Green marketing

Marketing is a practical approach to social responsibility, placing more significance on maximizing the wealth of shareholders and owners (Kärnä et al., 2003). To many, marketing incorporate rapacity and is responsible for impacts arising from over-consumption and overdevelopment, built in short-term personal benefits rather than social welfare and quality of life. It is over- passionate marketing by tourism organizations not acknowledging the tragedy of the commons that has charmed pile tourism to eco-sensitive path, bringing with it many discernible impacts on the communal and pure environments (Batra, 2006; Dinan and Sargeant, 2000; Wheeler, 1995). Relatively to promoting tourism as a common activity, tourism marketing managers and developers tend to examine it as a reference of quick economic growth, focusing merely on the expansion of overall visitor numbers. Such a short-sighted view of the role of marketing has been the reason for the overdevelopment in many tourist destinations, a situation that have impel multiple of these paths quickly into the declining stage (Batra, 2006).

Marketing can, although, be an important tool for boosting more eco-friendly patterns of consumption as well as selling new life-styles. Marketing is extensive in scope, therefore, be improved so as to participate to finding workable trade-offs between economy and ecology. Sustainability should be the sign of a green marketing philosophy (Charter 1992) and for those that believe in working to create sustainable businesses, green marketing is the way ahead.

Peattie expound green marketing as “the holistic management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying the needs of customers and society, in a remunerative and retainable way” (1995: 28). Similarly, Charter conceptualized it as “a holistic and rationable strategic management process that identifies, anticipates, satisfies and fulfils stakeholder needs, for a sensible reward, that does not unfavorably affect human or natural environmental well-being” (1992: 141). Unalloyed green marketing and sustainability reasoning share a holistic view, and proponents of this holistic view stress that green marketing must appraise the entire range of activities in which the company is involved (as opposed to greening transmissions alone, which is greenwashing). Holistically, compaign such as planning, new product development, alters to the production process, logistics, packaging, pricing, distribution as well as promotion and advertising should be foregrounded in the green marketing process (Chamorro and Bañegil, 2006; Ottman, 1998; Peattie, 1999; Polonsky and Rosenberger, 2001; Wasik, 1996; Welford, 1995).

So, green marketing is not merely about the end product. Rather, it must appraise the influence to the entire life cycle of the product, because how a product is developed cannot be inaccessible from how it is consumed and how it affects the environment (see: Fuller, 1999; Shrivastava, 1995a; Shrivastava 1995b). Without such a vision, the company can be inculpating of greenwashing. Its portrayal of a green image will backfire, and the environment will not benefit (Grant, 2007; Peattie, 1999).

The literature shows that firms have taken different approaches to green marketing activities (Baker and Sinkula, 2005a; Baker and Sinkula, 2005b; Crane, 2000b; Drumright, 1994; Hudson and Miller, 2005; Kärnä et al., 2003; Menon and Menon, 1997; Polonsky and Rosenberger, 2001). In many cases, firms claim to embrace Business Environmental Responsibility (BER) because they realize that this is the right thing to do and perceive they have a duty to behave in a socially sensible manner- in other cases because they approach underneath stakeholder pressure, and clearly many will fall in between. Firms mostly with the first orientation have modified their entire corporate culture to make sure that environmental issues are incorporated into every aspect of their business. These are rare cases. Empirical hospitality research has, however, shown that altruism is an important motivator for many hotel firms that have been involved in environmental schemes (see: Ayuso, 2006; Rivera and de Leon, 2005; Tzschentke el al., 2004).

Many major hotel companies have developed various programmes to protect the environment. For example, in order to improve the monitoring of the environmental performance of its facilities, Hilton Hotels corporate management decided to create Hilton Environmental Reporting (HER), an environmental reporting and benchmarking system for all its facilities (see: Bohdanowicz, 2007). Accor practices the “Earth Guest Program” for preserving and protecting the natural environment and supporting local development. Marriott has implemented the ‘‘Green Marriott’’ program for environmentally responsible hotel operations to support environmental protection and community involvement (see: Lee and Park, 2009). The Rezidor Group has the ‘Responsible Business Programme, dedicated to three main areas of responsibility: health and safety of employees and customers; respecting social and ethical issues in the company and the community; and reducing negative impacts on the environment.

Unfortunately, not all firms that claim to be environmentally friendly are genuinely green. Some principally exploit the idea to gain greater market share, jumping on the green bandwagon without making any substantive change in their environmental actions and performances (Polonsky and Rosenberger, 2001). The most quoted example is claiming to be green by only having a (washing less often) towel and linen agreement. Green marketing has faced a backlash because of its failure to live up to its promises as a tool for promoting ecological and social sustainability. Those misleading green marketing claims -green-washing- lead to consumer skepticism towards all claims, minimizing the benefits to truly committed companies who seek to promote the environmental attributes of their products in the marketplace (Chamorro and Bañegil, 2006; Crane, 2000b; Polonsky and Rosenberger, 2001).

The literature contains many different frameworks for green marketing strategies, commonly modelling behaviour around the levels and methods of the integration of environmental issues into a firm’s activities (Kärnä et al., 2003; Peattie, 1999; Pujari and Wright, 1996). These are generally inspired by the conceptual ideas and hierarchies of marketing planning presented in textbooks. This research holds that greening the marketing strategy of a hotel business involves decisions at both strategic and functional levels. Strategically, the firm needs to consider the impact of greening on branding, segmenting, targeting, and product positioning. Functionally, green product opportunities must be incorporated into the management of the marketing mix

(Font and Carey, 2005). Marketing strategies and functions must be logically associated with each other. If environmental functions are isolated from genuine strategic decisions, firms will not be able to avoid consumers’ apathy or distrust, ending up worse off than if they had done nothing (Grant, 2007; Kärnä et al., 2003). True green marketing should, therefore, stem from strong environmental values, which must be internalized in the wider business culture.

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