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Green marketing

Going green has been recognised by companies of all sizes with the rise of environmental concerns. If you are acting in an environmentally responsible way, it is important for you to communicate your greenness.

Demonstrate corporate social responsibility

Many companies know they are part of the wider community and so must behave in an environmentally responsible way. Setting environmental, as well as corporate and profit, objectives will help this culture become integrated into the company’s culture – a fact that will be recognised by customers.

Respond to your competitors initiatives

In some industries, firms that have undertaken green initiatives that have increased their market share as a result. As a competitor, it could be worth recognising their green factor and introduce your version. The Body Shop is an example if this – it promoted itself as an ethical project and now the whole cosmetics industry has modified their environmental behaviour.

Practice accurate environmental information

Do not mislead to consumers or industry on your environmental activities and communications by ensuring they are accurate, and do not breach laws or regulations dealing with environmental marketing. Any green marketing claims should clearly state environmental benefits, explain environmental characteristics, how they are achieved, justify these claims and use meaningful terms and images. It is important to get this right as the Advertising Standards Authority is clamping down on unsubstantiated claims.

Educate your customers

It is important to focus energy on products and services, but don’t forget to take some time to educate your customers. What can they do to make a contribution the environment? Give them some pointers, such as recycling your products when they don’t want they anymore, or caring for new ones in a responsible way – perhaps you could offer a recycling a facility, for example.

Promote green credentials effectively

The key to successful green marketing is credibility. Don’t over state your environmentally friendly claims or establish unrealistic expectations. Communicate through sources that people trust, such as providing statements through email and sending emails rather than paper based newsletters and literature and eliminating unnecessary packaging.

For more information about the Federation of Small Businesses go to www.fsb.org.uk/

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