The purpose of this report is to outline why corporations should implement green oriented, sustainable practices into their entire business model. The target audience include both the businesses who extract valuable natural resources from the Earth, and those who use the resources to produce goods and services for human consumption.
This report will aim to convince said businesses that applying sustainable marketing and production practices is beneficial for two main reasons:
1. Natural resources are finite with stocks readily depleting; and
2. The interconnected nature of the global economy requires business to think about resource use on a global scale, as opposed to an individual activity.
The main sub-sections of the report discussed include:
The link between human overconsumption and negative environmental effects;
The impact of depleted of natural resources stocks on business production;
How green production of goods and services and sustainable business practices creates business opportunities; and
The global economy.
Relevant examples are used to explain the above mentioned sub-sections and the report concludes by recommending a course of action to ensure the global economy continues to prosper.
The impact of green marketing on business, and therefore, on the global economy, has been extensively researched during the past two decades. The following literature review uses current sources to argue that in order to maintain a prosperous global economy, corporations must implement sustainable business practices and commit to the development of quality green products and services. The research focuses on human overconsumption since the Industrial Revolution, which has consistently depleted the Earth’s natural resource stocks, and deteriorated the environment. These two issues are analysed in regard to their strong influence on business revenue, the global economy, and the opportunities green marketing can provide.
Research indicates that businesses which invest in quality green products and services and implement sustainable business practices into their entire work culture will bring benefits to stakeholders in the medium to very long term (Saxena & Khandelwal, 2012). ‘Greening’ has been proven to sustain companies for a considerable length of time when compared with non-green enterprises. Additionally, by interpreting the sustainable consumption trends of certain demographics and adapting to their needs and wants, businesses can gain a green-oriented competitive advantage, and even become a pioneer of product or process innovation in their respective industry (Martin & Schouten, 2012). Therefore, this report recommends that businesses implement sustainable marketing and production practices into their entire business model.
Overconsumption of products and services has detrimental effects on the natural environment (Stern 2007; Hertwich, 2011; Kopnina, 2011). The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the world’s leading conservation organisation, and provides in-depth analysis of the relationship between overconsumption and the environment. The WWF (2012) uses National Footprint Accounts to determine humanity’s ecological footprint, the amount of productive land, measured in global hectares (gha), required per person to support their specific lifestyle. Ferraro (2009, p. 3) provides a basic list of examples for which the productive land may be used, these include: “growing food; yielding fuel and material resources; and burying waste”. Ferraro does not mention that it is the production of, and waste from, the products which consumer’s value and surround themselves with that has the most substantial ecological impact (Polonsky & Rosenberger, 2001; Benton, 2002).
Renewable resources are being harvested, used up, or destroyed, faster than they can be re-grown (Martin & Schouten, 2012). In their Living Planet Report