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Sustainable Business Marketing Techniques

In 2014, most consumers are aware of companies that have been, or are positioning themselves, as environmentally friendly. While this trend shows no real sign of slowing down, there are many businesses out there which are employing an unethical tactic known as greenwashing. Instead of actually being passionate about sustainability and lowering their bottom line, there are some organizations who simply try to appear that way. The idea being to cash in on consumers who are increasingly spending according to company stance on social and political issues. This article will highlight some companies who are legitimate and elements you can look for that indicate a company is not greenwashing their offerings.

Patagonia

Patagonia is an outdoor gear company that was founded in California as a rock climbing company. Their growth, from the beginning, has been completely organic and Patagonia does pride itself on a low marketing budget. Because of this natural growth, their company is comprised of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers who depend on their products daily, which means if Patagonia didn't have their initiative for environmental concerns, they would feel pressure on their wallet.

A program was created by Patagonia, called 1% for the Planet. This program allows businesses and individuals to pledge at least 1% of sales to be donated to selected non profits that are environmentally focused. You can rest assured that a company setting up a similar fund, or any company that is apart of 1% is not greenwashing.

Print Experts

Print Experts are a copying and printing service company nestled away in Boulder, Colorado. Founded many years ago, Print Experts noticed that their business industry was inherently damaging to the environment and produced a large carbon footprint. Being passionate about protecting and conserving the environment, Print Experts launched their program called EcoLogic

According to their website:

"EcoLogic is our way of communicating our commitment to developing sound, sustainable business solutions for the future. It isn’t just a series of certifications and initiatives we can brag about. It’s the core of who we are and how we interact with customers, the community, and the entire world."

Further, Print Experts has decided to run their business of 100% renewable energy (yeah, you read that right), has accomplished 90% waste diversion, undergoes tree replanting efforts and offsets their carbon footprint. This is what sets a business apart from companies that simply want to greenwash.

Comments? Thoughts? Do you have a great example of a company leading the way in marketing their progressive environmentally focused programs?