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May 2015

A Study on Current Status of Green Marketing in North India

Dr. Bhagwan Singh#1, Sachin Kumar#2

#1Head of Department

Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management [M&SCM]

School of Business & Management Studies [SBMS]

Central University of Himachal Pradesh [CUHP]

TAB Shahpur, Dharamshala, H. P.

Mobile: 091-9816481037, E-mail ID: bhagwansingh.bs@gmail.com

#2Research Scholar

Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management [M&SCM]

School of Business & Management Studies [SBMS]

Central University of Himachal Pradesh [CUHP]

TAB Shahpur, Dharamshala, H. P.

Mobile: 091-8988156444, E-mail ID: sachincuhp@gmail.com

 

Abstract

Now-a-days a common word is popular as eco-friendly and everyone seems to love the nature. Our mother earth is suffering from many environmental issues and globally the governments are also thinking about environmental protection at their priority level. The companies are willfully or legally forced to adopt the policies to safeguard the environment and serve the society.

Since a long, majority of researches are focused on green marketing, and even then negligible counts of people are aware of this phenomenon. This projection leads us to think about working on Green marketing. This paper provides a concise framework of what green marketing actually is? Why it is becoming recognized, and which biggest players across the globe are adopting green marketing?

This study will be beneficial to those people who are thinking to buy the green and environmental friendly products in North India. People from North India may be in a dilemma regarding which companies are green in reality? What company they should prefer while preferring green products?

Keywords: North India, Green marketing, Eco/Environmental friendly.

1.     Introduction

Now-a-days a common word is popular as eco-friendly and everyone seems to love the nature. Our mother earth is suffering from many environmental issues and globally the governments are also thinking about environmental protection at their priority level. The companies are willfully or legally forced to adopt the policies to safeguard the environment and serve the society. These projections lead us to think about working on Green marketing.

In an article published by Nielsen in Business Standard naming “Indians prefer eco-friendly products” it was found that while shopping a majority of Indians do think for the impact of their purchasing on the environment and sustainability. The survey findings revealed 79% of consumers showed faith in recyclable packaging and 86% of the Indian consumers believe in energy efficient products and appliances.

India is among the top three countries within Asia Pacific that have a great interest in eco-friendly products. The survey found that in India, 9 out of 10 people were concerned about air and water pollution, whereas 8 out of 10 people thought that climate change was an important environmental issue (Press Trust of India, 2013, June 17). It’s not the environmental issue alone; rather these are a chain of issues those are threatening the world.

Climate change, deforestation, energy, increase in population, loss of bio-diversity, over fishing, pollution, threat of disease, waste and water are 10 biggest environmental issues that are threatening the modern world (Miles, E., May 30, 2013).

A marketer has to cope-up his strategies as per these rising environmental issues. The energy resources should be utilized in an optimum manner otherwise the world will face the scarcity of resources. The waste disposal is a bigger issue, which a marketer can solve by focusing on recycling.

Moreover, all these threats are interrelated, raise each other if ignored. These issues if considered in a positive manner for betterment of society as well as environment can lead to make companies work for green marketing. All these aspects are of great concern which can enhance the level of green marketing adopted by the marketers and intern developing green buying behavior by customers.

2.     Defining Green Marketing

A large number of researchers have given their best to explain green marketing. Due to globalization various factors such as a tremendous increase in population growth, global warming has been threatening the future of human beings, with the exhaustion of natural resources. This has escorted to the development of “Green Marketing” concept, (Sevil, 2011). Green Marketing broadly refers to the promotion or advertising of products with environmental concerns. It includes activities like product modification, changes in the process of production, packaging change as well as modifying the advertising.

Green marketing process includes the activities that are designed to satisfy the human needs and wants, by delivering environmental friendly goods (Polonsky, 1994) & (Soonthomsai, 2007). It is, also alternatively known as environmental marketing and sustainable marketing, as it involves designing; promoting, pricing and distributing the products those will not harm the environment (Pride, 1993).

