Abstract recyclable paper, and phosphate free detergents. Indian


Concerns have been
expressed by manufacturers and customers about the environmental force of
products during recent decades. Consumers and manufacturers have directed their
interest toward environment friendly products that are recognized to be “green”
or environment friendly like low power consuming (energy-efficient) electrical
appliances, organic foods, lead free paints, recyclable paper, and phosphate
free detergents. Indian marketers are also realizing the importance of the
Green Marketing Concept. Although a variety of research on green marketing has
been conducted across the globe; little academic research on consumer
perception and preferences has been carried out in India. This research
provides a brief review of environmental issues and identifies the green values
of the consumers, their level of awareness about environmental issues, green
products and practices. This paper highlights the consumers’ perception and
preferences towards green marketing practices and products with the help of a
structured questionnaire. A study was conducted on 106 respondents. High level
of awareness about green marketing practices and products was found among the
consumers. Green values were also found to be high among the respondents.
Research has given good insights for marketers of the green products and
suggests the need of designing the marketing communication campaigns promoting
green products due to high green value among the consumers. Results of
regression analysis reveals the view that overall green values, awareness about
green products and practices and the perception regarding seriousness of marketing
companies towards green marketing had positive significant impact on consumer
persuasion to buy and prefer green products over conventional products.

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Key Words:
green marketing, consumerism, green products, conventional products








marketing or promotion of a product based on its environmental performance or
an improvement thereof (Charter & Polonsky 1999)?. ?The holistic management
process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying the requirements
of customers and society, in a profitable and sustainable way (Peattie, 1995)?.
?A holistic and responsible strategic management process that identifies,
anticipates, satisfies and fulfils stakeholder needs, for a reasonable reward,
that does not adversely affect human or natural environmental well-being?
(Charter (1992), p. 394)





marketing offers business bottom line incentives and top line growth
possibilities. While modification of business or production processes may
involve start-up costs, it will save money in the long term. For example the
cost of installing solar energy is an investment in future energy cost savings.
Companies that develop new and improved products and services with environmental
impacts in mind give themselves access to new markets, substantially increase
profits and enjoy competitive advantages over those marketing
nonenvironmentally responsible alternatives. When looking through the
literature there are several suggested reasons for firms increased use of Green
Marketing. Five possible reasons are as follows:


Organizations perceive environmental marketing to be an opportunity that can be
used to achieve its objectives.


Organizations believe they have a moral obligation to be more socially


 3. Governmental bodies are forcing firms to
become more responsible.


 4. Competitors’ environmental activities
pressure firms to change their environmental marketing activities.


Cost factors associated with waste disposal, or reductions in material usage
forces firms to



Businesses need to constantly assess
the latest and most attractive marketing trends. Marketing trends can be found
out by continually researching about the changes in consumer behavior in the
marketplace. By identifying the changes in the consumer behavior, the
businesses can modify their offering to the consumers. Consumers today are more
concerned about environmental degradation and negative impact of their uses of
product and services on environment. The reason for this concern could be
visible climatic changes, global warming and increasing air and water
pollution. Thus using green marketing by the organizations not only provides an
opportunity to meet consumer expectations and address their environmental
concerns, but also to gain a competitive advantage and a strong consumer base. Green
marketing is also termed as environmental marketing or ecological marketing. According
to American Marketing Association, marketing of products that are presumed to
be environmentally safe is called as Green Marketing.


Thus wide range of activities are
covered under green marketing, which includes modifying the product, making
changes in the production process and packaging, as well as modifying
advertising or  removing any activity
that impacts the environment in negative way. Today, the Earth faces more
environmental issues than ever before, hence it is imperative for companies to
make and market themselves as environment friendly. Green marketing is emerging
as a popular promotional strategy owing to increased consumer awareness and
concerns.The concept of green or ecological marketing calls upon businesses to
follow ethical and green practices while dealing with customers, suppliers,
dealers, and employees. Companies have started marketing themselves as green
companies. Even the Public Sector Units and state governments are now paying a
lot of attention towards environmental issues such as global warming,
pollution, or water contamination and have started taking steps to prevent
environmental pollution. In a recent survey conducted by National Geographic
Societyand the international polling firm Globescan (2010) to determine
consumers’ green attitude called “Consumer Greendex”, the top scoring consumers
were in the developing economies of India, Brazil and China  while industrialized

countries ranked at the bottom.Consumers
showing the largest increase in environmentally sustainable behavior were in
India, Russia and the United States (Howe et al., 2010). A company to be
successful in green marketing requires to be committed to operate in
environmentally friendly ways. Green Products and  marketing practices. Actually there is no
consensus on what exactly is green. There is no accepted definition of green
product. However based on different definitions of green marketing, some common
characteristics of products generally accepted as green, including the products


Energy efficient (both in use and in


Water efficient (both in use and in


Low emitting (low on hazardous


Safe and/or healthy products.


