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In present time, the organisations over various industries are failing to drive their target markets toward sustainable consumption. This is considered as an alarming issue as the consumable resources are limited, which makes it necessary for the organisations to obtain sustainable marketing to promote sustainable consumption among the customers. It is the responsibility of the marketer to reduce the consumption of unsustainable consumption. They will be requiring modification in the technology to gain efficiency in producing sustainable products. This will also require equal effort from the consumers to change their lifestyle for ensuring sustainable consumption and consumption level. As mentioned, the responsibility lies on the marketers for the promotion of sustainable consumption as they have control over the customer’s purchasing behaviour. It is possible for them to address the issue by bringing innovation in communication and marketing and redirect the idea of consumption held by the customers. Following part of the essay will critically identify the issues and shot for the way out of it.
As identified by Price, Pitt and Tucker (2011) the organisations are focusing into the aspect of sustainability in the business process. They are more concern in attaining sustainability on the operational process for reducing the impact on the environment and society. They have successfully incorporated and maintained corporate social responsibilities by adopting triple bottom line in their business model. This helps the organisation to gain competitive advantage in the target market. This leads them on focusing various business processes like production, business strategies, promotion and other activities. All these effort made by the organisations is to attain sustainability in their business operations focusing primary bottom line of the organisation. This is to satisfy the requirements of the primary stakeholders of the organisation. It ultimately leads to the primary focus of any operating organisation, which is to increase the revenue generation margin. As according to Khalili, Melaragno and Haddadian (2011), these efforts made by the organisations is to increase the sale volumes of the company operating within the boundaries of sustainability. These efforts fail to address the effort made by various governments and the non-government organisations working within and outside the boundaries of a particular nation. They are making constant effort in promoting and changing the perception of the consumers to sustainable consumption. They are conducting various awareness campaigns to educate the consumers for opting sustainable consumption in their daily and professional lives. However, these efforts has no value unless the marketers start making effort in delivering sustainable products and influencing the consumers for purchasing sustainable consumables.
Welch and Warde (2015) in their research have identified that the promotion of sustainable consumption will have direct effect on the sales of an organisation. It can be both advantageous and adverse depending on the trend. The authors also identified the role of globalisation and related it to the unstable trend of consumption around the globe. This leaves the organisation to avoid the dilemma by neglecting the promotion sustainable consumption. However, as evidenced earlier, the organisations have direct role in changing the customers’ perspective of sustainable consumption. Mishra and Sharma (2014) supports the view and argues that an organisation has three primary role in altering the global market. They are innovation, choice influence and choice editing. As identified in the previous section, organisations have incorporated innovation in their business operation and have attained sustainability in their business process in order to attain competitive advantage in the market. They have made successful attempt to provide maximum value to the society. However, there is clear sign of negligence in the other two roles as mentioned. The organisations are reluctant in incorporating choice editing and influence to consumer behaviour and direct it toward sustainable consumption to protect their sales quantity in the market.
As stated by Tseng, Tan and Siriban-Manalang (2013), use of innovative technology and process helps the organisations to attain sustainability and reduce environmental damage. Innovation in technology will help the organisations to adopt eco friendly business process by using the materials that causes less damage to the environment and the society. The rejection in the use of products with high potential risk will further help the organisations in delivering value to the environment and the society it is operating in. This innovative technological adoptation will also contribute in significant reduction of the waste materials generated from the production procedure. This facilitates the companies in gaining competitive advantage by reducing the production cost. Moreover, it is kind of necessity for every organisation over the industries to obtain sustainable innovative technologies to maintain the superiority in the market, as these factors are directly related to each other and have direct influence on one another. This in turn help the company in value proposition to its customers in the target market.
However, it is time to draw relation between sustainable production and sustainable consumption as it has the potential of obliterating the current unsustainable consumption practice of the consumers. It will require the organisations to promote the sustainable consumption to their consumers (Spangenberg 2013). This only possible way can be identified for influencing the consumers for sustainable consumption over the traditional trend is the company promotion, as the companies hold important role in influencing the trend in the market. However, this requires a mutual effort form both the sides of the coin to establish sustainable consumption. The consumers requires reflecting equal effort towards sustainable consumption. However, the majority of the organisations operating within industries are reluctant in promoting sustainable consumption, as it will require them to adopt new technologies to attain sustainable production. This will considerably reduce the profit margin for the initial stage and has a high level of risk factor that might work against the company (Niinimäki and Hassi 2011). However, the major global companies like BMW are offering their support towards sustainable consumption and has incorporated the same in their business process and marketing model. They are on a goal to shrink down the environmental footprint by increasing the recyclability of the products. This increases the resell value of their products, as they can further be recycled and reused. This holds the customers’ interest as they can receive greater value for the products. Moreover, they are directing their products towards renewable energy by producing hybrid and electric cars. Apple also regulates the buying behaviour of the customers by promoting recyclability of their products. They are delivering products that are composed of a large amount of recyclable products that increases the price and resell value of the products.
