without …Read more...


Greenest Notebooks—or Just Boldest Ads?

In a recent blog post, Bob Pearson, Dell’s VP of community outreach and green marketing, panned Apple over a well-publicized - and ostensibly controversial - ad campaign, "The Greenest Family of Notebooks." As one of Dell’s biggest competitors, it comes as no surprise that Dell would have some not-so-friendly things to say about Apple’s bold green marketing effort.

Among Pearson’s scathing accusations, he claims that Apple's self-proclaimed "world's greenest laptops" are more smoke-and-mirror rhetoric than substantiation, and that Dell's laptops demonstrate a greater commitment to the …Read more...


Hey, Nestle: Don’t Communicate—Eco-Innovate!

If only Nestle had used good green marketing efforts and communicated its efforts to green its bottled water business sooner, it wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in now. Right? Wrong!

Contrary to what Kim Jeffery, CEO of Nestle Waters, laments to BusinessWeek, the real issue with bottled water lies in consumers’ minds (and the advocates who influence them), not in pricey carbon analyses showing that lightweighting the plastic bottle is the solution to reducing the environmental impact of bottled water. The real issue simply …Read more...


Does a Weak Economy Mean Weak Green Sales?

Green marketers of every stripe have been asking me: "Will a weak economy weaken sales of green products?" For people who think green products cost more, the answer is yes. To (reverse) paraphrase John F. Kennedy, a sinking sea should lower all boats. And it's still a little early to tell if sales of many green products and services have been hurt quarter to quarter.

The key thing to focus on, however, is how a softening economy might not dampen your own green products sales. In some cases, it just …Read more...


The Power of Green Lies In Marketers’ Hands

Many people think the power to restore our environment lies in the hands of technical types like scientists and engineers, even lawyers and legislators. But the real power of green lies in the hands of marketers - we, the creative folks who have the power to design and promote cleaner products and technologies and help consumers evolve to more sustainable lifestyles.

It may be hard to fathom, but over 75% of the environmental impact that a product throws off during its lifetime is determined at the design stage, when, for …Read more...


Eco-Logos: A Double-Edged Sword?

Eco-logos are all the rage - but how valuable are they as a green marketing tool? Are there some hidden risks that warrant a second look? Let's consider the three ingredients of an effective marketing logo - green or otherwise - and their implications for the savvy eco-marketer.

Here are the three factors at play:

1. Recognizability. Eco-logos can reinforce green messages, a welcome benefit for sure. But of the myriad eco-logos on the market, only a few are known to consumers. They consist of the, chasing arrows recycling logo, …Read more...


Is There a gDiaper in Your Baby’s Future?


Can anyone topple the disposable diaper giants?  The makers of gDiapers promise an attractive, well fitting, convenient diaper that can be flushed, home composted or tossed. All parents want a diaper that is easy to dispose of, safe, absorbent, and affordable.  Can gDiapers provide all of this with less load on the planet?  Let’s see how the facts stack up.

Diaper Facts:  Sustainable vs. Conventional

There’s no doubt that disposables are the easiest to use.  All you do is undo the plastic …Read more...


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