Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing in:

Joachim H. Becker, Sven Pastoors, Ulrich Scholz, Rob van Dun

Towards Sustainable Innovation, page 275 - 294

A five step approach to sustainable change

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-3903-8, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-6655-3,

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
271 chapter 15: IntroductIon to green MarketIng Ulrich Scholz Summary Green marketing is a marketing strategy that focusses on the marketing of environmentally-friendly products and services. Green marketing, as understood here, is based on the concepts of eco-marketing and environmental marketing. These concepts are closely related to sustainability marketing and aim to achieve integration of ecological aspects in marketing. Green marketing can involve a number of different things, such as creating an eco-friendly product, using eco-friendly packaging, adopting sustainable business practices, or focusing marketing efforts on messages that communicate a product’s green benefits. Strategic sustainability marketing entails the links between the normative objectives (also including the vision) and the operative measures – the strategies. Strategic green marketing can be developed under various strategic options. A practically oriented possibility for developing a sustainable green marketing strategy is the use of the STP strategy. STP (Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning) is a famil- 272 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation iar strategic approach in modern marketing. It is one of the most commonly applied marketing models in practise. The primary aim of market segmentation is the creation of a high degree of conformity between the offered market services and the needs of the target groups. The segmenting level identifies the relevant market segments. Targeting selects specific market segments, and these selected market segments are successfully processed during positioning. Consumers who prefer to purchase green products even though they might be more expensive fall into the ‘LOHAS’ category. LO- HAS stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. The LOHAS target group wants to consciously and actively participate as a customer in the market for sustainable products and change the market offer. The aim of LOHAS is to enjoy their lives as long as possible and with a clear conscience. This includes a healthy lifestyle as well as creating a better world for subsequent generations. These consumers are active supporters of environmental health and are the biggest purchasers of green and socially responsible products. They also have the power to influence other consumers. 15.1 generation of the term green marketing Concepts for ecological marketing and environmental marketing were already developed at the end of the 1960s. However, these concepts were not pursued for a while, until emphasis was placed on consumers and consumption, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. Nowadays, for innovative and successful companies, it is necessity to achieve social acceptance. Thus, companies must demonstrate, among other things, that they conserve natural resources and raw materials. Companies must show recycling concepts for their products and must evidently establish ecological disposal concepts in their own operating facilities. In particular, companies must dem- 273 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing onstrate an ecological product policy. According to Jung (2006), it is essential for companies to be able to provide evidence of these points to consumers, providing they want to achieve acceptance within their corresponding target group (Jung, 2006, p.  707). Additionally, the company should also make the ecological alignment of the company clear for its employees. In doing so a sustainability strategy can be realised and plausibly lived out in the company (Meyer, 2011, p. 98). The early conflict between marketing and ecological problems can be traced back to public criticism regarding the commercial form of marketing, because in the eyes of many consumers, marketing manipulates consumer behaviour and thus leads to new needs and over proportional consumption (Henion/Kinnear, 1976, p.  67). Based on this criticism, marketing can be seen as the partial cause of ecological problems. The scientific answer to this was “advancement of marketing”. In doing this, companies incorporate the natural and social environment into their considerations (Belz, 1999, p. 56). Thus, the American Marketing Association (AMA) defines green marketing as follows: “The study of the positive and negative aspects of marketing activities on pollution, energy depletion and non-energy depletion.” (Henion/Kinnear, 1976, p. 87). In this first definition, the following three core statements were taken into consideration: • Green marketing is a part of the entire marketing activities • Green marketing examines the positive and negative activities on the environment • Green marketing examines environmentally-relevant topics 274 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation 15.2 sustainable marketing and green marketing Green marketing, as understood here, is based on the concepts of eco-marketing and environmental marketing. These concepts are closely related to sustainability marketing. The concepts were developed in the 1990s and aims to achieve integration of ecological aspects in marketing. The terms green marketing and “sustainable marketing” are often used synonymously. However, this is not correct, as the two terms differ from one another. According