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What is Sustainability Marketing?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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Often known as green marketing or organic marketing, sustainability marketing is a strategy that involves the promotion, sales, and distribution of goods and services that leave less of a footprint on the environment. The idea behind this approach is to encourage consumers to make better use of goods produced using recycled materials, or goods that are manufactured using less in the way of natural resources. Typically, the process of sustainability marketing also includes an education component that helps consumers understand the benefits of buying environmentally-friendly products as opposed to purchasing similar products that have a more lasting negative impact on the ecology of the planet.

This form of environmental marketing may be focused on niche markets, or used as a means of reaching out to consumers in general. When used in a niche setting, the marketing process will often focus on the benefits that have to do with a specific type of product over a similar product. For example, a company that sells solar energy panels and battery storage systems may focus on the fact that the panels are made from recycled materials and that the batteries have a longer than typical life of usage. This approach may appeal to consumers who consider recycling important, and who also want to receive the highest level of benefit from their purchases.

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At other times, sustainability marketing is not just about acquiring customers for a specific product, but about educating consumers about their options in terms of purchasing environmentally-friendly products. Here, the goal is to make consumers aware that such products exist, then direct them to suppliers who have those products available for sale. Typically, this approach also requires some comparison with more traditional products that do leave more of a footprint on the environment, a strategy that makes it possible for consumers to consider the relative merits of each product offering and make informed purchasing decisions.

In recent years, green or sustainability marketing has become a common element in the public relations efforts of many different types of businesses. In some cases, this is seen when companies note their products are provided to consumers in packages made from recycled materials, or that the components used to create the products were manufactured using methods that required less power or resulted in less waste introduced into the environment. As more people become concerned about the health of the planet, it is likely that additional manufacturers and businesses will include sustainability marketing in their campaigns as a means of letting consumers know those companies are making attempts to be responsible corporate citizens and support the sustaining of a balanced environment.

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