GREEN CONSUMER


By
Vinit Dani
Faculty for Management
Hyderabad Presidency College
(Affiliated to Osmania University)
E-mail :
vinitvdani@rediffmail.com
 


In today's  market, the choice for consumers has increased manifold with increased in the range of   models. Under  such circumstances, choosing an appropriate product  that fits one's value  propositions has become  all the more important. There is no  denying the fact that choice making has become very important task for a buyer, but it often does not end with that. There are additional things that they want to know before / after   they buy a product. Today's  marketplace  is driven by  the emergence of the "Green Consumer"  or  "Environmentalism"   and will become even more responsive to products and services promising environmental responsibility well into the 21st Century.

Today's consumers are more concerned more than ever about the environmental impact of products they buy. Pragmatic consumers purchase those products and packages that can be recycled or otherwise safely disposed off in their communities. As a result, the number of industries   under fire from environmentalists has grown very rapidly. Green Consumerism has helped to spur significant shifts in the way in which some industries view the environmental challenge.

Although green consumers express their environmental concerns in individual ways, they are motivated by universal needs. (See exhibit 1) these needs translate into new purchasing strategies with implications for the ways product are developed and marketed.

Exhibit 1
Green  consumer psychology and buying strategies


NEEDS

 

STRATEGIES

Information

------->

Read labels

Control

------->

Take  preventive measures

Make  a difference

------->

Switch brands

Maintain lifestyles 

------->

Buy interchangeable alternatives

     

Source: J. Ottman Consulting, Inc.


Terms such as "recyclable",  "biodegradable",  "environmentally friendly,"  "Sustainable,"  "Compostable"  and "bio-based"    are the latest buzzwords  which green consumers looks for when they buy products. The broad scope of these buzzwards suggests that  green consumers scrutinize products at every phase of their life cycle, from raw material procurement, manufacturing and production straight through to product reuse, repair, recycling and eventual disposal (Refer exhibit II). While in use attributes continue to be of primary importance, environmental shopping agendas now increasingly encompass factors consumers can't   feel or see. They want to know how raw materials are procured   and where they come from, how food is grown, and what their potential impact is on the environment once they land in the trash bin.


EXHIBIT II
GREEN  PURCHASING BUZZWORDS


Raw Materials

 

Manufacturing

 

Packaging

 

Distribution

Sustainably-harvested
Petroleum-Free
plant-based

 

Non- Polluting  unbleached    pesticide-free

 

Recycled
Non-aerosol
Source-reduced

 

Energy-efficient
Reusable- packaging


Marketing

 

In-use

 

After use

Ethical
Informative
Cause -related

 

Low fume
Resource efficient
Durable

 

Recyclable
Refillable
Reusable


Manufacturer

Socially - Responsible


Source: J. Ottman Consulting, Inc.


The  success stories of companies from developed countries  like P & G, Compaq,  Macdonalds, Pepsi, Stonyfield, Toyata, 3M, Phillips, have set the ball  rolling and paved a new way to do business for conscious  and  demanding  Green Consumer.

Because  of this transformation of consumers, companies have shifted their priorities from  conventional marketing  to what is called "Green Marketing".  In  fact some of the researchers have gone to the extent of profiling  green  product  purchasers, to know there demographic composition and market behaviour, thus  marketing products  according to these green segments liking,. Environmental marketing is more complex than conventional marketing. It serves two key objectives:

(1) To develop  products  that  have minimal impact on the environment and environmental compatibility with convenience.

(2) Environmental sensitivity to both products attributes  and its manufactures' track record for environmental achievement.

Successful  green marketers no longer view consumers  as  people with appetite for material  goods  but as human beings concerned about the condition of the world around them. The corporations that excel in green marketing  are those that are basically  pro-active  in nature. These organizations consider themselves to be interdependent with nature's  processes. Outside they join hands environmental  stakeholders in  cooperative, positive  alliances, and they work hand in hand with suppliers and retailers to manage environmental issues throughout the value  chain.  Internally cross functional teams convene to find the best possible  holistic solutions to environmental challenges. These companies essentially have a long term rather than short term orientation approach with an intention of not only making profits but also contributing to the society  by socio cause-related marketing approach.

Although  there  are many companies  who have started this approach,  I would like to quote the example  of Eastman  Kodak's recyclable cameras.  Eastman Kodak company introduced  Kodak fun-saver 35mm  one time use camera, which were designed not to be discarded but to be recycled and re used after reimbursement to the consumer.  In late 1996,  the company reported that more than 80 million one time use cameras  had been recycled or  reused  saving 800  tractor loads of waste and also substantial savings in raw material and energy since 86%  of each camera is reused, only the lens, battery and packaging are new, everything else is reused.

REFERENCES:

1. The world commission on Environment And Development,  Our Common Future  - Oxford  University
Press 1987.

2. California  Management review, Towards The Sustainable Corporation, Winter 1994 (P. 90-99)

3. "The Return of Roper's   True Blue Greens:  Less is More"  Green Market alert, Carl Frankel,
ed. Feb 1994.

4. "Environmental conference" : Green Marketing  from a Marketer's  perspective,"  Hayward, Susan,  of  Yankelovich, Clancy, and Shulman, Presentation to the AMA,  October 1991

5. "Green  Marketing  and Management " a Global  perspective, John F. Wasik,  Blackwell Publishers 1996.

6. "Environmental Marketing : Strategies, Practice , Theory and Research," Michael  J Polonsky  and Alma  T.  Mintu Wimsatt, eds  The Haworth Press, Inc, New York 1995.

7. "Green  Marketing Opportunity for Innovation,"  Jacquelyn A. Ottman,  2nd Editions (P. 1 44)

8. "Green  consumers in the 1990s: - Profile and implication for advertising," James A Roberts, Baylor  University,  Journal of Business Research Vol.36. P.226

WEBSITES:

www.timesinfo.com
www.nic.in
www.timesofindia.com
www.naturalhealthvillage.com
www.tandurusti.com
www.sciencedirect.com
www.netlibrary.com
 


Vinit Dani
Faculty for Management
Hyderabad Presidency College
(Affiliated to Osmania University)
E-mail :
vinitvdani@rediffmail.com
 

Source : E-mail March 15, 2004

 

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