Green Marketing – Key to Nature Care

AS the world becomes highly industrialised so have issues to do with environmental degradation become a worldwide problem.

From industrial activities such as processing, production and manufacturing, our communities and environments continue to be exposed to pollution through gas emissions, water pollution and the most common one being the indiscriminate disposal of litter such as used plastic bags, glass bottles,plastic bottles and many other non-biodegradable wastes.

Most countries, especially the developing countries are still struggling with the problem of dealing with waste, water and air pollution.

Zambia in particular is one country in the Southern African region experiencing challenges in dealing with this problem.

Driving around Lusaka for example is really an eye sore and for visitors one could only describe the experience as the most unpleasant.

This I need to point out should not be taken to signify that the local government and councils are not doing anything at all.

The councils should in fact be commended for their efforts given their numerous challenges.

The problem of litter is so much prevalent around the central city and areas around Kamwala.

I am sure that most of you have seen the ugly heaps of garbage and litter that characterise most of our cities and towns.

Incidentally the problem of waste and environmental protection is not the responsibility of the Government alone.

Environmental issues are a matter of concern for everyone, individual citizens, businesses, corporate organisations and industries.

We all have a role to play in ensuring that we secure and preserve our environment for our own good and for future generations.

Consumers for example need to be environmentally aware and sensitised to an extent that they will have the ability to influence the way the producers or manufacturers get goods and products processed, packed and distributed.

Industries and business enterprise equally need to take cognisance of the impact their activities or products have on the ecosystems and wider environment.

The problem we have here is that most commercial organisations have not yet embraced the green processes. Having recyclable packaging for instance, how many manufactures are using recyclable packaging?

Recently, there were disturbing reports from one of Lusaka’s leading markets regarding some people who had resorted to using opaque beer packaging to relieve themselves due to the lack of public conveniences at the named market.

Marketing and production management for opaque beer brewers must have spent sleepless nights trying to figure out why their packaging should be seen as the preferred option under such circumstances.

This revelation then made me to wonder if the opaque beer marketers ever contemplated experiencing such nasty initiative and whether practical disposal mechanisms were considered for every selling point.

My biggest concern is that such situations will in the long-term negatively impact on society’s wellbeing and ultimately lead to environmental degradation.

For the mining communities the problem might even be worse as there have been reports of serious air and water pollution.

In certain cases this problem has escalated to alarming propositions with reports of health hazards which have sometimes resulted in the loss of lives.

Are there no other environmentally friendly or green mining processes that can be applied?

In developed countries however, industries and the commercial sector have over the recent years been compiled to comply and made to implement environmentally friendly processing, production, manufacturing and distribution practices.

This is known as the green marketing concept.

According to the American Marketing Association, green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe.

Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying aertising.

Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term.

Other similar terms used are environmental marketing and ecological marketing.

Thus “green marketing” refers to holistic marketing concept where in the production, marketing consumption and disposal of products and services happen in a manner that is less detrimental to the environment with growing awareness about the implications of global warming, no biodegradable solid waste, and harmful impact of pollutants etc., marketers and consumers are becoming increasingly sensitive to the need for switch in to green products and services.

Remember some years back when we had milk sold in returnable bottles?

It was unusual to find milk bottles disposed of any how and this in a way contributed to ensuring that litter was reduced.

Green marketing is therefore, based on the premise that the commercial sectors and the consumers should play their part in preserving the environment and ecosystems.

Manufactures and service providers have the responsibility of ensuring that their products and services are offered and provided with due consideration to their impact on the environment.

Consumers on the other hand have a responsibility of holding business enterprise accountable and ensuring that they practice environmentally friendly ways of disposing litter.

(The author is consultant in marketing, public relations and customer service )

Comments: or twitter@ndhlovu1, 0954536875

Source : The Times of Zambia

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