The marketing has evolved over the years and it has a significant role in encouraging the sustainable production and consumption through the strategies in the target markets. For every organisation, it is very important to be sustainable and it needs to address the issues like the sustainable manufacturing of goods, its delivery of services and the operations which not only benefits to the organisation but also to the society. For an organisation to be competitive it needs to be sustainable but the companies are not paid attention on the same nowadays. Promoting sustainable consumption is very significant to be adopted but still not much emphasis is given on the same by the marketers their target markets (Cherian & Jacob, 2011).
The OECD Countries where around 30 democracies work together to face the challenges of globalisation is working for promoting the sustainable consumption in the target markets. The customers are the main element which drives the sustainable production and also plays a main role in sustainable development (OECD, 2008). There are standards and the mandatory labels which promotes sustainable consumption and general welfare. Some of the countries like Australia are establishing the energy efficiency standards for most of the home appliances and electronic products which saves energy till the 80% of the level. For e.g. Australia is the first country which announced that the incandescent light bulbs will be completely removed from the market and the florescent bulbs will be introduced which will save the energy as high as 80%. Like this, the marketers should follow the good practices and promote the sustainable consumption in the target markets (OECD, 2008).
The companies are not promoting ethical and sustainable consumption as they are more concerned for their high number of sales and more profits. The large corporations are taking some towards to promote sustainability but they are not doing enough for that. According to Bolderdijk and Steg (2015), sustainable consumption includes the discomfort from the side of consumers. It is because sustainable consumption is expensive. For e.g. the organic vegetables or greenhouse gases alternatives. To make it attractive for the consumers, it has to be made extra rewarding for them which can be done by providing subsidies on the energy efficient products, organic foods products or anything which promotes the sustainable consumption. It is because money is the most powerful resource which affect the buying and consumption behaviour of the customers. So, the customers will be finally diverted to consume sustainably by making the consumption financially attractive with the help of subsidies, rebates and tax credits (Bolderdijk and Steg, 2015).
The companies are increasing the sustainability of their own operations but they are failing to put efforts on the sustainable consumption. They are giving excuses for the same. Some of the companies are claiming that the customers are not read for the sustainable consumption. They are not concerned or interested in buying the products which are sustainability good. For this, the marketers should run campaigns like they do for promoting their new launches. In the views of Whelan (2013), the companies also claim that they do promote sustainable products but the customers show no interest. It is because either the product is costly or not as per the standards and expectations of the customers. The companies give a reason for the failure in promoting the sustainable products that it is too expensive to promote sustainable consumption which ultimately hampers the profitability of the company (Whelan, 2013).
One of the main reasons for not doing so is that the marketers do not take sustainability as their core attribute. The marketers should find one or the other innovative measures to sell sustainability and to promote sustainable consumption. It has been ignored by most of the marketers and the consumers too. It can be done by growing interest in the societies and supporting the sustainable initiatives. Promoting sustainable consumption is a major challenge for the marketers (Makower, 2013). They are not able to fulfil the commitments and failing in promoting the sustainable consumption within the customers. According to van Dam (2016), sustainable consumption is necessary as the global economy will not be able to meet the needs of the ever growing population within the limited resources in future. The companies are having half-hearted marketing campaigns for the sustainable products and sometimes they are not sufficient enough to influence the consumers for the consumption of such items. People from across the world are required to take up consumption which enhances health and livelihood of all to shift the direction of the world. The business is failing to take care of the society and this planet but it needs to be done to maintain competitive edge in the industry and to meet the long term expectations and benefits of the consumers and of the environment.
Bolderdijk, J. W. and Steg, L., 2015. Promoting sustainable consumption: the risks of using financial incentives. Handbook of research on sustainable consumption. pp.328-342.
Cherian, J. & Jacob, J., 2011. ‘Green Marketing: A Study of Consumers’ Attitude towards Environment Friendly Products’. Asian Social Science; Vol. 8, No. 12.
Makower, J., 2013. ‘5 Reasons Green Marketing Is Going Nowhere’. LinkedIn.
OECD, 2008. ‘Promoting Sustainable Consumption’. Available at: [Accessed on 01.08.17].
van Dam, Y. K., 2016. Sustainable consumption and marketing (Doctoral dissertation, Wageningen University).
Whelan, T. 2013. ‘The five excuses marketeers use for failing to promote sustainability’. the guardian.