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The Importance of Sustainable Consumption

Discuss about the Marketers are not doing enough in directing their target markets toward sustainable consumption.

This essay will critically evaluate the statement,” Marketers are not doing enough in directing their target markets toward sustainable consumption”. Sustainable consumption has been a big issue in the global and the recent trends in the market show that the consumption patterns are unsustainable. Moreover, it has become quite evident that technological advancement and efficiency gain is not enough to bring down the level of global consumption to a level that is sustainable. Thus, changes in lifestyle and effective use of products and services are required for maintaining the sustainability in consumption of products. According to (Gandhi and Kaushik (2016) the roles of marketers are essential for encouraging sustainable consumption patterns and levels. Thus, innovation, communication, marketing and forming partnership with the consumers is an effective way of improving the consumption level. The marketers have the ability to influence the buying behaviour of the consumers and thus they have a huge responsibility of contributing in sustainable consumption.

As stated by Varadarajan (2014), the government and the non-government organizations are making their efforts to promote green buying behaviour among the consumers. They are trying to improve the level of awareness among consumers and educating them to improve the sustainability of the consumptions. Even though, majority of the marketers are implementing green management practices in to their business model, there is no effort from the sides of the marketers in developing awareness about sustainable consumption. Many marketers have implemented triple bottom line in the business model of their organization to identify their impact on the corresponding environment and society. Thus, most of the organizations are focused on improving the suitability practices within their own business model. Therefore, according to the trends in the market it can be said the main concerns of the organizations are to implement sustainability practices within their own organizations. Thus, they are focused on the various processes in the organization and whether they have a significant negative impact on the corresponding society and environment. Bolderdijk and Steg (2015) states that as the primary bottom line of the organization is to fulfil the interest of the direct stakeholders in the organization, which is profit maximization the firms are more focused on improving their sales volumes.


According to Mishra and Sharma (2014), the firms are going through dilemma where promotion of sustainable consumption will have an impact on the business in the market. Globalization has made the market trends more unstable which is causing a frequent change in the consumption trends. Thus, promoting sustainable consumption will have similar impact on the consumption level and sales volume of all the companies. Thus, sustainable consumption initiatives among the marketers are negligible in the market due to this dilemma. However, the roles of marketers are very crucial and business approaches of implementing sustainable consumption are a part of the business processes in today’s global world. Thus, there are three main roles of the businesses in the global market, which includes innovation, choice editing and choice influence. Thus, uses of innovation in to the business model, development of products, services offered are key factors which most of the business are adapting. As stated by Panzone et al. (2016), the organizations are making an effort to restructure their organizations and incorporate processes and provisions that will provide maximum value to the corresponding society. However, there is lack in the other two mentioned factors; choice influencing is the effective use of communication in marketing and campaigns for raising awareness among the consumers so that they can make effective and sustainable choice of their products. However, most the companies in the market has been unable to influence the buying behaviour of the consumers in this sense, rather they are not focusing on this aspect.

The Roles of Marketers in Sustainable Consumption

As opined by Sahakian and Wilhite (2014), innovation in technology and processes will enable to maintain the sustainability of the environment. The organizations can develop eco friendly product and eliminate the use of product components, which pose potential risk to the environment. Thus, product innovation and innovation in design will maintain the sustainability of the resources. Moreover, it will be able to contribute significantly to the society and the environment by adding value to it. Lukman et al. (2016).states, business model innovation is essential for maintaining the sustainability of the organization in today’s era and the companies will have to keep using innovation if they want to maintain their technological superiority. Thus, setting of efficient processes that will have no impact on the corresponding environment can be obtained by these innovative processes. The residual waste in each of the product development processes can be reduced or reused in some other useful way. Thus, the organizations are providing the consumers training in procurement where they are aware of the impact of their buying behaviour.


According to Fuchs et al. (2016), the importance of linking consumption with production has become one of the most crucial aspects, as it will facilitate in obliterating the current unsustainable consumption practices. Therefore, choice influence can be defined as the partnership between the consumers and the organizations, which will consist of sustainable design, production, services, consumption and disposal. The major global organizations have addressed this issue and the companies are trying to promote sustainable consumption among their consumers. However, the majority of the companies in the market are still not in to these practices, which is hampering the sustainable consumption. Thus, the companies that are resources dependent will have to promote the consumption of their products so that depletion of the natural resources can be prevented. Cruz and Katz-Gerro (2016), states various conventions and events are arranged so that these can be addressed at an global level. Sony is one such organization, which is collaborating with the Solar-bear Foundation so that they can educate the consumers about changing their behavioural pattern to maintain sustainability of the resources. Thus, it can be seen some of the global leaders are trying to influence the buying behaviour of the consumers, which include companies like Nokia, Proctor and Gamble and Henkel.

