Green brands: between economic calculation and the zero waste spirit

The green branding is still a relatively new concept, but many companies are already seeing the benefits of marketing their products as environmentally friendly. In this article we will explore how green branding has changed from being just about environmental responsibility, to also becoming an investment in profit making strategies.

In recent years can be seen more consumers looking for solutions that give them peace of mind when it comes to sustainability or safety (Boode). This means there is now an increased demand for sustainable goods such as organic food, clothing made out of organic materials and green home products. This demand has been good for the companies which offer these services or goods because they have seen an increase in profits as well (Boode).

While many consumers may be looking for ethical brands today with the idea that if they buy “ethical” then their purchase goes towards supporting social justice causes; others want assurance that a company is committed to sustainable business practices. While some companies are now seen as green because of marketing and branding, it doesn’t always mean they have made changes in their production process or supply chain management (Boode).

How to be green?

It is primarily buying goods that do not harm the environment. It is a conscious choice and careful reading of the composition

earth friendly brands

Green brands are not always green

A great example would be Ben & Jerry’s which has been marketed as an eco-friendly company since 1980s but in 2015 was exposed by The Guardian newspaper for sourcing coffee beans from farmers who were violating basic labor rights such as not paying them enough wages. This article also points out how Ben & Jerry’s continued to use palm oil from suppliers who were cutting down rainforest land to make way for palm-oil plantations.

In the end, B&J responds publicly that they would be transitioning away from sourcing coffee beans and palm oil in an ethical manner by 2020 (Boode).

Another example is Patagonia which has been seen as a green company since it was founded in 1973 because of its commitment to sustainability; but now many consumers are boycotting their brand because they have pulled out of selling on major online retailers like Amazon or eBay. This means there are no longer discounts being offered through those channels so this could mean a decrease in sales for them with the new policy change (Patagonia Boycott)

The main point here is that while some can be seen as green because of branding and marketing, it doesn’t always mean they are truly sustainable or environmentally conscious.