The last factor that plays crucial role in regulation of the customers’ purchasing behaviour toward sustainable consumption is the choice editing. It incorporates the policies that are set by both the government and the organisations. This is to provide the customers products that are composed of sustainable components; and rejects the harmful materials that damages the environment (Prothero et al 2013). A number of global companies have already initiated the process as mentioned in the earlier section. The companies like Apple and BMW are using recyclable materials for producing their products. This can also incorporate the business process obtained. For instance, the companies can reconfigure their supply chain management for reducing the environmental impact as UPS has already incorporated. This can be best example to define the sustainable supply chain as they are using above 700 class eight trucks in their business process to deliver the products. This class 8 truck uses LNG, which is believed to significantly reduce the carbon footprint on the environment.
The promotion of sustainable consumption required for environmental revitalisation demands participation from all the stakeholders, ranging form the marketer, government and the end consumers. The active participation of the above can only initiate the sustainable consumption protocol. This is one of the reasons due to which, the marketers are failing to promote sustainable consumption in their target market. Despite of the effort from the government’s end, the organisations are lacking interest to promote the sustainable consumption to their customers. This can be attributed to the attitude of the customers towards the sustainable consumption. This can further be related with the pricing of the sustainable products that are available in the market. The price of the sustainable products are significantly higher than the unsustainable products, which delivers similar values to the customers. This makes the customers think before buying the sustainable products as the unsustainable products successfully meets the customer’s requirements (Phipps et al 2013). Hence, the organisations taking sustainable development into consideration requires government’s support for reducing the production cost that will automatically reduce the product price. This will encourage both the customers and the manufacturers to vote for sustainable consumption.
It is now possible to state that statement under discussion is partially true as several other factors plays active role influencing the sustainable consumption behaviour of the customers. Establishing sustainable consumption requires effort from market, government and customer’s end. The marketers requires governments’ support to manufacture the products fulfilling the customers’ requirement as the sustainable products exceeds the affordability of the customers. The companies face difficulties in promoting the sustainable products to their customers due to the expensive raw materials used in the production process. This automatically increases the price of the products. The next step after solving the issue will require both the marketer and government to promote the sustainable products and teaching to aware the customers about the benefit. Completion of the complete chain can only address the stated issue. Hence, making the marketer responsible for the failure in promotion of sustainable consumption will be unjustified due to the limitations they face in the process of production, promotion and selling of the products.
Khalili, N.R., Melaragno, W. and Haddadian, G., 2011. Promoting Sustainable Consumption. In Practical Sustainability (pp. 207-224). Palgrave Macmillan US.
Mishra, P. and Sharma, P., 2014. Green marketing: Challenges and opportunities for business. BVIMR Management Edge, 7(1).
Niinimäki, K. and Hassi, L., 2011. Emerging design strategies in sustainable production and consumption of textiles and clothing. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19(16), pp.1876-1883.
Phipps, M., Ozanne, L.K., Luchs, M.G., Subrahmanyan, S., Kapitan, S., Catlin, J.R., Gau, R., Naylor, R.W., Rose, R.L., Simpson, B. and Weaver, T., 2013. Understanding the inherent complexity of sustainable consumption: A social cognitive framework. Journal of Business Research, 66(8), pp.1227-1234.
Price, S., Pitt, M. and Tucker, M., 2011. Implications of a sustainability policy for facilities management organisations. Facilities, 29(9/10), pp.391-410.
Prothero, A., Dobscha, S., Freund, J., Kilbourne, W.E., Luchs, M.G., Ozanne, L.K. and Thøgersen, J., 2011. Sustainable consumption: Opportunities for consumer research and public policy. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 30(1), pp.31-38.
Spangenberg, J.H., 2013. Design for Sustainability (DfS): Interface of Sustainable Production and Consumption. In Handbook of Sustainable Engineering (pp. 575-595). Springer Netherlands.
Tseng, M.L., Tan, R.R. and Siriban-Manalang, A.B., 2013. Sustainable consumption and production for Asia: sustainability through green design and practice. Journal of Cleaner Production, 40, pp.1-5.
Welch, D. and Warde, A., 2015. Theories of practice and sustainable consumption. Handbook of research on sustainable consumption, pp.84-100.
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