to Schmied (2009), this particularly applies to the targets aimed for. The basis of “ecological green marketing” is a strategic alignment of the entire company according to the ecological principle and the principles of “corporate social responsibility” (CSR). At the same time, CSR covers responsible acting by the company in respect to the market, environment and workplace (Schmied, 2009, p. 54). From this point of view, ecological green marketing is a part of environmental management. According to Balderjahn (2004), all the company’s activities must be regarded from ecological aspects. From supplier selection, to the production process and to delivery at the customer. All the measures in the framework of the value chain should be designed in such a way that environmental damage is limited or avoided. Naturally, this includes adherence to social aspects (Balderjahn, 2004, p. 39 seq.). In contrast, sustainable marketing refers primarily to the marketing area. Here, permanent customer relationship is the focus point of the efforts. Thus, the term sustainable marketing, used in English literature, is not the same as sustainability marketing. (Murphy, 2007, p. 1). Polonsky (2008) expands this definition based on traditional marketing definitions and includes protection of the environment. He takes the minimisation of the negative consequences of human consumption into consideration. According to Polonski, human consumption is generally burdening the environment, and the consequences 275 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing can only be minimised and not excluded: “Green or environmental marketing consists of all activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants, such that the satisfaction of these needs and wants occurs, with minimal detrimental impact on the natural environment.” (Polonski, 2008). Today, the AMA (2014) defines green marketing using the following activity focal points: • Retail “The marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe.” • Social dimension “The development and marketing of products designed to minimize negative effects on the physical environment or to improve its quality.” • Environment “The efforts by organizations to produce, promote, package, and reclaim products in a manner that is sensitive or responsive to ecological concerns.” Although companies are largely responsible for the environmental damage caused by their products, production methods, services, etc., customers are also jointly responsible. Without the interest and corresponding demand for more ecological products, sustainable products and services are not marketable. Moreover, it is an important task of green marketing “to generate the desire of the user and end-customer for ecological products and services and if necessary to influence the individual lifestyle and politics (Hackel, 2009, p. 37). Green marketing integrates social and ecological aspects in the marketing process. It includes the previously outlined task of eco-marketing. In other words, to generate the desire of the user for ecological products and services, and if necessary to influence the individual lifestyle and politics. In doing so, the aspect of social responsibility 276 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation in social marketing must also be taken into consideration. The other principles of relationship marketing, which are customer orientation, innovation, creating value and maintaining value, are used as the strategic bases of green marketing. Green marketing is, therefore, in comparison with a broader concept with a “triple bottom line” target. In the process, sustainable solutions are created and communicated to the customer with a higher sustainability value. While the customer’s wishes are satisfied, also the needs of all the other relevant stakeholders are taken into consideration (Charter et al., 2002, p. 32ff). This definition of green marketing allows the deduction that the aim is social and environmental-friendly acting of a company’s management. This includes its employees, suppliers and also the customers (as stipulated in the framework of corporate social responsibility). Successful green marketing is an important part of the new company strategy. According to Belz (2001), “green sustainability marketing” is for this reason defined as follows: “Green sustainable marketing [...] is at the same time constructive marketing and brings about long-term above-average success of companies [...] is effective and sustainable [...] supports chronology of measures and their effects so that new measures can be built upon earlier activities, and strengthen and expand them ... promotes clear positions of companies, develops relationships to the customer and other partners in the market. New solutions grow out of existing ones. Important are reliability, continuity, care and trust” (Belz, 2001, p. 3). 