As stated by Cohen and Muñoz (2016), Choice editing is factor, which will directly affect the buying behaviour of the consumers due to the implementation of policies by the government and the respective organization. This will also in include the eradication of unsustainable products, services and product components from the market. Thus, there are large numbers of business organization who are trying to eliminate products or product components that are threat to the sustainability of the global environment. Transparency is essential in winning the trust of the consumers and therefore, the organizations will have to be transparent about their activities if they want to educate the consumers and change their behavioural pattern. There are examples, which show that the organizations are changing the components of their business model to change their impact on the corresponding environment and the supply chain. Adidas has made changes to their global supply by helping is suppliers to reduce their impact on the corresponding environment.

Challenges in Promoting Sustainable Consumption


This is a systemic challenge for the global industry as business, government and consumers have equal power to affect the change in sustainability practices. However, most of the critics are focused on the role of the marketers in improving sustainable consumption but they have their own sets of limitations. Lorek and Spangenberg (2014), they do not have much options of modifying the products unless the consumers are willing to purchase the product at a price higher than the normal product. It is seen that the consumer are not willing to pay extra money for the green products in the market. Moreover, their level of awareness is less and they do not know which products are more sustainable to the environment. Thus, the business organizations are not able to change their products due to lack of support from the consumers. The consumers, business and government are the all linked to each other and they will have to work together if they want to develop a sustainable world. Geels et al. (2015) states, education are the most important aspect in uniting these entities together. The consumers will have to be made to understand that the importance of sustainable consumption and the implications. If the consumers are able to realise their implications of maintaining a sustainable consumption then most of the global issues can be resolved. Thus, various governments in different countries have taken the initiatives to educate the population about the importance of sustainable consumption.


The statement made in the first line of the essay is complicated; it is neither completely wrong nor it is completely right. The marketers on a whole are not doing enough to reduce the consumption of products but they are still organizations that are making efforts to contribute to the society and the environment. Similarly, consumer mentality also varies and there are large numbers of consumer that are not ready to pay more for green products. Thus, even though the firms want to change their product components, they are unable to do so because the consumer needs and wants will determine the components and characteristics of the products. Thus, it can be said that even though the marketers are not doing enough to direct their consumers towards sustainable consumption, consumers are not doing their bit. Thus, it can be concluded that a unified effort is required to improve the sustainable consumption.

References

Bolderdijk, J.W. and Steg, L., 2015. 21. Promoting sustainable consumption: the risks of using financial incentives. Handbook of research on sustainable consumption, pp.328-342.

Cohen, B. and Muñoz, P., 2016. Sharing cities and sustainable consumption and production: towards an integrated framework. Journal of Cleaner Production, 134, pp.87-97.

Cruz, I.S. and Katz-Gerro, T., 2016. Urban public transport companies and strategies to promote sustainable consumption practices. Journal of Cleaner Production, 123, pp.28-33.

Fuchs, D., Di Giulio, A., Glaab, K., Lorek, S., Maniates, M., Princen, T. and Røpke, I., 2016. Power: the missing element in sustainable consumption and absolute reductions research and action. Journal of cleaner production, 132, pp.298-307.

Gandhi, M. and Kaushik, N., 2016. Socially responsive consumption behaviour–an Indian perspective. Social Responsibility Journal, 12(1), pp.85-102.

Geels, F.W., McMeekin, A., Mylan, J. and Southerton, D., 2015. A critical appraisal of Sustainable Consumption and Production research: The reformist, revolutionary and reconfiguration positions. Global Environmental Change, 34, pp.1-12.

Lorek, S. and Spangenberg, J.H., 2014. Sustainable consumption within a sustainable economy–beyond green growth and green economies. Journal of cleaner production, 63, pp.33-44.

Lukman, R.K., Glavi?, P., Carpenter, A. and Virti?, P., 2016. Sustainable consumption and production–Research, experience, and development–The Europe we want. Journal of Cleaner Production, 138, pp.139-147.

Mishra, P. and Sharma, P., 2014. Green marketing: Challenges and opportunities for business. BVIMR Management Edge, 7(1).

Panzone, L., Hilton, D., Sale, L. and Cohen, D., 2016. Socio-demographics, implicit attitudes, explicit attitudes, and sustainable consumption in supermarket shopping. Journal of Economic Psychology, 55, pp.77-95.

Sahakian, M. and Wilhite, H., 2014. Making practice theory practicable: Towards more sustainable forms of consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(1), pp.25-44.

Varadarajan, R., 2014, May. Toward sustainability: Public policy, global social innovations for base-of-the-pyramid markets, and demarketing for a better world. American Marketing Association.

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My Assignment Help. (2019). Marketers. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/sustainable-consumption-and-production.

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My Assignment Help. Marketers [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 23 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/sustainable-consumption-and-production.

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