$970 billion — Over 200 of the world’s biggest companies disclosed that the climate crisis would cost them almost a trillion US dollars in five years. The Earth’s climate naturally varies due to the planet’s orbit. In the last few decades, however, the abrupt rise in temperature due to human activity is alarming. Sudden climate change is no longer just a dystopian movie theme. Following the data, companies are looking into green marketing as a sustainable solution that will cut their losses and reduce carbon footprint.
Green marketing is a marketing strategy that promotes sustainability and corporate environmental responsibility in selling their products and services. With the urgency of the climate crisis, people are taking a stand against corporate practices that have a detrimental impact on the environment. The world is seeing a rise in patronage for eco-friendly products. If a company emulates green marketing strategies, it will save significant money and gain new customers in eco-conscious people.
The green movement catalyzed various initiatives for remediating the planet, but it is yet to sway the whole corporate spectrum. According to a 2017 article in The Guardian, just a hundred big corporations are enough to contribute 71 percent of carbon emissions that accelerated global warming. Skipping plastic straws, using reusable shopping bags, going paperless — baby steps are no longer sufficient because the problem is already taking the world by storm. The consumers should not be solely responsible for mitigating the damages of climate change. Companies hold the significantly bigger slice of the environmental pie to reassess their policies and business operations. And consumers are aware of this.
If the climate naturally changes as a consequence of Earth’s movement on its axis, what role does human activity play in the crisis? The gases in our atmosphere trap life-supporting heat from the sun. As the amount of gases increases, more heat is trapped, thereby warming the planet. Even though climate conditions have been fluctuating in the past hundreds of thousands of years, it is only during the time of modern development that the amount of atmospheric gases, particularly carbon dioxide, has been this high.
Life on Earth required very specific conditions to exist. Think of the planet as similar to the human body with a normal physiological temperature of 98.6° Fahrenheit A degree higher means you have a fever, and a degree lower is a symptom of hypothermia. The Earth’s physiological temperature is the amount of heat it is receiving and retaining from the Sun. Note that the Little Ice Age in the past only required a drop of one to two degrees. Today, it has risen by 1.4° Fahrenheit since 1880. The fever has devastating consequences, including the irreversible loss of biodiversity and the change in the planet’s landscape.
Effect on the Economy
Financial gurus would tell people to invest in utility companies because there is less risk of losing money. However, in 2019, the utility company PG&E filed for bankruptcy. It is being held responsible for the massive wildfires in California, with $30 billion in damages. The company maintained that the drought and rising temperatures in the state had increased the risk of wildfires. The overall losses to worldwide disasters amounted to $340 billion in 2017. As the climate becomes more unpredictable, disasters are going to make a dent in the economy and the world market.
While a global-scale green movement will buy us time, and despite the facts and figures presented, some companies are still obstinate about considering green marketing. Businesses should note that:
Consumers are becoming eco-conscious
People are becoming aware of the impact of their choices on the environment. There is currently a growing market for green products. People are willing to pay a premium price for eco-friendly goods. If your company implements environmentally-conscious policies and practices, you will gain new customers who value the same.
Cheaper, Efficient, Sustainable
Going green will cut you back on costs and expenses in the manufacturing, production, and distribution of your products. Not only is it cheaper in the long run, but it is also a sustainable practice, too. If you opt for localized manufacturing, you can be closer to customers, save on resources and labor costs, and still have good quality products.
Leading and Competitive Edge
Because you are switching to green marketing, it will be a fresh slate for the company. You have more room for innovation in your products and services. By showing that you care for the environment and you are accountable with your actions, you will improve the reputation of your company. When you are the first among your industry to switch to the green side, you will be a leader and a pioneer for corporate environmental responsibility.
You can model your company’s green marketing strategies from the following examples.
The consumers want to play their part as well in mitigating the climate crisis. Aside from saving money in the long run, your company has a ready market. How will you incorporate green practices in your business?
Today, the oceans are littered with plastic trash. What is garbage for others sold for several billion dollars when Adidas partnered with Parley for Oceans. The shoe company made limited edition sneakers out of Parley Ocean Plastic, which immediately sold out. There is a market for premium priced products, especially when there is a noble purpose. Your company can bank on that. You can earn profit, and at the same time, help the environment.
Your customers picture sustainability and environmental responsibility with things like organic treatment of goods and local sourcing of materials. Consumers have an increased preference for these products. But if your products aren’t eco-friendly, don’t claim that they are. Volkswagen learned this the hard way in 2015 when their false claims that their cars are eco-friendly backfired. You have to practice the green alternatives before you can put them in your product labels and ads.
Bricks and mortar, piles of paper, and banks go together. Because of a lot of client, industry, and state transactions, those piles of paper are eventually rising up exponentially. But the Bank of America went out of its way to change that and reduced its paper waste. In just five years, the bank was able to reduce paper use by 32 percent, and recycled about 30,000 tons of paper per year. Your company can also do the same effort. Examine the resource utilization in your business, and spot the areas where you can cut back on.
As a company transitioning into green marketing, you can start advertising in televisions and social media about your green initiatives. When you do, you are promoting your products, your company, the green movement, and you are also a part of educating the rest of the community about the climate crisis. You can also take part in activities and programs that promote environmental welfare and green living.
In May 2019, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached its highest in 3 million years. In the past, a world with a 415 ppm carbon dioxide levels had around 50 ft higher sea levels. Climate change is real and it is going out of hand. Companies, as they hold share a bigger responsibility on global warming, should be accountable for their actions.