Often fueled by marketing, societies unhealthy obsession and pursuit of materialistic goods has proven environmentally detrimental and unsustainable. It would appear there is sufficiency in the world for man’s need, but not for man’s compulsive greed. Society has slowly escalated in its violence, from singular trees, to the environment, to our fellow man. Whilst there are several inspiring individuals and organisations passionate in their quest to protect the environment; I feel it is important to relay my personal concern in current global consumption trends. The future holds extraordinary and unprecedented challenges for both the environment and society, as demand for resources exceeds supply. Global hyper-consumption and environmentally unaware consumers shorten product life span, as people rapidly replace material possessions. While in many ways consumerism has become a defining characteristic of modern societies; sustainability has moved higher up political agendas globally.
In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the awareness and concern for environmental sustainability, particularly on a corporate level. According to Forrester Research titled Environmental And Social Responsibility In Consumer Product Strategies, ‘84 % of organisations have environmentally conscious or socially responsible products in development or in the marketplace’. As with most markets, it is the consumer who has governed this shift in mentality. Millions of consumers worldwide were touched by best-selling, thought provoking books: The green consumer and 50 Simple things you can do to save the earth by the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. Consumers are beginning to lean towards products and companies that assure they are doing their utmost to prevent, minimise and control their contribution to our ecological footprint. Dianna Berde Nieto suggests in her book The long journey to sustainability starts with a single step that societies sustainability awareness has finally reached a tipping point. Staying ahead of environmental regulation, lower operation costs, innovation opportunity, differentiation and an improved workforce who reflect company mission statement are all benefits for business embracing the green movement. With few risks associated, green marketing is gradually recognized as a logical path for businesses to pursue.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
A challenge of green marketing professionals is to foster environmental awareness and passion in consumers for green products. Confusion amongst consumers on the topic of green marketing is a significant barrier to the successful adoption of green products. Therefore, social and economic systems underpin businesses ability to innovate, create and maintain sustainable solutions. Consumer beliefs, values and willingness to support the green movement establish the foundation for business to strive and adhere to Corporate Social Responsibility and ethical production. So try your best to support brands which promote environmentally sustainable practices and be mindful of your own consumption habits. Together we can create a more sustainable society, prolong the longevity and prosperity of earth and all its creatures.