The Asian Countries are implementing the green marketing from developed countries but still there is a wide gap between their understanding and implantation of green marketing (Verma, P., Verma, R. & Verma, M. 2013)

Green marketing has received a considerable attention in the last few years by both practitioners and academicians. The environmentalism movement has started the business firms to behave in eco-responsible manner. The firms started green marketing by redesigning the products, packaging and advertisement to gain the consumer attention, (Junaedi, S. 2012)

As it is clear from the above dialogues Green Marketing, is the marketing of products which are Eco/environmentally friendly with respect to their production; packaging; usage and disposal, consumer health oriented, sustainable, with fair/affordable pricing and above all are renewed.

Henceforth, we define Green Marketing as “it is making consumers aware by promoting and selling green products which are recyclable, health oriented, eco/environmental friendly in terms of MPDU (manufacturing, packaging, distributing & using), available at affordable prices”.

3.     Top Green Brands in India & World

The Green brands survey is done every year to find out the best green brand in the world. The website lists 50 top green brands every year.

 

 

 

Table 3.1(A): Top 10 Green Brands in World (2011-2012) among 50

Best Green Brands 2011

Best Green Brands 2012

Ranking

Brand

Country

Sector

Brand

Country

Sector

1

Toyota

Japan

Automotive

Toyota

Japan

Automotive

2

3M

United

States

Diversified

Johnson

& Johnson

United

States

FMCG

3

Siemens

Germany

Diversified

Honda

Japan

Automotive

4

Johnson & Johnson

United

States

FMCG

Volkswagen

Germany

Automotive

5

HP

United

States

Technology

HP

United

States

Technology

6

Volkswagen

Germany

Automotive

Panasonic

Japan

Electronics

7

Honda

Japan

Automotive

Dell

United

States

Technology

8

Dell

United

States

Technology

Siemens

Germany

Diversified

9

Cisco

United

States

Technology

Danone

France

FMCG

10

Panasonic

Japan

Electronics

BMW

Germany

Automotive

Source: Best Global Green Brands 2011 (2011); Best Global Green Brands 2012 (2012)

Table 3.1(B): Top 10 Green Brands in World (2013-2014)

Ranking

Best Green Brands 2013

Best Green Brands 2014

 

Brand

Country

Sector

Brand

Country

Sector

1

Toyota

Japan

Automotive

Ford

United

States

Automotive

2

Ford

United

States

Automotive

Toyota

Japan

Automotive

3

Honda

Japan

Automotive

Honda

Japan

Automotive

4

Panasonic

Japan

Electronics

Nissan

Japan

Automotive

5

Nissan

Japan

Automotive

Panasonic

Japan

Electronics

6

Johnson

& Johnson

United

States

FMCG

Nokia

Finland

Electronics

7

Volkswagen

Germany

Automotive

Sony

Japan

Electronics

8

Danone

France

FMCG

Adidas

Germany

Sporting Goods

9

Nokia

Finland

Electronics

Danone

France

FMCG

10

Dell

United

States

Technology

Dell

United

States

Technology

Source: Best Global Green Brands 2013 (2013); Best Global Green Brands 2014 (2014)

 

Interbrand has been publishing a list of about 50 green brands (Best Global Green Brands) from worldwide every year since 2011. During these three years 2011-2013 Toyota is in number one position as a green brand in the world except for 2014 where Ford occupies first position in the list. All the selected brands are from Europe in the majority, very few are from Asia, but no Brand is found from the Indian origin working for environmental protection on global ranking.

But, India is also not behind in this race of participating in best practice environmental and carbon management, and sustainability practices. Maximum of these belong to the energy and government organizations. Brand Names like Johnson and Johnson Ltd., Chillibreeze, IBM, LG Electronics, PNB, Tata Motors and Hero Honda Motors are some of the green corporate in India (Environment-friendly companies in India, Window2India). Rediff has also listed 11 companies as green in India like; LG, HCL, Haier, Samsung, Voltas, Panasonic, Nokia, Wipro, MRF Tyres, ACC, Fevicoal, Grassroot. Most of these companies belong to electronic sector (Here are some of India's leading 'green' companies, June 3, 2011).