Recyclable and/or with recycled


Durable (long lasting).






  Reused products


Third party certified to public or
transport standard (e.g., organic, certified    wood)


       11.Locally produced.



Many consumer durable companies are
now marketing their products with Energy Star Label stating that their use will
reduce the energy consumption and consumers can save a lot of money on
electricity consumption over a period of time. For example, Godrej Consumer
Products is marketing its product through green marketing and gives additional
incentive to buyers to exchange their old products with latest green and
environmental friendly products. The advertisements try to persuade the buyers
to adopt a green lifestyle and contribute in development of a greener planet.
NDTV a major media group promotes green values through its campaign Greenathon.
NDTV Greenathon as they call it organizes various philanthropic and social
activities to raise awareness regarding environmental issues at the same time
contribute to the social  causes like
electrification of rural areas etc. Philips is marketing its Compact
Fluorescent Light (CFL) as “Marathon”, highlighting its new “super long life”
and energy efficiency.


Many companies are now offering more
eco friendly alternatives for their  customers;
recycled products are one of the most popular alternatives that benefit the
environment. Companies are now focusing on not to use plastic bags, instead
they use carry bag made up of recycled paper (for example, Titan, Tanishq have
made a corporate policy that the goods will be delivered or given to customers
only in the carry bags made out of recycled paper). Idea Cellular Limited also
launched an advertisement stating saving trees towards their corporate social
responsibility. Kansai Nerolac Paints is marketing themselves as green as they
have removed hazardous heavy metals from their paints and are marketing their
lead free paints in India. Dell focuses on producing green IT products under
their strategy called “Go Green with Dell”. Dell products are

also coming in eco-friendly
packaging with a system recycling kit bundled along. They are also focusing on
green innovations from data, center efficiency to the use of eco-friendly
materials for everything from chassis design to product packaging. Major
electronic goods manufacturing organizations are selling their products with
star energy ratings that help to consume less energy. More is the star rating
(maximum rating is 5 star) of the electrical/electronic appliance, less is the
energy consumed. Nokia has come up with the concept of recycling of phones to
save the natural resource. In 2007, IBM launched Project Big Green to help
clients around the world improve the efficiency of IT and better optimized
their data center resources. IBM has software and services technologies to help
businesses reduce data center energy consumption and cut energy costs by more
than 40 percent. Efforts are being made at government and industry level to
protect environment. In India Environment Protection Act in was implemented in
1986 and Environment Audit in 1992 for the protection of the environment.


New Delhi, Indian capital, was one
of the most polluted cities until Supreme Court of India intervened to change
to alternative fuels. In 2002, Supreme Court issued a directive to completely
adopt CNG in all public transport systems to curb pollution. Many greenhouse
gas reduction markets have emerged over a period of time that can catalyze
projects with important local, environmental, economic, and quality of life
benefits. Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the
steps towards greenhouse gas reduction. In the construction industry, builder
lobby are now using fly ash bricks to reduce soil erosion due to

manufacturing of traditional bricks.
They are also using solar panels to generate electricity for common passage
lighting, elevators to reduce the traditional electricity consumption.Footwear
Design and Development Institute (FDDI) is focusing on re-use of tyres, using
unconventional methods and innovatively creating footwear and Accessories from
old and  recycled tiers. Green products
have also proven to be Recession proof through the economic downturn of 2008
and 2009. According to a Data monitor study in the first six months of2009 there
were over 500 new product launches of goods that claim themselves as



Literature Review


Green marketing came into prominence
in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The first book titled

Ecological Marketingwas the outcome
of first workshop on “Ecological Marketing”, held

by American Marketing Association
(AMA) in 1975. Green marketing acquired an eminent status since early 1990s.
There has been occurring about green consumers and green consumerism in 1970s
and 1980s. Henion and Kinnear (1976) defined green consumers as environmentally
conscious consumers while Antil (1984) described green consumerism as a
specific type of socially conscious consumer behavior with prime focus on
protection of environment. Green consumerism was described as a form of
“pro-social” consumer behavior (Weiner and Doescher, 1991). Michael Polonsky
(1994) defined ” green marketing as the marketing that consists of all
activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges int

ended to satisfy human needs or
wants, such that the satisfaction of these needs and wants occurs, with minimal
detrimental impact on the natural environment.”Various studies support the
assertion that consumers today prefer environmentally safe products and have a
positive disposition towards companies following such practices. A strong
willingness is shown by consumers to favor environmentally conscious products
and companies as per various opinion polls taken in US and elsewhere, however
action to do so in reality are debatable (Mendleson N, Polonsky M J, 1995).In
spite of huge interest in green marketing by researchers and organizations,
demand of green products is not as high as expected. Mintel (1995) found a
significant gap between consumers concern and actual green purchasing. It is

that still there are considerable
barriers towards the diffusion of more ecologically oriented consumption


According to Michael J Polonsky,
environmental marketing has been perceived as an

opportunity by the organizations to
achieve their objectives (stated by Keller 1987, Shearer 1990). It was believed
that organizations have moral obligation to serve the society in more
environmental friendly way (Davis 1992, Freeman and Liedtka 1991, Keller 1987,

er 1990). Firms are also forced to
become more socially responsible due to the laws laid by the government towards
the protection of the environment. Firms are also pressurized by the
environmental activities adapted by competitors that demand the firms to change
their marketing activities to environmental marketing activities.


One of the factors identified that
affects the purchase of green product is its high price in comparison with
traditional product. Price of the product can be reduced by properly designed environmental
standards. Environmental standards can trigger innovations that lower the cost
of the product or improve its value. Such innovation will allow the companies
to use a range of inputs more productively-from raw materials to energy to
labor –thus offsetting the cost of improving environmental impact and hence
enhanced resource productivity will make companies more competitive. Innovation
will play a lead role in sustainable development for the companies to be
competitive and resisting innovations will lead to loss of competitiveness in

s global economy (Michael Porter and
Claas van der Linder, 1995).Jacquelyn Ottman, (1998) suggests that from an
organizational standpoint, all aspects of marketing including new product
development and communications should be integrated with environmental
considerations. This holistic view of Green Marketing suggests that not only the
suppliers and retailers, but the new stakeholders including educators,
community members, regulators, and NGOs should also be taken into purview.
Environmental issues should not be compromised to satisfy primary customer


Organization operating green
practices in their processes and products is Considered as environmentally
friendly by the consumers and they prefer to purchase the products of the
organization that are marketing themselves as green organizations. It has been
always believed that the actions of individuals can be predicted by their
attitudes. Number of studies has been made towards improving the ability to
predict an individual’s actions. Davidson et al. (1985) found that the
consumers’ attitude is associated with the knowledge and personal experience
they possess. However inconsistencies were found among the relationship between
consumers’ attitude and their behavior when it comes to green consumerism.
Mainieri et al. (1997) found low correlation between consumers’ attitude and
green behavior. Previous researches also proved low correlation between
consumers’ attitudes and their green behavior (Tracy and Oskamp, 1984). Spruyt
et al. (2007) suggested that the prediction of individual’s behavior is
dependent on the attitude of the consumer. In order to predict specific
behaviors, the measurement criteria of attitudes should be directed at a
specific environmental issue like purchasing of green products (Gadenne et al,
2011; Wulf and Schroder, 2003).Green Gauge Study of Roper Organization (stated
by Crispell, 2001) classified the American consumers into True-Blue Greens,
Greenback Greens, Sprouts, Grousers and Basic Browns. True-Blue Greens are the
consumers who buy only green products and trying to make up for the deficits,
Greenback Greens are the consumers willing to expend money towards protection
of natural environment but don’t have time

and energy for environmental
activities, Sprouts are the consumers who can buy green products but are not
involved in environmental activities, Grousers are the consumers who cares
about the protection of environment but make excuses for adapting green
products, and Basic Browns are the consumers who don’t care about the
environment protection and are not even ashamed of it.

Consumers are substantially aware
about green products; however applying green marketing practices in business
operations is not an easy task (Juwaheer, 2005).


Antonio et al (2009) suggested that
due to environmental consciousness that has evolved over time, studies on green
consumerism will be the main focus point in future leading to identifying the
consumer attitudes, behaviors and intentions. Braimah and Tweneboah- Koduah
(2011) studied Ghanaian consumers and have found low level of awareness towards
green marketing issues which affected that purchase decision of the consumers.
Price of green products was also found to be one of the factor that influence
the purchase of green products.



Research objectives


To investigate the level of
awareness of Indian consumers about green products and practices.


2.   To measure the green values
of the customers.


3.   To identify the brands,
consumer associate with green marketing practices.


4.     To investigate the
preferences of Indian consumers about green products.


5.     To identify the factors
that influences the customer persuasion to buy green products.


6.      To understand the issues
and challenges of green marketing practices




Methodology and measurement



The unit of analysis in this study
is the consumer level. Questionnaire survey was applied in this study to
collect information from the consumers (refer appendix A for questionnaire).
Information collected through consumer survey is utilized for further analysis
and verification of hypotheses. Green Consumer Value Scale developed by Haws
etal, 2010 was adapted in this study to measure the green value of the
consumers. Classification of consumers from Green Gauge Study of Roper
Organization(2001) was adapted in this study. 10 consumers were asked to fill
the questionnaire for pretesting andto identify the ambiguity in terms,
meanings and issues.

Therefore the questionnaire had a
high level of content validity. The respondents were asked to rate the
statement on a 5 point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.


Since the neutral point on the scale
was 3, those means above 3 suggests overall agreement with the statement and
the mean below 3 reflects disagreement. 106 valid responses for the questionnaire
were received. After the pretest, the sample elements were selected as per convenience
and were asked to return the filled questionnaires within 1 week











Consumers’ level of awareness about
green products found to be high but at the same time consumers are not aware
about green initiatives undertaken by various government and non-

government agencies signifying need
for more efforts from organizations in this regard. Newspaper remains leading
source of information for most of the respondents and should be utilized more
for reaching out to the consumers regarding green products and practices.

Responses were on moderate positive
level and we can conclude that consumers are not skeptic about green claims of
the organizations and consumers are concerned about the present and future
state of environment signifying need for green products and practices.
Marketers can come up with new green products and communicate the benefits to
the consumers. Due to increased awareness and concern consumer may prefer green
products over conventional products to protect the environment. Concerns were
more directed towards depletion of Ozone and Global Warming. The consumers are
concerned about the state of environment and expect the organizations to employ
green practices towards the protection of environment. The results have
implication for durable manufacturers especially to practice green
marketing.The marketing communication regarding green practices need to focus
more on theme and message. Advertising appeals using green products and
practices are likely to move emotions and result in persuasion. It is important
for markets to be in top of mind recall of consumers to gain maximum from their
green brand positioning. Constant and continuous communication from the organizations’
side is required to make an impact and create a distinct green positioning.
Consumers have shown positive attitude towards green products at the same time
they are concerned with the availability and price of such products. This
implies that Marketers should make the green products available to the
consumers for their consumption as customers have shown willingness to buy
green products if it is available. As consumers consider the ill effects of
manufacturing and consumption on natural environment, they may purchase the
green product if marketers can make them aware about the benefits of the green
products (which consumers perceive as priced

higher) as compared to that of
traditional products. It was found that the percentage of people who buy only
green products is very low and marketers need to take this as an opportunity to
build their product portfolios and promote themselves as green.



also have the responsibility to make the consumers understand the need for and
benefits of green products as compared to non-green ones. In green marketing,
consumers are willing to pay more to maintain a cleaner and greener
environment. Finally, consumers, industrial buyers and suppliers need to
pressurize to minimize the negative effects on the environment-friendly. Green
marketing assumes even more importance and relevance in developing countries
like India.


 Thus an environmental committed organization
may not only produce goods that have reduced their detrimental impact on the
environment, they may also be able to pressure their suppliers to behave in a
more environmentally “responsible” fashion. Final consumers and
industrial buyers also have the ability to pressure organizations to integrate
the environment into their corporate culture and thus ensure all organizations
minimize the detrimental environmental impact of their activities.



The study has implications for
marketers as well as consumers and makes a good case for start of an era of
green marketing in India. The study since focused on a limited geographical
area has limited generalizability but provides good insights regarding behavior
of consumers towards gre

en products. Future research could
focus on psychographic segmentation of consumers in terms of assessing their
green values and preferences. The study can be replicated at a larger scale to
get more insights into the behavior of consumers and understand more about
green phenomenon.