The business case for green marketing

Last year, when Joel Makower declared the end of green marketing, it seemed less-than-convenient timing for releasing a book on the subject. But as it turned out, the timing was perfect. Just when green marketers were beginning to question their raison d’etre, a global expert reminded us of the opportunities inherent in communicating corporate sustainability and continuing with sustainable product development.

In his book Greener Products: The Making and Marketing of Sustainable Brands, Al Iannuzzi, senior director of EH&S with Johnson & Johnson, offers comprehensive, case-based reasoning for why and how greener products can be essential to an organization’s growth. If you’ve ever wondered if weaving sustainability into your brand is worth the effort, read on to find out where the ROI is — even if you think your customers don’t care.

Consumers can be short-term thinkers and reluctant to spend more for green. Mounting scientific evidence underscoring humanity’s contribution to climate change hasn’t made consumer demand more rational; greener products still represent less than 2 percent of the market in most categories. Until the reality of limited resources catches up with corporate executives, only innovative enterprises and Fortune 500 companies are investing in greener products. This fact does not overshadow the other benefits of developing greener products and marketing initiatives, or at least a corporate sustainability communications strategy, for any company.

In addition to satisfying growing consumer demand, Iannuzzi’s book identifies other drivers for enhancing corporate sustainability and marketing greener products, including:

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