15.3 strategic green marketing There are a multitude of arguments for companies to introduce green marketing. An important reason is the differentiation from competitors, responsibility for corporate social responsibility, the respective production and target country’s laws, and the development of com- 277 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing petitive advantages. Strategic sustainability marketing deals with the links between the normative objectives (also including the vision) and the operative measures – the strategies. Therefore, the strategies have a long-term horizon (Hummel, 2000, p. 29f). Here a distinction is made between market decision and the market participant strategies. “With the aid of market selection strategies, the “market and competitive arena” and the shape of the market cultivation are presented in such a way that the relevant market participants can be determined” (Meffert/Burmann/Kirchgeorg, 2012, p. 293f). Through market selection strategies, the product-market combination is defined, as well as the geographic extent and the degree of differentiation in the handling in the market. The market participant strategies help to develop adequate action plans in the face of the relevant market participants, such as customers, retail, competitors and important stakeholders (Meffert/Burmann/Kirchgeorg, 2012, p. 293f). For sustainability marketing, the strategies aligned to the relevant stakeholder groups are of particular importance. Strategic marketing must not limit the analysis to the conditions of the market. Business activities on society, ecology and general social impacts should also be considered. Altogether, this leads to a company policy, which embraces the strategic challenges of these aspects, and accepts sustainability as a strategic framework for action. Strategic green marketing can be developed under various strategic options. A practically oriented possibility for developing a sustainable green marketing strategy is the use of the STP strategy. The aim of the STP strategy is the satisfaction of customer needs in the target market. The model covers the three levels of segmenting, targeting and positioning. These levels are necessary for strategic development. The splitting of a large heterogeneous market into smaller sub-markets is known as market segmentation. The primary aim of market segmentation is the creation of a high degree of conformity between the offered market services and the target groups’ needs. The segmenting level identifies the relevant market segments. Tar- 278 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation geting selects specific market segments that are particularly attractive, and these selected market segments are successfully processed during positioning. According to the STP approach a strategy can be developed using the following steps: • 1st step: Segmenting The whole market is split into sub-markets. Here, it must be ensured that the markets are internally homogenous, but are heterogeneous among each other. • 2nd step: Targeting Firstly, identification of the relevant target groups and secondly definition of the target market and the requirements for the respective targeting. • 3rd step: Positioning The company is considered from the customer’s perspective. companies must define what is specific about them in the eyes of the customer. Positioning aims to actively design a market within the relevant market. In doing so, the challenge for the company is the creation of unique benefits for the addressed target segment. There, a distinction must be made between inside out perspective (unique sustainability selling proposition26) and outside in perspective (unique sustainability buying reason27). 26 Unique sustainability selling proposition (USSP): Through USSP, the reason why customers should demand products from a particular company, and what is special about these products is communicated from the company’s point of view. The more evidence the company can provide with regard to its environmental strategy, the more it is perceived and acknowledged to be credible. This can be demonstrated equally well by adherence to ISO standards as by the publication of the environmental performance. 27 Unique sustainability buying reason (USBR): Through USBR, reasons for buying a product from a specific company are sought from the customer’s point of view. Obviously, this can be the ecological view of the customer, but also the ambition of the customer to belong to an elite group. 279 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing As soon as the STP strategy is developed, the strategy is further adjusted to the customer’s needs and also to the development status of the company. At the same time, differentiation is made in particular between normative, strategic, operative and transformative green marketing. Fig. 15.1: Development of a green marketing strategy Source: Belz/Peattie, 2009, p. 32. Here, the first step for the company deals with explaining the social and ecological problems within the company’s environment. The scope of this problem ranges from the working conditions for the employees (e.g. suppliers in developing countries) to the ecological consequences of extracting raw materials for its own products (e.g. (e.g. wealthy Americans buy electric cars in order to demonstrate that they can afford them). 280 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation raw material extraction in the Arctic and Antarctic). When these problems are identified from the company’s perspective, a comparison is made with the customer requirements. When the problem area is identified, the improvements for the company’s aim, vision and mission are documented (Step 3: normative green marketing). In the fourth step, the normative target levels are split into smaller strategic targets and are optimised in the framework of Step 5. In the 6th step (transformative green marketing), the company seeks to find a means to contribute to social change? Thus, companies can develop in three directions, which are decisive for the public credibility of the company. If companies try to present themselves as sustainable through only small changes, they must be assigned to the area of “tactical greening” and run the risk of being associated with “green washing”. “Quasi-strategic activities” indicate that companies are on the right track for sustainable management, but have not yet converted in every single area. In contrast “strategic green marketing” is, a sign that the company follows a holistic approach to sustainability and thus, attains the highest credibility in marketing. Fig. 15.2: The three steps of green marketing activities in companies 3 steps of green marketing activities: • Tactical greening Covers the implementation of minor changes. • Quasi-strategic activities Extensive changes, also in marketing campaigns. • Strategic green marketing Holistic approach, all environmental aspects integrated into every operating area of a company in coordination with all the measures. Source: Own presentation. 