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What is Green Marketing? ‘Green washing’ no longer washes

Introducing an environmental variable in business and marketing processes has become a must-do. But there’s a significant difference between green marketing and green washing.

Green marketing vs. green washing
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

What is Green Marketing?

Green marketing: a general definition

There are plenty of definitions of green marketing, often different from one another or even contradictory in their explanations. The most common definition notes green marketing as: ‘the promotion of products, services or activities described as environmentally safer or more sustainable’.

Green marketing involves a wide range of activities which can change regularly and include featuring a product to improve its:

  • Environmental impact;

  • Production systems;

  • Formats;

  • Packaging;

  • Production methods.

John Grant: The green marketing manifesto

The green marketing manifesto by John Grant, published in 2008, identifies the famous ‘5 i’s’ of green marketing. It has to be:

Intuitive: Technological innovations must be easy to understand and acceptable for as many consumers as possible

Integral: It has to combine economical, social and technological aspects.

Innovative: We must create new products, services and activities able to generate true innovations which are able to really change a consumer’s lifestyle.

Inviting: Choosing to pursue a green marketing approach has to be perceived as an advantage and an opportunity to grow, not as a sacrifice or strain.

Informative: It must help generate knowledge and education for present and future generations.

Green marketing in the short and long term

Green marketing can express itself through short term goals. These can be about many different things that primarily focus on the environment, such as reducing waste, utilising recycled or recyclable materials, reducing use of plastic and other pollutants, reducing dimensions of packaging or making donations to entities protecting the environment.

As well as this, they can be about social and ethical themes like not utilising animals for testing or by applying high quality standards of living for animals, or guaranteeing executive roles and equal pay for women employed in the company and a benefits policy for all employees.

But, in order t