Jacquie Ottman's
Green Marketing Blog

Green Marketing Is Alive and Kicking

It all depends upon how we define green marketing. If we define it as, “Planets, babies and daisies and empty green claims,”, then yes, green marketing is dead. Let’s bury it. No product is truly green—all products use energy and create waste.

However, if we define it as I do, “serving customers needs with products that perform equally well or better, and providing the consumer with transparent information based upon sound science”... If we add to that ” leading our messaging with primary benefits—the money savings, the genuine health benefits, the convenience associated with sharing a car or owning one—(or driving in the carpool lane), and supplementing those messages, albeit on a secondary basis with the legitimate environmental benefits that consumers tell us they want to hear” — then green marketing is alive and well.

One factoid that came across my screen the other day that suggests green marketing is alive and kicking is that the market for global green marketing is expected to reach $3.5 trillion by 2017. Here’s a link to the press release announcing the report.  Figures like that are hard to ignore.

Call it what you will—sustainability marketing, sustainable branding, ethical marketing, eco-marketing—it’s all green marketing.  In a market-based economy loathe to regulate consumer products, it’s the only tool we’ve got to ensure the smooth transition to a greener economy.

We can stand on soapboxes and be pessimistic and negative. Or we can celebrate successes and derive positive learning from our failures and move on. It’s up to us. We’re the ones to benefit from green marketing staying alive—and thriving.

Submitted by Jacquie Ottman, green marketing expert to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government, and author, The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools, and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding (Berrett-Koehler, 2011).


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