281 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing According to Belz and Peattie (2009), these three company groups of sustainable companies attract three different customer groups. These three customer groups can be split into customers described as socio-ecologically active, reactive or passive. Fig. 15.3: The different groups of customer for green marketing Three different customer groups for green marketing: • Socio-ecologically active customer • Socio-ecologically reactive customer • Socio-ecologically passive customer Source: Sinus Markt- und Sozialforschung, 4/2011, p. 16. A customer described as a socio-ecologically active customer is one who actively and intensively seeks information about the origin, production conditions and environmental impact of the products he or she buys. These customers refuse companies and their products if these are classified as environmentally problematic. The active customers are very active and communicative in social media, and take on the role of the opinion leader. The socio-ecologically reactive customers are different. While this group also pays attention to how environmental-friendly products are, the buying behaviour of this customer group is not so fundamentally ecological as the group of active customers. This group is also more price-sensitive, and makes purchasing decisions based on the price. Socio-ecologically passive customers, in contrast, neither actively nor passively seek information about sustainability. Their purchasing decision regarding sustainable products is dependent on the price and situation. With regard to the customer reaction, it is problematic for companies, when those company types listed in Figure 15.2 are confronted with the customer groups listed in Figure 15.3. Figure 15.4 shows the customer reactions that can be triggered. The negative effects on the customers are clearly visible if a company is only tactically green. 282 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation In comparison, those companies that present themselves as sustainable and that can also provide appropriate evidence of their actions receive positive reactions. Fig. 15.4: Comparison of the company’s strategic orientation and customer approach Customer approach Company’s Strategic orientation Socioecologically Active customer Socio-ecologically reactive customer Socio-ecologically passive customer Tactically green Active negative word of mouth propaganda via customers in every media Negative approach of the customer towards the company Mid-term negative approach of the customer towards the company Quasi-strategically green Critical approach towards the company Neutral approach towards the company. Company is in the evoked set of the customer Neutral approach towards the company Strategically green Positive word of mouth propaganda via customers Positive approach towards company. Company is in the evoked set of the company Neutral approach towards the company Source: Own presentation. 283 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing 15.4 The “lohas” segment Since the end of the 1990s, two Swiss companies in the food industry have been pursuing the goal of winning over a new ecological target group. Retailers Coop and Migros have carried out the new target group. In addition to their usual programme, both offer a comprehensive range of controlled ecological cultivation (Belz, 2003, p. 45) for an ecologically savvy target group. What was still revolutionary at the end of the 1990s, belongs to fundamental company strategy in every sector today. Meanwhile, ecological strategies are even pursued in the automotive sector, which is showcased by the development electric cars and hybrid or hydrogen motors. However, the customer only recognises the appeal if the individual benefits are made sufficiently transparent. Additionally, the success of ecological products is strongly dependent on the credibility of the company and their ecological products (Hansen/Bode, 1999, p. 426). Simultaneously, the evidence of ecological quality often represents a costly and problematic undertaking (Schaltegger et al. 2002, p. 73). It is increasingly important to realise precise targeting and to define the target group in advance. Nowadays, the customers want to assume responsibility. Responsibility does not only mean that customers recognise the causes of erroneous trends. It also means that customers assume the responsibility for the consequences of their actions and actively look to eliminate misunderstandings. Therefore, in the face of the global complexity of economic processes, not only companies and governments, but also customers (consumers) are committed to deal with tasks of responsibility. Last but not least, increased sales of sustainable products demonstrate that things have changed in recent years. To illustrate, despite the economic crisis, the sales of fair-trade products rose by 21 % in 2009, (Kögel 2011). However, what does the target group look like that primarily demands these products? Is it a small social minority