The Ethics of Green Marketing: Balancing Profit and Planet

3 min readMay 27, 2023

The market is shifting for the better in the 2020s, brands that championed the idea of sustainability win the heart of the customer and to show their effort, they used Green Marketing. According to a systematic review of the literature, green marketing can be defined as “strategies to promote products by employing environmental claims either about their attributes or about the systems, policies, and processes of the firms that manufacture or sell them”. In short, Green marketing is the promotion of environmentally friendly products, services, and initiatives.

Green marketing can be an effective way to increase sales. According to a study by Nielsen, 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Another study by Unilever found that its sustainable brands grew 46% faster than the rest of its business in 2017.

Other than Unilever, these are some other brands that utilize Green Marketing in their business :

  1. Patagonia: Patagonia is a clothing company that has made sustainability a core part of its brand. The company uses recycled materials in its products and encourages customers to repair their clothes instead of buying new ones. Patagonia also donates 1% of its sales to environmental causes.
  2. Starbucks: Starbucks is a coffee company that has made sustainability a core part of its brand. The company has invested heavily in various social and environmental initiatives in recent years, such as reducing waste and increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
  3. The Body Shop: The Body Shop is a cosmetics company that has made sustainability a core part of its brand. The company uses natural ingredients in its products and does not test on animals. The Body Shop also supports fair trade and community trade initiatives around the world.
  4. Ikea: Ikea is a furniture company that has made sustainability a core part of its brand. The company uses renewable energy sources in its stores and has committed to using only renewable and recycled materials in its products by 2030.

Green marketing can be effective in increasing sales, but it is important for companies to be transparent and honest about their environmental claims. Consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of greenwashing, which is when companies make false or misleading environmental claims.

Companies can ensure their green marketing claims are honest by following these general principles:

  1. Qualifications and disclosures: Marketers should use plain language to ensure claims, qualifications, and disclosures are clear, prominent, and understandable.
  2. Distinctions between benefits of product, package, and service: Marketers should be clear as to which aspect of a product or service the environmental claim refers to.
  3. Comparative claims: Marketers should ensure that comparative environmental claims are based on sound science and are not misleading.
  4. Third-party certifications: Marketers should use third-party certifications or endorsements that are based on sound scientific standards.
  5. Transparency: Marketers should be transparent about the environmental benefits of their products or services.

To launch campaigns encompassing the five, might be a tough endeavor, but now marketers can engage with their customer base using smart tools. Tools such as Gratitude.

Gratitude enables businesses to become transparent by being powered by blockchain technology, with easy-to-use tools to record their supply chain, narrate the story, verify on blockchain and present the data in a beautiful landing page that can be issued via Gratitude’s QR Code or URL that can be placed on a physical product or embedded on digital marketing campaign or label. With this QR code, brands can put in place localized material or descriptions of their product so that the product can quickly hit the shelves while the full localization in progress. Customers can then simply scan the QR codes placed on the product or click the link on a digital campaign and clearly see the product’s journey, verify sustainability claims, or even company and brand stories that the company wants to reveal to the customer in language that they are familiar with.

Begin your business’ true transparency journey by implementing Gratitude to unlock the hidden value of your supply chain data. Talk to our representatives via the following channels for support or assistance in implementation:

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