4.     Research Methodology

4.1 Objectives of study

4.1.1 To find out current status of Green Marketing in North India

4.1.2 To find out correlation between different variables promoting Green Marketing

4.2 Hypotheses of Research

H01: There is insignificant difference between genders from North India regarding their awareness about Green Marketing

HA2: There is a significant correlation among different variables for promoting Green Marketing in highlights

4.3 Sampling & Scope of study

Among 1020 respondents which have been randomly selected as a sample population from three states of North India (Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and J&K) on the basis of literacy rate, as per Census of India, 2011, 900 respondents were taken into consideration for this study.

This study is limited to North Indian consumers only. This study will help Indian customers to gain insights about Green Marketing. The study also aims to make people aware about the companies which are practicing green measures. It can help people to buy products of these green companies during their future purchases.

 

5.     Analysis: Awareness about Green Marketing in North India

Table 5.1: Awareness about Green Marketing

Awareness about Green Marketing

 

Percentage

Frequency

Valid

Not at all familiar

5.1%

46

Slightly familiar

13.3%

120

Neutral

15.1%

136

Moderately familiar

45.4%

409

Extremely familiar

21.0%

189

Total

100.0

900

Source: Primary data (2013-14)

The table 5.1 reveals the awareness of people from North India about Green Marketing. The results show that 66.4% of respondents are familiar with Green Marketing, 15.1 % were confused about their opinion, and 13.3% are slightly familiar about green marketing. Only 5.1% of respondents stated that they are not familiar with Green Marketing. The survey results matches to some extent with Maheshwari & Malhotra (2011). This shows that majority of people from North India are of opinion that they are familiar with Green Marketing.

Table 5.2: Awareness about Green Marketing and its relation with the demographics of the respondents (Pearson Chi-square test)

 

 

Age

Income

Education

Occupation

Area

Marital Status

District

State

Chi-square value

14.295

31.458

13.738

40.046

6.465

13.305

106.419

15.004

df

8

8

12

20

4

4

32

8

Sig.

0.074

0.000

0.318

0.005

0.167

0.010

0.000

0.059

Research Outcome

No relation

Relation/ Effect

No relation

Relation/ Effect

No relation

Relation/ Effect

Relation/ Effect

Relation/ Effect

Source: Primary data (2013-14)

The table 5.2 presents the relationship between demographic factors and awareness about Green Marketing. The table shows that there is strong relationship between awareness about Green Marketing and Income, Occupation, marital status and district, but for demographic variables like Age, Education, Area and State there is found no relationship.

Table 5.3 (A): Group Statistics for Significant difference among Genders regarding Awareness about Green Marketing

 

Group Statistics

 

Gender

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Awareness about Green Marketing

Male

567

3.62

1.131

0.047

Female

333

3.68

1.066

0.058

 

 

Table 5.3 (B): Independent Samples Test for Significant difference among Genders regarding Awareness about Green Marketing

 

Independent Samples Test

 

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

t-test for Equality of Means

F

Sig.

t

df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean Difference

Std. Error Difference

95% Confidence Interval of the Difference

Lower

Upper

Awareness about Green Marketing

Equal variances assumed

2.307

0.129

-0.764

898

0.445

-0.058

0.076

-0.208

0.092

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-0.776

729.351

.438

-0.058

0.075

-0.206

0.089

Source: Primary data (2013-14)

 

The Table 5.3 (A) and 5.3 (B) shows the awareness of genders towards Green Marketing. The group statistic table 5.3 (A) illustrates that there were 567 male and 333 female respondents in the study. The mean value for awareness of male is 3.62 and for female is 3.68, which is more in case of female. The value of standard deviation for male and female are 1.131 and 1.066 respectively.

The independent sample test table 5.3 (B) represents the Levene’s test for equality of variance and t-test for equality of means. Since the value of Levene’s test is not significant p = 0.129 (p> 0.05), so statistics associated with equal variance assumed has been use for further analysis. The value of t statistic for equal variance assumed is - 0.764 with 898 degrees of freedom. The corresponding two tailed p-value is 0.445, which is greater than 0.05. Therefore we reject the alternate hypothesis at 5% significance level. This shows that there is insignificant difference between genders from North India regarding their awareness about Green Marketing. Hence null hypothesis (H01) is accepted.

