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The Revolution Of Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on being respectful towards the environment, society, and its customers.

This goes hand in hand with business ethics and a business being able to satisfy its customers without sacrificing the environment or society.

Why is Sustainable Marketing Important?

Despite still being huge factors, quality and price are no longer the only factors influencing customer decisions.

 

The UN introduced the modern concept of sustainability in 1987, which then branched off into offshoots such as sustainable development, sustainable fashion, and – what we are focusing on today – sustainable marketing.

 

Before, the average person was mostly oblivious to the practices of businesses behind closed doors. They only believed what the companies told them, but due to technological advancements, individuals are more informed and aware than ever.

 

This breadth of knowledge expands to issues in the wider world and how businesses contribute to that, thus making sustainability a new major buying factor.

 

This has caused a revolution in how businesses operate now, with practically all of them incorporating it into their plan and leaving those who don’t behind and outdated.

 

Marketing is all about how to sell products and services, so it is only natural that sustainable marketing has evolved alongside sustainability.

 

Firstly, it should translate the company’s goals to all stakeholders, and it should also be incorporated into the company’s operations.

Triple Bottom Line & Sustainability

The triple bottom line is the concept where businesses measure the social and environmental impact. The triple bottom line includes people, planet, and profit to see how well a business connects with sustainability.

 

Profit

 

This is an evolution of ‘the bottom line,’ which used to be all about making money, with profit being the overarching end-goal for a company.

 

As a result, companies only concerned themselves with economic factors that could affect their cash flow and not so much the effects.

 

The triple bottom line is a new concept that adds 2 more ‘lines’ – people and the planet.

 

The marketing aspect comes in as this is meant to show that profit is needed for a company to survive, and aiming for it isn’t inherently bad.

 

It only is an issue when this is the only thing they focus on, i.e., the bottom line approach.

 

However, if profit is interwoven with ‘people’ and ‘planet’ goals, this should change public perception and show them that a company can thrive whilst also being conscious of its power, reach and still make the world a better place.

 

People

 

‘People’ refers to social factors that cover a range of things from education to community to quality of life, etc.

 

Companies working towards these factors can again be seen in an array of different forms. 

 

Such examples would be companies working with schools, such as through internships, working with charities and improving the working conditions of their employees.

 

It helps the company reputation-wise but can also have additional benefits.

 

For example, companies like Google are famous for all the quality of life benefits they offer their employees, thus incentivising more skilled people to work there. 

 

Also, due to the comfort they gain there, they are less opposed to working longer hours.

 

Even working with schools, some governments actually pay companies to hire students for work experience and internships. This helps to build their future workforce as you train them to be well suited for your company.

 

Planet

In terms of ‘planet,’ this is essentially talking about any environmental factors intertwined with your business.

 

Pollution and abuse of the natural earth’s resources has been a lingering issue for decades, but as I said, with the changing times, companies are slowly starting to change their ways.

 

Those that refuse to are bombarded by the media and heavily criticized. Not only is their PR affected, but many people vote with their wallets now, so they may boycott buying from your company, which will ultimately result in decreased cash flow.

 

Most companies try to tackle this part of the triple bottom line by transforming any harmful part of their production, such as decreasing their use of natural resources, pollution or changing how they get rid of waste.

 

If this is not possible, some businesses have guarantees such as for every tree used, they plant a certain amount, or they may just work with causes centred around helping the environment.

 

It is not enough for a company to just achieve 2 of these. To be called sustainable, they need to work towards all 3.

 

Again it is one thing for a company to be using the triple bottom line, but they need to translate this to all stakeholders, and any marketing campaigns they embark on should have this embedded in it.

Final thoughts

Sustainability is more of a goal than an actual title.

 

Due to the nature of businesses, it is virtually impossible for one to be completely sustainable. Still, it is more about the fact that people are aiming for it and making tangible steps.

 

One step in the right direction is better than not moving at all.

 

Sustainable marketing is all about selling the positive side to customers and everyone involved whilst being ethical and informative so consumers feel as if they can trust the business.

 

It may cost more initially, but you must view it as an investment rather than a cost because the benefits you could gain from this could be unlike anything you have seen before.

About the Author

My name is Tobias. I am a student studying for a Business Management & Marketing degree. I want to develop my writing, social media skills and all-around abilities outside of education.