Page 1

2012

Sustainability and Green Marketing: Opportunities for the poor. The influence of economic development on green marketing issues The doubt about the close relationship between “Green Marketing” or “sustainable marketing” and “Sustainable Development” is certainly cleared by this paper. The strategy proposed in this literature is simply a combination and adaptation of the stakeholder theory discussed by Polonsky [9] and the fight against the “Green Marketing Myopia” discussed by Ottman, Stafford and Hartman [8], with as communication tool the “AIDA” model of Kotler and Armstrong [10]. The result can only be the set of opportunities as illustrated by examples in the previous sections (“opportunities for going green” and “The Proof: some examples”). A summary of all that is the following diagram showing the outcomes of the GM strategy propose in this text.

Hervé AZEMTSA S² Services SARL 5/10/2012


E

xtremely hot summers, long

extreme poverty and social disparities

winters,

heavy

(the case of developing and poor

rains, burning forests and

countries), some are struggling to

unexpected

other natural disasters are there to

decrease environmental damages.

remind us that “Mother Nature” is not

To respond to the challenges of

just fine. This is unfortunately not new

Sustainable

to the humanity. The technological and

strategies

industrialization

Governments,

race

resulted

in

Development, are

adopted

different

worldwide.

companies

and

natural chaos and increased to a

individuals are working together or

certain extent the social gap between

separately, just as the United Nations

riches and poor.

and the international community as a

Today, one of the issues that bother

whole is. Industries and corporations

most of us (if not all) is the health of

in different levels (national, regional or

“Mother

former

international) are responding with the

more

expansion of their portfolios with

while

“green products”. If one considers that

nowadays, it is almost impossible to

the supply (production) responds to

dissociate the 3 “E’s”: Environment-

demand (consumption), one of the

Economy-Equity when it comes to

most

development issues. The development

sustainability will be a “sustainable

has to be “sustainable”. Mentioning

consumption”

the term “Development” implies the

demand”. This gives marketing a

consideration of the World’ structure

power that should be used to trigger

as

Developed

“sustainable development” worldwide

Countries, Developing Countries and

and especially in developing countries.

Poor

a

This paper intends to present the

consideration, it is obvious that the

concept of “green marketing” as a

problems related to the concept of

battle

“Sustainable Development” (SD) are

Development in developing countries.

not the same. When some countries

This implies showing that rather than

should still battle against hunger,

negative impacts, going “Green” can

Nature”.

development

model

economically

3

main

The was

oriented

groups:

Countries.

With

such

important

horse

tools

or

towards

towards

“sustainable

Sustainable


create opportunities in the Developing

will be presented secondly. The “Green

World and hence increase the level of

Marketing” strategies and benefits in

“sustainability” if existing or create it if

developing countries will follow, with

not. This will be done by defining key

as a last step some examples as

terms as a first step for outline

support

for

the

whole

paper.

purposes, and the basic stakeholders

___________________________________________________________________________

That

Concepts and Definitions

report

defines

sustainable

development as: “a development process that meets the needs of the present without

Sustainable Development (SD)

compromising

There are some words that are used

generations to meet their own needs”.

commonly when it comes to define the

That

term or the concept of “sustainable

environmentally friendly, socially fair

development”. These are “social or

and that brings an economic growth.

equity”,

“economics”

“environment

or

and

ecology”.

is

a

the

ability

development

of

future

that

is

Green Marketing (GM)

The

Shortly, marketing in general can be

popularity of the term “Sustainable

defined as “meeting needs profitably”1.

Development”

The term profitable should be looked

raised

with

the

publication in 1987 of the report “Our common

future”

Commission Development

on

by

the

World

Environment

(WCED).

at from both customer and producer sides. Any given producer would like

and

to maximize profits while consumers

Worldwide

maximize utility. For that to happen,

that report is known as the “Brundtland

there is a new factor to consider:

Report”, named after Mr. Gro Harlem

Nature. Nature is for both consumers

Brundtland, who was Norway’s prime minister

and

the

chair

of

and producers the host, and the

the

commission back then.