The study result corresponds to study of Ramanakumar, Manojkrishnan, & Suma, (2012) conducted in Kerala Province of India, which claims that the awareness about Green Marketing among genders is same. But the findings contradict with the results of Lee, (2009); Bui, (2004); Smith, (2010); Chaubey, Patra, & Joshi, (2011) which concluded that there exists difference among gender regarding awareness about Green Marketing. These studies claimed that Female possess more knowledge about Green Marketing since they have strong positive environmental attitude.

The study contradicted these studies is may be due to cross cultural differences. Since, all contradicted the studies have been conducted in other countries of world, the cross-cultural difference may appear. The study results matches with results of Ramanakumar, Manojkrishnan, & Suma, (2012) because this study was conducted in Kerala Province of India.

 

Table 5.4 (A): Reasons for Green Marketing in Highlights

 

Descriptive Statistics

Name of Variable

Variable Number

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Customers are becoming aware of green/eco-friendly products

V5.4.1

900

3.72

1.086

Web Based Marketing/ Internet is promoting green/eco-friendly products

V5.4.2

900

3.67

1.087

Consumers are now focusing on the environmental issues

V5.4.3

900

3.62

1.150

Government and companies are taking necessary steps in this regard

V5.4.4

900

3.58

1.191

 

Valid N (list wise)

900

 

 

Source: Primary data (2013-14)

The descriptive statistics tables 5.4 show that for each variable the 900 respondents participated in the survey. All the four variables are equally responsible for highlighting Green Marketing. But, the mean value of 3.72 for variable 5.4.1 (Customer’s rising awareness about green/eco-friendly products) states that majority of respondents responded on a favourable scale. The correlations table 5.4 (B) shows that variables from 5.4.1 to 5.4.4 are positively and significantly correlated to each other. Thus alternate hypothesis (HA2) is accepted that there is a significant correlation among different variables for promoting Green Marketing in highlights

Table 5.4 (B): Correlations among variables

Correlations

 

V5.4.1

V5.4.2

V5.4.3

V5.4.4

V5.4.1

Pearson Correlation

1

0.421**

0.385**

0.427**

Sig. (2-tailed)

 

0.000

0.000

0.000

N

900

900

900

900

V5.4.2

Pearson Correlation

0.421**

1

0.359**

0.364**

Sig. (2-tailed)

0.000

 

0.000

0.000

N

900

900

900

900

V5.4.3

Pearson Correlation

0.385**

0.359**

1

0.432**

Sig. (2-tailed)

0.000

0.000

 

0.000

N

900

900

900

900

V5.4.4

Pearson Correlation

0.427**

0.364**

0.432**

1

Sig. (2-tailed)

0.000

0.000

0.000

 

N

900

900

900

900

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

Source: Primary data (2013-14)

6.     Conclusion

As defined by us “Green Marketing is making consumers aware by promoting and selling green products which are recyclable, health oriented, eco/environmental friendly in terms of MPDU (Manufacturing, Packaging, Distributing & Using), available at affordable prices”, we perceive that the current status of Green Marketing in North India is gaining importance and having awareness. With the rising of consumer consciousness about the environmental protection, Green Marketing is developing as a new buzz word.

Most of the respondents from North India are familiar with Green Marketing. Respondents, income, occupation, marital status and district have a strong relationship with awareness about Green Marketing, irrespective of their age, education, area and state. The marketers should plan out the strategies as per the respondent’s characteristics to achieve better results. The genders from North India possess similar awareness about Green Marketing, so the gender specific strategies perhaps may not work in India. Rather, other demographic variables like income, occupation, marital status and district of respondents, if focused and targeted may provide better results. The study also explored that customer rising awareness about green or eco-friendly products; promotion of green or eco-friendly products by Web Based Marketing/ Internet; consumer focus on the environmental issues and necessary initiatives taken by the government and corporate are the main reasons for highlighting Green Marketing.

The customers at the time of purchase must consider the environmental benefits of the products and if not, at least those products should be bought which do not harm the environment. The customer must check the eco-benefits by visiting the websites of the company before purchasing. The Web Based advertising media can be a good tool to direct people towards eco-friendly products.

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