If you are already competitive in terms of price, quality and performance, adding sustainability and green marketing to your business strategy may enhance your brand image and secure your market share among the growing number of environmentally concerned consumers.
Start your green marketing campaign by ensuring your green claims are credible. The Federal Trade Commission’s guidance can help you determine credibility. You can also have your product certified by a third party. Once certified, use the ecolabels from the certifying organizations to help consumers make educated choices.
Green Your Products and Services
- Download the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Steps to Sustainability: A Guide to Greening Your Small Business.
- Participate in a Greener Product Program.
- Evaluate your product packaging and supply chain to reduce waste.
- Read the Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidance for Retailers, Manufacturers, Consumers, and Institutional Purchasers .
- Understand the business case for green marketing.
- If your product or service qualifies, use ecolabels as an advertising tool.
Green Marketing Regulations
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules prohibit deceptive acts or practices in advertising, labeling, product inserts, catalogs, and sales presentations. These apply to marketing and advertising of green products. If you are making environmental claims in your advertisements, marketing collateral or product labels, you must comply with these regulations. Some states also have their own regulations regarding green marketing.
- Bookmark the Federal Trade Commission’s frequently updated website on environmental marketing.
- Ensure your advertising is in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides.
- Avoid greenwashing and misleading claims that could lead to civil prosecution.
- Read the specific rules for: appliance manufacturing and energy use labeling; automobiles, fuel and related products.
The following resources will help you get started researching consumer attitudes and behaviors toward green products:
- Green Consumers: A Growing Market for Local Businesses explains how local businesses can market to green consumers.
- Greener Choices, by Consumer Report, contains detailed information for consumers that can help you identify consumer trends and concerns.
- Increasing consumer demand for organic food is an example of increasing consumer preferences for green products.
- This short research article from the University of Texas includes tips for avoiding some of the pitfalls of green marketing.
- View this PBS News report on consumer demand for green products.