Concept of Sustainability

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UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

Master of Business Administration

Module Title Student ID No

: :

Strategic Marketing 1309254 How necessary is it for marketers

Assignment Title:

to adapt the concept of sustainability and in what ways could it be implemented as part of the overall marketing strategy? Submission date: Word Count : 22/10/2012 2989 words

Marketing Assignment: Sustainability

How necessary is it for marketers to adapt the concept of sustainability and in what ways could it be implemented as a part of the overall marketing strategy? Abstract
Companies that are sustainability leaders tend to be better organized, more strategic and financially robust. These businesses are likely to have “increasingly powerful competitive positions in a world where environmental and social issues are assuming ever greater importance” (Matthew J. Kiernan, 2009).

The concept of sustainability is being incorporated in the business strategy of a growing number of corporations; therefore, the need for adoption of new marketing forms & new strategies that conform to sustainability requirements has occurred. Businesses have begun to focus their attention and efforts to new forms of marketing, evolution of which has brought about the creation of sustainability marketing.

The goal of this paper is to briefly introduce the concept of sustainability with various real-life applications, the evolution of sustainability marketing and how sustainable marketing practices can be incorporated in a business’ marketing strategy.

Concept of sustainability
The United Nations define sustainability as “To meet the present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (United Nations, 1987)

There are 3 elements to sustainability; environmental, economic and social domains which are so called the triple-bottom-line (TBL) - aka “people-profit-planet”. Herremans and Ried (2002) argue that “sustainable development cannot exist without a consideration of all three elements of sustainability” (refer to figure 1).

Christine Francis

Page 1 of 12

Marketing Assignment: Sustainability

Figure 1: MultiDimensionality of sustainability

Environmental “Environmental sustainability is about generating profits while helping to save the planet” (Kotler, chapter 20). Due to increased awareness of environmental issues over the years, consumers both demand environmentally friendly products and expect companies to run their operations by taking in to account the environmental impact. In response, businesses are incorporating more “green values and measures” in their core company goals and requiring that their suppliers incorporate “green practices” in their daily operations (IACS, 2012). Table below lists companies and their efforts to go green. Company Starbucks Going Green Target to make all its cups recyclable or compostable by 2012(Yepsen 2009) Replace wire ties that were so frustrating to remove from the toy packaging with natural fibres, this “initiative eliminated, since 2010, 1.6 billion feet of wire from Walmart products alone.” Walmart was able to slash retail price by 7% thanks to its partnership with the Wine Group to “lightweight its Oak Leaf wine bottles.” This reduced carbon footprint as packaging overall weight decreased by more than 27%. (Packing Digest, March 2012) “Sustainability is Toyota’s everyday commitment to the future. Everyday all over the world; Toyota acts on policies to make it an eco-friendly corporation – and a welcome presence in society” (Toyota Motor Corporation, 2005). “Toyota’s 85-acre LEEDcertified vehicle distribution centre in Portland, Oregon, emits 63% less carbon dioxide annually than the previous, conventional Portland facility did”(Harvard Business Review, May 2009) Table 1: Businesses going green

Wal-Mart

Toyota

Christine Francis

Page 2 of 12

Marketing Assignment: Sustainability

Social The social dimension of sustainability is...
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