Motives for Sustainable Marketing?

csr_lightbulbHello 486F!

First and foremost welcome to my blog for the semester, hope it’s at least somewhat entertaining and hopefully I’ll talk about some things you find fun and interesting!

So having started Sustainable Marketing just last week on January 2nd, which seemed like an unnecessarily early day to start the term in my opinion… there has kind of been something on my mind regarding the motives behind sustainable marketing. Up until this point I almost had an idea that companies were turning to sustainable marketing because they realize the impact their company is having on the environment, and they would like to reverse this impact, and make a positive impact instead. So naturally, I was pretty excited that finally some large players in the industry such as Coca Cola, Starbucks and Staples are finally taking steps towards paving the way towards a more sustainable Earth out of the goodness of their hearts.

But now after being in the class for only a few lectures, I’m starting to realize the real motives behind these large companies going green, and it has nothing to do with the goodness of their hearts…let me tell you. The primary reason that any company is going to look to be sustainable in their production or operation of a company is solely for the sake of the company in my opinion. I think that the marketing teams at all these firms are simply doing their jobs well, and noticing the trends in society, and going with them. People want sustainability? They’ll go sustainable. For example, Staples recently switched from 3-amp to 2-amp light bulbs in all their stores, saving them $4.2 million dollars after expenses (thedailygreen.com). Now while previously I would have thought, wow, good for Staples, helping out even if it means they have to undergo changing all of their light bulbs around the world! Now it is evident that their primary motivation for this change was likely a) the tremendous cost savings and b) the promotional effect that creating a positive externality would have on society.

So with all of this in mind, I’m kind of on the fence now on how I feel about this lane of sustainable marketing. Is it wrong for a company to exploit some people’s way of life to make a profit? Or should I be looking at it as though yes, they’re profiting from it, but hey, they are helping the environment so whatever works, works! I think I’m likely leading towards the latter, seeing as our planet is in a downward spiral environmentally-wise, and if companies didn’t start doing something soon, we were going to be in major trouble!

Anyway, just my thoughts as I started this course, let me know what you guys think: Is Sustainable Marketing good regardless of the motives of large companies?

Until next week, SEE YA.

-M

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