or can a trend already be recognised? Considering the extremely rapidly grow- 284 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation ing market, a new trend can be confirmed. The market potential of “LOHAS”28, that covers consumer groups that follow a “lifestyle of health und sustainability”, is estimated to be almost 200 billion Euro in Germany alone (Schulz, 2008, p. 57). The LOHAS target group wants to consciously and actively participate as a customer in the market for sustainable products and change the market offerings of companies. The aim of these consumers is to enjoy their lives as long as possible and with a clear conscience. This includes a healthy lifestyle as well as creating a better world for subsequent generations. The conscious demand and purchasing of sustainable products should result in companies acting in a fair and environmentalfriendly manner. It describes a lifestyle – or rather consumer types, that want to promote health and sustainability through its consumption behaviour and targeted product selection. For these target group, it is not about denial, but about pleasure with a clear conscience. The LOHAS target group wants to remain physically and mentally fit for as long as possible and only cause as little damage to the environment as possible while doing so. An important characteristic of the group is that it does not want to forgo fun. Fig. 15.5: Characteristics of the “LOHAS” target group Characteristics of LOHAS • Values: Authenticity, truthfulness, naturalness, responsibility, commitment, activism, holistic approach, harmony, autonomy • Aims: Fair trade, justice, healthy environment, self-realisation, cooperation, community, physically, mentally and spiritually in tune, personal further development • Properties: Critical, examining, questioning, social, curious, creative, self-assured, demanding, harmonious, integrated, idealistic Source: Own presentation. 28 The paraphrasing of the group as “LOHAS” was used for the first time in the book “The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million are changing the World” by the American sociologist Paul Ray in the year 2000. 285 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing LOHAS consumer are especially influenced and characterised by the topics sustainability, humans, technology and health. They are strongly integrated within their social group, allow themselves to be influenced by the social group and, due to their strong technological affinity, communicate with each other using social networks. In the future, LOHAS-relevant topics will expand greatly and become relevant for economic and social development. With it, ethical, social and ecological responsibility is gaining in importance for companies and becoming the basis for their economic success. The increasing number of companies also reaching this insight proves the increased number of members in the Global Compact of the United Nations. According to the United Nations, over 10,000 companies and interest groups from 145 countries were represented in Global Impact in 2012 (United Nations, 2012). Global Impact is the largest international initiative in the area of corporate social responsibility in which companies commit to adhering to the principles within human rights, industrial relations, environmental protection and the fight against corruption. 15.5 green marketing and sustainable innovation From an economic point of view, green marketing entails the communication of sustainable, environmentally friendly products and ecological business models to respective target groups and motivates them to buy those products. However, green marketing should also explain to customers that there is an environmentally friendly alternative for their demand. But from an economic point of view, innovations also represent the development of new products, the shaping of new business models and the development of new and futureproof value chains (Unternehmer, 2014, p. 17). Sustainable products and green marketing of these products do not necessarily involve revolutionary approaches. Often, optimisation of the existing processes is productive, or makes products more environmentally friend- 286 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation ly and convinces customers of this with facts – be they B2C or B2B customers. A good, well-designed environmental balance can therefore form a good approach for green marketing. But there is a creative thought at the start of every innovation, a new angle to a known problem or unusual handling of challenges that apparently cannot be solved. The customer, at whom those innovations are targeted, decides whether a new idea turns out to be a self-supporting sustainable innovation. The acceptance by society and the market defines the success of the innovation. Green marketing thus supports the company’s efforts in convincing the customer that the offered products or services contribute to solving the problem. In doing so, the tasks of green marketing are to incorporate the trends for digitalisation and individualisation, to respond to changing customer requirements and to integrate technological solutions into marketing. Green marketing therefore changes from being one-way communication to becoming a dialogue with the customer. Thus, connectivity is of key importance in green marketing. In this context, connectivity means collaboration between several companies in order to resolve a customer requirement. This can have technical reasons (e.g. the collaboration of Google and Novartis for the realisation of a smart contact lens to monitor blood sugar levels) or communicative (e.g. the collaboration between car manufacturer Opel and energy provider RWE in the area of electro mobility). The “eMobility lounge” in the NH-Hotel Berlin Friedrichstrasse An additional example of this connectivity in green marketing is a recent project by the NH-Hotel Group for the promotion of electric vehicles. Since 2012, NH Berlin’s lobby has enabled interested guests and visitors extensively experience electro mobility, intelligent energy, and exactly how easy it is to charge an E-vehicle. Those who are interested can then immediately rent an e-bike, Segway, electric moped or e-car for an environmentally friendly trip through Berlin. An e-taxi has been available for all hotel guests and visitors from outside Berlin since 2013. 