Environmentally safe products are viewed today as an attractive marketing opportunity for organizations, allowing marketers to entice the increasing share of conscious consumers concerned about global well-being. This option may be especially lucrative for rapidly developing markets such as India and China. Below are the top 10 opportunities for green marketing that are especially relevant to emerge economies.
Green Marketing in Emerging Economies
1. Biodegradable Sanitary Products
The consumption of disposable sanitary products such as sanitary napkins and baby diapers has been steadily increasing in emerging economies in recent years. In such markets as India, they have become an environmental threat as more people start using them due to their growing incomes. Multinational consumer goods makers are facing backlash from environmental activists and consumers over the environmental damage caused by sanitary and diaper waste. Synthetic materials like Rayon are increasingly replacing cotton and other plant-based materials in the production of diapers and sanitary napkins. Hence, environmentally conscious marketers should be concerned with the provision of recycling and utilization options for these non-biodegradable products in order to address these criticisms.
2. Water- and Energy-Saving Laundry Detergents
The production of water- and energy-saving laundry detergents is a good green marketing opportunity in some emerging markets with scarce resources. Clean water is becoming a rare commodity in emerging economies like China due to the increasing population and rapid urbanization. Consumer goods manufacturers need to think about the alternatives to the laundry detergents marketed in the western countries that require a lot of water for washing the clothes. Additionally, many stain removal products only work with hot water, which takes additional energy. New generation detergents made with advanced chemical compounds and enzymes promise to remove tough stains using smaller amounts of cold water. The use of natural ingredients like coconut oil and natural washing soda in the production of laundry detergents also makes them environmentally friendly and facilitates water treatment and purification.
3. Environmentally Friendly Fuels
The production of environmentally friendly fuels is a green marketing opportunity that could be explored by enterprising energy corporations in emerging markets. All growing economies will have to heavily rely on fossil fuels for passenger and commercial transportation in the foreseeable future until renewable energy sources become commercially viable. However, fossil fuels pollute the environment by emitting carbon and other harmful chemicals. The marketing of fossil fuels mixed with biodiesel produced from oilseed and ethanol produced from corn can make fuels friendlier to the environment as these materials are carbon-free. While some emerging economies like Brazil have already taken initiative on the use of biofuels, other developing countries are lagging behind due to the lack of know-how and the lack of local businesses’ motivation. Major multinational energy companies can utilize this window of opportunity and market environmentally friendly fuels mixed with biofuels globally.
4. Geothermal Energy
Unlike wind and solar energy plants depending on sunshine and wind flow, geothermal energy plants can operate on a continuous basis. These installations use earth-produced heat ranging from 392°F at the upper boundary to 7,230°F near the Earth’s crust to produce electricity. Production of geothermal energy has become viable due to the recent advancements in the technology. However, emerging economies are still lagging behind in utilizing this opportunity. Developing countries like South Africa and Brazil that are located in hot regions can realize immense benefits in terms of geothermal energy production. This innovation and other environmentally friendly technologies are a good green marketing opportunity for resource-rich and innovative western energy companies. The focus on such emerging technologies may also help them to diversify their businesses from traditional corporations extracting and selling fossil fuels.
Aquacultures based on environmentally friendly practices is a great green marketing opportunity in emerging markets. Overfished zones in the oceans due to ever-growing populations in many emerging economies pose a threat to the human food chain. Many rivers in the emerging economies are also being emptied of fish. Eco-friendly aquaculture projects developing commercial aquaculture farms in small inland ponds presents an immense opportunity for developing countries.
6. Organic Agriculture
Many emerging economies seek for ways to make their agricultural activities more organic. This approach involves the replacement of artificial fertilizers with naturally produced ones. The growing concerns for food safety also stimulate the development of the demand for natural pesticides. These opportunities can be realized by the companies producing natural fertilizers and pesticides that meet the regulatory requirements of emerging markets. Such countries as Uganda may be seen as optimal markets for the green marketing companies interested in facilitation organic agriculture development.
7. Environmentally Sustainable Housing
Eco-friendly houses have transformed the urban landscape in many advanced economies like Germany and the UK since the construction industry presently contributes 40% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. However, the construction of environmentally sustainable buildings is expensive in comparison with conventional ones. Additionally, eco-friendly housing design developed for advanced countries is not always suitable for resource-limited emerging markets. In this situation, real estate companies can come up with eco-friendly housing design solutions that are developed specifically for developing countries and utilize this green marketing opportunity.
8. Drinking-Water Management
The availability of clean drinking water in emerging markets is still highly limited. Traditional solutions such as the distribution of bottled water in small-sized containers further contaminate the environment and require 1,000 times more energy in comparison with tap water delivery. At the same time, water management infrastructures are absent in many regions making on-the-spot water production and purification the only viable option. With frugal innovation becoming the multi-billion-dollar industry, low-cost water treatment systems can become the ultimate green product for developing countries.
9. Organic Waste Management
Effective management of organic waste is vital for such emerging economies as Kenya that are currently pushing their urban infrastructure to its maximum limit. However, proper planning can transform the problem of organic residues into a powerful opportunity. Biogas reactors use agricultural, municipal or plant waste to produce energy for local organizations. This scheme solves two major problems of developing countries in a sustainable and economically viable manner. However, environmentally concerned businesses interested in this opportunity may start from urban areas first in order to minimize initial infrastructural problems and maximize demand.
10. Plastic and Inorganic Waste Recycling
Emerging economies produce substantial volumes of plastic and inorganic waste. These materials need to be properly recycled to reduce their harmful impact on the environment. Products made from recycled waste cost less and are generally preferred by governments of emerging economies and environmentally conscious consumers. As a result, all developing countries are highly interested in cost-efficient technologies for plastic recycling and processing. The production of plastic products from recycled plastic and other inorganic waste is an excellent green marketing opportunity that is yet to be explored by organizations.
Green marketing requires good planning and extensive research from profit-making organizations and their marketing managers. While it offers substantial benefits to modern companies, it also poses a number of challenges such as the need to use advanced technologies, invest in R&D or use new recyclable and renewable materials. These factors suggest that marketers have to cooperate with local governments and increase the level of customer awareness about environmental sustainability in order to make these socially responsible projects commercially successful.
Ellie Richards is an Online Marketing Manager for Ph.D. Writing company Original Ph.D. She specializes in research, content, and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology.