A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

OgilvyEarth Releases A Practical Guide to Green Marketing

April 22, 2010

Have you noticed how Earth Day has morphed into a consumer-driven holiday, of sorts –complete with gift-giving and special promotional items?

The irony is dramatic …

and that’s what makes today the perfect opportunity  to introduce you to a new white paper from OgilvyEarth, titled “From Greenwash to Great: A Practical Guide to Great Green Marketing (without the Greenwash).”

After all, as OgilvyEarth points out in the report, greenwashing has reached epidemic proportions and is now a serious threat undermining the credibility of every company’s legitimate sustainability efforts.

Ogilvy’s22-page guide will walk you through the three fundamental phases of a marketing campaign:

  • Planning Your Approach
  • Developing Communications
  • Launch and Beyond,

And illustrates each phase with examples of how a handful of firms have successfully navigated the often rocky terrain of communicating their green initiatives to consumers.

As you might expect, the planning stage is the most important of all –and it’s also the point where green ideas should face the all-important green litmus test. I like that OgilvyEarth recommends scrutinizing the entire supply chain, production process and waste stream to uncover opportunities for improvement. This is critical because as the report neatly sums it up:

If greenwash means claiming something is green when it isn’t, it stands to reason that ensuring that the thing in question really is green before you start talking about it should go a long way toward preventing greenwash problems.

Sustainability initiatives can improve your bottom line, enhance your reputation, inspire your customers and invigorate your employees –if they’re truly green.  So, don’t make false claims…

And please, don’t buy your staff plastic trinkets in celebration of Earth Day.

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