Sustainable Consumption and Green Marketing in Developing Countries: Contemporary Perspective Using Nigeria and Kenya as Case Studies

Sustainable Consumption and Green Marketing in Developing Countries: Contemporary Perspective Using Nigeria and Kenya as Case Studies

Abiodun Elijah Obayelu (Federal University of Agriculture – Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0282-1.ch019
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This chapter provides an insight into why Green Marketing (GM) and Sustainable Consumption (SC) of green products are subject of research and discussion in contemporary society. It analyzed the extent of GM in developing countries using cases of Nigeria and Kenya, factors influencing GM, the benefits of GM on the environment and firms, and the challenges. The study is both exploratory with the use of structured literature review of publications in peer reviewed academic journals on GM and SC, and empirical in nature. The findings on respondents rating of factors influencing green purchase behavior showed that concern for health and environment was considered as the most important in Nigeria, while in Kenya it was social awareness and value. For an effective GM and SC, government at all levels has a role of creating awareness to boost green knowledge through educative campaign programs and enforcing green agenda. Government can make regulations relating to GM and ensure SC by lowering the cost when compared to the conventional marketing
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Green, environmental and eco-marketing is fairly a new concept or philosophy in the modern marketing (Kassaye, 2001; Singh & Pandey, 2012) acting as a bridge connecting the corporate, environment and the consumers (Seth & Khan, 2015). The marketing concept emerged due to concerns over issues such as environmental degradation, global warming and the over-use of non-renewable resources (Hartmann & Ibanez, 2006; Tanner & Kast, 2003). Green marketing (GM) is cognizant of making the world green (Shah, et al., 2014) and is a part of the new marketing approaches, which do not just refocus, adjust or enhance existing marketing thinking and practice, but seek to challenge those approaches and provide a substantially different perspective (Ahmad, 2012). It provides the satisfaction consumer needs, wants, and desires in conjunction with the preservation and conservation of the natural environment (Sahu, 2012). GM is now part and parcel of the overall corporate strategy (Menon, 2013), an increasingly interesting research field, and a more viable and sustainable alternative to the conventional marketing (Singh, 2015). The society is becoming more concerned with the natural environment thereby making businesses begin to modify their behaviour as a response to the society’s new concerns (Nandini, 2011). According to American Marketing Association (AMA, 2010), GM is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. As a golden rules of green marketing, the consumer must be aware of, and concerned about the issues that the firm’s product attempts to address. It also educates the customers not only to let people know whatever the company is doing to protect the environment, but also a matter of letting them know why it matters; being genuine and transparent in green marketing campaign and reassure the buyers that the product performs the job and finally give the customers an opportunity to participate. Firms use GM in an attempt to address cost or profit related issues.

People are worried about sustainability-related issues than ever before by been more concerned about the environment (GIA, 2011). The perceived seriousness of environmental problems will therefore contribute to green purchasing behavior (Dagher & Itani, 2014). Influential customers want to do business with companies that have established their green credentials, so companies are launching hefty advertising and web campaigns, publishing extensively documented sustainability reports, cooperating with external sources to communicate transparently, and communicating their efforts internally (Choudhary & Gokarn, 2013). Marketers are now trying to use green marketing concept in developing their strategies to ensure sustainable development, thereby making GM to catch the attention of scholars and practitioners in developing countries. Marketing theory as applied to these issues remains relatively under-explored. Also, green marketing has been widely explored in developed nations of the world but appears to be at a distant dream in developing nation as studies on green marketing are conspicuously missing in the context of developing economies like India, Pakistan, Brazil, Russia, China and most Africa countries (Singh, 2015). The purpose of this study is to bridge this gap, and to advance our theoretical and empirical understanding of Sustainable consumption (SC) and GM in developing countries as a means of tackling problems associated with the impact of economic activity on the environment. This chapter therefore attempts to address the following objectives:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Green Consumerism: The production, promotion, and preferential consumption of goods and services on the basis of their pro-environment claims ( Akenji, 2014 ).

Green Product: A product that meets one of these criteria of possessing qualities that will protect the environment; replaced artificial ingredients with natural ingredients or products that are non toxic, energy and water-efficient, harmless to the environment, recyclable and biodegradable.

Green Economy: This encompasses all activities or actions that help reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere which is a major component of greenhouse gases that enhances global warming thus causing climate change ( National Environment Management Authority, 2012 ).

Consumer Purchasing Behavior: Final consumer behavior during the purchase. There are four types of purchase behavior: Complex purchase behavior, those purchasing behaviors that seek variety, purchasing behavior that seeks to reduce tensions after purchase and normal purchasing behavior ( Kotler and Armstrong, 2010 ).

Socio-Efficiency: The relation between a firm’s value added and its social impact.

Green Business: An enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy.

Eco-Efficiency: This is usually calculated as the economic value added by a firm in relation to its aggregated ecological impact.

BRAND: A name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or the combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of a competitor.

Consumer Social Responsibility (CSR): Decision making linked to environmental stewardship, ethical values, stringent compliance with legal requirements and respect for communities and the environment in totality ( Seth and Khan, 2015 ).

Green Consumers: Green consumer as one who avoids products that are likely to endanger the health of the consumer or others; cause significant damage to the environment during manufacture, use or disposal; consume a disproportionate amount of energy; cause unnecessary waste; use materials derived from threatened species or environments; involve unnecessary use of, or cruelty to animals; adversely affect other countries (Elkington, 1994 AU146: The in-text citation "Elkington, 1994" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ; Boztepe, 2012 ).

Green Procurement: A process whereby organizations take into account environmental elements when procuring goods, services, works and utilities and achieve value for money on a whole life-cycle basis.

Eco-Brand: A name, symbol or design of products that are harmless to the environment.

Sustainable Consumption (SC): This shares a number of common features with and is closely linked to the terms sustainable production and sustainable development. SC is the use of goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations ( UNEP, 2010 ).

Consumer Attitudes: A composite of a consumer’s beliefs, feelings, and behavioural intentions toward some object within the context of marketing ( Ali and Wisniesk, 2010 ).

Consumerism: A social movement seeking to augment the rights and powers of consumers in relation to sellers ( Kotler, 1999 ).

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