Topics: Marketing, Palm oil, Environmentalism Pages: 9 (2800 words) Published: June 30, 2013

An emerging trend

Pooja Maru

Executive Summary

Big businesses are continually striving to improve their green credentials in the hope of getting greater market share, better targeting competition and promote an image of sustainable production.

In economies recovering from recession especially in the United States and Europe consumers may not be likely to pay more for eco-friendly products unless the companies are transparent with their sustainability reports.

People are becoming more “green” aware. Buying patterns are changing. This has led to companies launching products tailored for the new eco-aware consumers that could be, deliberately or not, less than acceptably green.

Several websites have emerged which help educate consumers and industries alike on determining the validity of green claims. Too much green marketing, not done correctly, can lead to misconceptions and affect customer loyalty to the brand or product as a direct result of questioning the brands credibility on its green claims. Sustainability is the key for the current generation and they see past the mass green marketing of some of the world’s largest environmental polluters.

Sustainable green marketing should acknowledge the needs of the rapidly increasing part of the population who are both environmentally and socially conscious. Effective green marketing means letting go of conventional marketing strategies such as paid media campaigns with catchy slogans or affordable prices; focus should be on eco-innovative product offering

We need to bridge the gap between the visionary sustainable marketing and the real world marketing, which is under constant pressure. Making green mainstream is the aim, we just need an indispensable strategy to target greenwashing and promote sustainable green marketing.

Table of Contents
1.Executive Summary2
3.Environmental Movement5
4.Greenwashing and Consumer Perspective6
5.Sustainable Palm Oil - Truly Green?7
6.Green Marketing Recommendations – Overcoming the Barriers8


This paper will outline greenwashing and the impact on consumerism. Using palm oil production as an example, the paper will provide strategies for establishing credibility for sustainable branding and marketing. The main sources of information were Jacquelyn Ottman’s book - The New Rules of Green Marketing, newspaper articles and several peer reviewed journals supporting the theory.

Big businesses are continually striving to improve their green credentials in the hope of getting greater market share, better targeting competition and promote an image of sustainable production.

The European Union’s eco-label symbol is a flower. Thousands f products have the label attached to them. Two brands that got quite a bit of media attention are Golden Plus and Lucky Boss. Both classify themselves as sustainable producers of copying paper but got a media lashing when it was found that the timber was sourced from the fast diminishing Sumatran rainforests.

Chevron’s online slogan was “Finding newer, cleaner ways to power the world”. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) classifies Chevron as one of the largest greenhouse-gas emitter. Three years ago it turned an old oil refinery to a field of solar panels outlining seven new technologies. It is agreed that solar powered energy is sustainable but this energy was used to help power pumps and pipelines in the Kern River oil field one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters.

Palm oil has also received its fair share of media attention. From a very large range of packaged foods that we encounter every time we visit the supermarket to its recent use in the production of biofuel, the demand is well beyond supply. There is a constant struggle to maintain sustainable supply even under the...

References: 1. Basiron, Yusof. 2007. “Palm Oil Productions Through Sustainable plantations.” European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 109 (4): 289-295. DOI: 10.1002/ejlt.200600223
2. Crittenden, Victoria, William Crittenden, Linda Ferrell, O.C. Ferrell, and Christopher Pinney. 2011. “Market-oriented Sustainability: a conceptual framework and propositions.” Journal of the Acd. Mark. Sci. 39:71-85. Doi: 10.1007/s11747-010-0217-2.
3. Gallagher, K.S. and E Muehlegger. 2008. “Giving green to get green? Incentives and consumer adoption of hybrid vehicle technology.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 61, 1-15.
4. Laurence, William, Lian Koh, Rhett Butler, Navjot Sodhi, Corey Bradshaw, David Neidel, Hazel Consunji, and Javier Vega. 2010. “Improving the Performance of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for Nature Conservation.” Conservation Biology. 24 (2): 377-381. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01448.x
5. Mitchell, Lorraine and Wesley Ramey. 2011. “Look How Green I Am! An Individual-Level Explanation for Greenwashing” Journal of Applied Business and Economics 12 (6): 40-45.
6. Nidumolu, Ram, C.K. Prahalad, and M.R. Rangaswami. 2009. “Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation.” Harvard Business Review, September.
7. Ottman, Jacquelyn. 2011. The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools, and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding. 1sted. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. E-book.
8. Rainforest Action Network. 2011. Palm Oil Factsheet.
9. Randeep, Ramesh. “Bhopal marks 25th anniversary of Union Carbide gas disaster,” The Guardian, December 3, 2009.
10. Silveira, Stacy J. 2001. “The American Environmental Movement:Surviving through diversity”. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 28(2/3): 497-532.
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