sustainable marketing carbon footprint

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Sustainable marketing & Carbon foot prints


What is a carbon foot print? The carbon foot print is a measure of the exclusive total amount of carbon dioxide emissions that is directly and indirectly cause by an activity or is accumulated over the life stages of a product. (Wiedemann & Minx, 2008) It measures the impact of human activity on the environment. Your personal carbon foot print is the sum of all emissions of carbon dioxide, which were induced by your activities in a given time frame. This is usually calculated for a time period of one year. (


Calculating your Carbon Foot print Your Carbon foot print can be determined by using an online carbon footprint calculator, to understand the impact of your personal behaviour on the environment. Check yours on The calculator divides your estimated electricity use by the price of power in your area, and multiplies this number by the states emissions factor, a number that associates the type of energy the state uses to carbon output. It also factors in natural gas, heating oil, and propane use. It includes the distances you travel and modes of transport. ( Taylor, Michael & Ruppert, 2008) So, what do you do after figuring out how much Carbon Dioxide your life produces? Ignore it, and carry on? Try to reduce my carbon footprint?

Greener living can reduce our super-sized carbon footprints!3

Case study:How I changed my own carbon foot print (within one week!) At home I Replaced regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use almost 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. Conserved water by installing shower heads designed to reduce water wastesave energy required to heat water Turned off the water when I brush my teeth- save energy required to treat water. Put a timer/thermostat on the geyser Separated trash from recyclables Started my own composting program in my garden, by using food scraps Switched off electronics when not in use Contacted companies that send me junk mail-via email, to be removed from their mailing lists- cuts back on raw material needed to produce paper Asked the bank to email me all statements no hard copies!4

Case study: How I changed my own carbon foot print (within one week!)Regarding food and diet I Focussed on buying locally grown food especially fruit, vegetables , meat and chicken. This saves on carbon intensive transport and refrigeration. Ate more organic chicken, less beef, almost no lamb, and more vegetarian meals.( Meat should be from grass fed animals, all industry raised meat comes with a heaping portion of carbon!) (For fantastic tips on how to reduce your own carbon footprint at home


Was my effort to reduce my carbon footprint effective? After implementing all the measures to reduce my own carbon footprint for a week, I recalculated it, using the same calculator as before. My carbon footprint changed very little, even though I know that I am doing a lot more to reduce this. The reason for this might be that the footprint calculator does not gather enough personal detail to make an accurate assessment. Franz and Papyrakis ( 2010) evaluated the most popular online footprint calculators, and found that, even when the most environmentally friendly options are adopted, one still exceeds the planets bio capacity levels. I also found, that when entering the same data as resident of South Africa, or resident in Australia, I was given different results regarding my carbon footprint. Further criticism is that the advice given about reducing your carbon footprint, is very vague not practical enough to implement.6

Knowing my carbon foot print, motivated me to change my consumer behaviour, and make a few changes to my lifestyle. I realised that every purchasing decision I make as consumer,has an impact on society and global climate change. As marketer, I should position the marketing mix towards sustainability, preserving energy for future generations.


Sustainable marketing If marketers can offer a product/service that makes a significant green difference, in a way which is intuitive, supported by expert advice, and which also saves people money, or is healthier, or confer status, then you are probably onto a sustainable marketing winner! (Grant, J. 2008) All aspects of the marketing mix are influenced by sustainability: product, price, promotion and distribution.8

Sustainable products From idea generation to the new product launch have to be submitted to sustainable vision that emphasise offering satisfaction to all stake holders. The new product should fulfil customers real needs, level of energy and other resource consumption, be made from renewable resources, should be recyclable, have a positive impact on human health and pollution levels. No children should be used in manufacturing it, and it should not be tested on animals. Packaging must be biodegradable, safe, functional, recyclable and easy to transport and deposit. (Fillip et al, 2009). Carbon level icons should be displayed on all products, providing quick info about the carbon footprint of the product to the consumer.


Sustainable pricing Sustainable development has to focus on setting a fair price, aiming to serve the interests of both parties in the transaction. (Louppe, 2006) This includes setting profit margins according to the real product value. In sustainable marketing, in order to justify the price to be paid, it is essential to communicate the value offered by environment improvement. Carbon foot print is becoming a criterion in customers, especially larger companies, decision making process. They tend to be less price sensitive when a product with a lower carbon footing is available. ( Hgevold & Svensson, 2012) Sustainable products can be competitively priced because of the following: Faster product time to market & less travel involved Reduced costs for raw materials and manufacturing Deliver added value to consumers Reduced liability


Promoting sustainability Educate your target market about carbon footprints and product sustainability, while promoting the companys actions taken towards sustainability. Infomercials are important tools in achieving this goal. Promote the sustainability of your products/services in a sustainable way, for example email, rather than paper brochures. When promoting sustainability through advertisements, reference should be made to peoples responsibilities as citizens, as much as their right as consumers. (Frame & Newton, 2007)


Sustainable Distribution Focus on fair trade orientation - transparency, equity and respect for all parties. Green consumers buy local produce, often directly from farmers, reducing their own carbon footprints and that of the products they buy. Distribution channels are short, effective and with a small carbon footprint. All companies should ensure sustainable supply chains to minimise their carbon footing. Partnerships with certain suppliers stimulate safe product offerings, concerning environment and customers health. Starbucks cafs use this type of partnership to offer high quality coffee, assuring a fair price to the farmers that grow coffee plants in ecologic conditions.


ConclusionSustainable marketing is here to stay.

I think we simply need to ignore some of the current mess we are in and see that there will be a low carbon economy soon, we just need to fill in the detailsit is not that much different that your decision ten years ago not to get left behind in the digital revolution. Sustainability changes everything (Grant, 2008 p27)13

The EndPlease note: During the preparation of this powerpoint presentation carbon emissions were kept to an absolute minimum.


Questions for discussion1. Do online calculators of carbon footing promote or dissuade sustainable behaviour? What is your opinion? 2. You are marketing manager of the Olympic Games of 2012 in London. Name one strategy you would use to minimise the carbon footprint of the Games?15

References Belz, F & Scmidt-Riediger, B, 2010, Marketing Strategies in the Age of Sustainable development: Evidence from the Food Industry, Business Strategy and the Environment, vol. 19, pp.401-416 Ctoiu, I, Vrnceanu, DM & Filip, A 2010. Setting fair prices- fundamental principle of sustainable marketing Amfiteatru Economic, vol. 12, no. 27, pp. 115-128 Didler, S 2009, What does reducing your Carbon Footprint mean? viewed 26 July 2012, Filip, A , Georgescu, B, Stnculescu, A & Moise, D 2009, Main Methods of studying Ecological Products Market and their Quality Calitatea- acces la succes, vol. 4, pp. 40-43 Frame, B & Newton, B, 2007, Promoting sustainability through social marketing: examples from New Zealand, International Journal of Consumer Studies, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 571-581 Franz, J & Papyrakis, E 2011, Online Calculators of Ecological Footprint: Do they promote or dissuade sustainable behaviour?, Sustainable Development, vol. 19, pp. 391 - 401 Grant, J 2008, Green Marketing, Strategic Direction, vol. 24 , no. 6, pp. 25-27 16

Hgevold, NM & Svensson, G 2012, A business sustainability model: a European case study, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 142-151 Li, P 2010, Easy ways to Reduce the Carbon Footprint at home viewed 26 July 2012, Pickett-Baker, J & Ozaki, R 2008, Pro-environmental products: marketing influence on consumer purchase decision, Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 281-29


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