On store shelves, more and more often instead of classic plastic packaging, we see paper bags with the notation “eco”. Is the introduction of ecological solutions a step towards environmental protection?
Products with the label “eco” are increasingly calling out to consumers from store shelves, and despite the fact that they are usually more expensive than standard options – we are able to pay this price. We decide to buy eco-friendly products because of a desire to care for the planet, reduce the use of plastic or simply succumbing to the fashion for being eco-friendly. In fact, for several years now we have seen a growing trend to promote ecological solutions and products and condemn actions associated with excessive consumerism and use of plastic.
Eco-marketing is the market’s response to the existing trend of being eco. It is a marketing strategy to promote environmental protection. Brands conducting such communication try to be as environmentally friendly as possible at every stage of the production of a product. Companies using eco-marketing make sure that the products they create consist of natural materials or ingredients, and that the packaging comes from recycling.
However, eco-marketing is not only recycling and natural materials and optimized production. It is also about promoting ecological solutions and educating a wide audience in this regard.
Year after year, public awareness of the need to take care of the planet, reduce CO2 emissions and the harmfulness of plastic is growing. As a result, consumers are more willing to reach for environmentally friendly products and services. The growing interest in ecology is evident not only among consumers, but also among retailers and service providers. Stores offering only natural cosmetics or organic food are becoming more and more common, and popular clothing chains are boasting new collections of clothes designed to be more eco-friendly. But is this fashion for eco-friendliness only a marketing expedient? And by extension: will eco-marketing stay with us for a long time, or will it pass with the next trend?
Eco-branding is not only a promotional activity, but also a change in production, packaging and all marketing communication to be more environmentally friendly. So when a company decides to take such significant steps, it can be assumed that these changes are not driven solely by a desire to improve brand image, but by an actual desire to be greener. However, many companies use a marketing strategy based on promoting environmentalism, although it actually has nothing to do with taking care of the planet. We are referring to greenwashing.
Greenwashing is the totality of marketing activities aimed at presenting a company and its products as green. The company then creates its product or services as environmentally friendly, although in reality it has taken almost no pro-environmental measures. This action is not aimed at actually caring for the environment, but only at gaining more revenue and improving the company’s image. Thus, it can be said that greenwashing is deliberately deceiving consumers not only at the expense of their trust and money, but also at the expense of the welfare of the planet.
main photo: pexels.com/Karolina Grabowska