287 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing The “eMobility lounge” in NH Berlin Friedrichstrasse was brought to life together with energy provider RWE. It supplements the hotel’s general concierge service and aims to make both all the inhabitants of Berlin and international visitors familiar with electro mobility. Based on the positive resonance of this initiative, the Berlin agency for electro mobility ‚eMO’ has been the official co-operator of the Lounge since 2014. (cf. Wewoda 2014, p. 18ff). Sustainable innovation, however, does not always need to be revolutionary; it also moves in small steps. Green marketing is not necessarily limited to the marketing of a single company; it can also be performed very well in cooperation with other companies. At the same time, it is certain that the consumer cannot comprehend a sudden green image transformation of the company. The effort to position companies and products positively by means of green marketing can be counterproductive if the company and its products are not sustainable and environmentally friendly. Companies must realise that especially environmentally- and socially conscience consumers are avid Internet users with big networks. Diverse on-line media, social media networks, NGOs, communities, bloggers and twitter users communicate with one another – openly and with constantly growing coverage – about companies, their products and messages. Hence, false or confusing advertising claims have been discovered more than once and have led to a real communication meltdown for companies. Ultimately, “green washing” damages not only the company involved, but also those who honestly and truly introduce green and sustainable products. Green marketing means inducing positive environmentally and socially acceptable changes in all business areas. From purchasing to production, from sales to marketing. In addition to these areas, all individuals involved in the company also play an important role. Companies should not only communicate these changes to their customers, but also to their employees, suppliers and shareholders. 288 Pastoors · Scholz · Becker · van Dun: Towards Sustainable Innovation Training questions: 1. Define the term green marketing. 2. Name and explain the steps for the development of a green marketing strategy. 3. Explain the different customer groups in green marketing. 4. Explain the concept of LOHAS. Give particular detail here about the definitions of the target groups and their characteristics. Recommended literature Balderjahn, I. (2004): Nachhaltiges Marketing Management – Möglichkeiten einer umwelt- und sozialverträglichen Unternehmenspolitik, Stuttgart Belz, F.M. (2003): Marketing Strategies in the Age of Sustainable Development, München Belz, F.M./Peattie, K. (2009): Sustainability Marketing, Glasgow Charter, M. et al. (2002): Marketing and Sustainability Hackel, M. (2009): Sustainable Design Hansen, U./Bode, M. (1999): Marketing & Konsum, München. Henion, K.E./Kinnear, T.C. (1976): Ecological Marketing, American Marketing Association 1976 Hummel, K. (2000): Nachhaltigkeitsmarketing Jung, H. (2006): Allgemeine Betriebswirtschaftslehre 289 Chapter 15: Introduction to green marketing Kögel, Annette (2011): Fairtrade wächst, in: Tagesspiegel 17.03.2011 Meffert, Heribert/Christoph Burmann/Manfred Kirchgeorg (2012): Marketing: Grundlagen marktorientierter Unternehmensführung. Konzepte – Instrumente – Praxisbeispiele, Heidelberg. Polonsky, M.J. (2008): Cleaning up environmental marketing claims, New York Schaltegger, S./Synnestvedt, T. (2001): The forgotten Link between “Green” and Economic Success Lüneburg and Sanvika Schmied, M. (2009): Traumziel Nachhaltigkeit, Heidelberg Sinus Markt- und Sozialforschung (2001), 4/2011 United Nations (2012): Global Impact. Online: Wewoda, Frank (2014): Greenmeetiungs und Events – Schaufenster in die Stadt der Zukunft: in: Tagungswirtschaft: Green Meetings, 11/2014.

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With sustainability having gained a lot of momentum over the last years and companies implementing strategies to create corporate sustainability, there are lots of opportunities for innovation. Thus, the two concepts of sustainability and innovation should not be considered separately – they are closely interlinked with one another. The main goal of sustainable innovation is to develop new products and technologies that have a positive impact on the company’s triple-bottom-line. To meet this aim, they have to be ecologically and economically beneficial as well as socially balanced.

In order to help companies to improve their sustainable innovation process practically, this book is structured into five possible phases of a sustainable innovation process:

Awareness of a sustainability problem

Identification & Definition of the problem

Ideation & Evaluation of the solutions

Testing & Enrichment of the solutions

Implementation of the solutions & Green Marketing