1

P. Kotler, K.L. Keller, Marketing Management, 12th Edition Page5 [2]

3


supplier of goods and raw materials.

can quote the article of Peattie (2001)

Maximizing utility will also mean then

“Toward Sustainability: The Third Age of

having that “host” forever if possible:

Green Marketing” [13] in which he

in other words “sustain” our “host”.

describes the evolution of the concept

That is where “Green Marketing”

of green marketing. Today, Green

comes into action. The glossary of

Marketing should easily be replaceable

“www.SustainableMarketing.com”

by the term “Sustainable Marketing”

defines green marketing as “Marketing

since it involves social principles as

based

the

well, making it even closer to the

environmental attributes of a product” 2.

concept of sustainability. Moreover

This is unfortunately where many

one can quote Peattie (1995) defining

definitions

green

on

the

promotion

stop,

of

while

Green

marketing

“The

holistic

Marketing is in fact more than only

management

promotion of environmental friendly

identifying, anticipating and satisfying the

products. In “An Introduction to Green

needs of customers and society, in a

Marketing” [1], Michael J. Polonski

profitable and sustainable way”. In the

recalls a definition of green marketing

same direction Fuller (1999) defines

as “all activities designed to generate and

sustainable marketing as “the process of

facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy

planning, implementing and controlling

human needs or wants, such that the

the development, pricing, promotion, and

satisfaction of these needs and wants

distribution of products in a manner that

occurs, with minimal detrimental impact

satisfies the following three criteria: (1)

on

This

customer needs are met, (2) organizational

definition implies more an interaction

goals are attained, and (3) the process is

between humans and their living

compatible with eco-systems.”3 These

environment early mentioned in the

definitions reinforce the existence of a

introduction as “host”. To reinforce

strong link between green marketing

this concept of green marketing and to

and sustainable development; further

link it to sustainable development, one

in this paper, “Green Marketing” will

the

natural

environment”.

process

as

responsible

be referring to these definitions. 2

Web Glossary of Marketing terms, www.sustainablemarketing.com. Full address See [3]

3

4

Quoted after Ken Peattie, see [5] Page -141

for


Developing Countries (DCs)

Hierarchy of Needs5. Such a position

If one can define the possible behaviors

can

regarding the health of our natural

behavior”6 that is particularly hostile

environment, three major ones would

for the environment.

probably be mentioned: A curative

This brief description of developing

behavior “pollute and bear the cost”, a

countries

preventive

to

sustainable development of the United

pollute” and a position in between.

Nation Commission on Sustainable

Like

Development7

for

analyzing

behavior

“spend

conventional and

not

marketing,

understanding

only

leads

and

to

the

a

“consumer

indicators

indicate

of

that strong

the

actions are needed in developing

market environment is of a major

countries. The right Green Marketing

importance for green marketing. Most

strategies will surely be one of those

DCs have some characteristics [4] that

actions.

make of them important and strategic

Green Marketing and Stakeholders in DCs

targets for green marketing. These are: poverty4,

low

industrialization

For green marketing to contribute to

(consumer societies), high dependence

sustainable development in DCs there

on agricultural products (nature highly

is a variety of stakeholders to identify;

exploited daily), high dependence on

their attributes, influence and duties

the export of primary product and

should be well known. In the case of

natural resources. Added to these

GM for SD in Developing Countries,

characteristics are the low level of

one

education, the health and wealth problems

and

the

social

should

point

the

followings

stakeholders:

and

NATURE (our living environment):

economical disparities. Putting all this

From the Stone Age on, humans used

together will put the majority of

5

humans living in DCs between the

These needs are Social needs (3), Safety Need (2), Physiological needs (1). Kotler & Keller, Page 185. 6 “Consumer behavior is the study of how individuals, groups, and organizations select, buy, use and dispose of goods, services, idea or experiences to satisfy their needs and wants” Kotler & Keller Page 173. 7 These are Environmental, Social, Economical and Institutional indicators of Sustainable Development. See [6] Pages 3-5

level one and three of the Maslow’s

4

The World Bank defines Poverty as living with less than two US Dollars per day.

5


the nature for their physiological

when it comes to exporting product in

needs. Today it is being used for all the

developed countries.

five needs of the Maslow’s Hierarchy.

SUPPLIERS:

In the 1960’s and the early 1970’s some

responding to a certain demands

books like “Limits to Growth” of the

producers

Club of Rome or “Silent Spring” of

environment

Rachel

would like to consider. This means a

Carson

attention

called

about

human’s

environmental

choice

Even

can

if

they

decide

which

responsibilities

between

strategic

are

they

greening

problems [5]. This was as Ken Peatties

(fundamental changes in the company’s

named “the first age” of environmental

corporate

marketing, or the beginning. Today

greening (substantial changes in business

and for at least the last decade, one can

practices) or just a tactical greening

feel

Nature”

(shift in functional activities)8. They

climate

should be motivated to play an active

change, global warming and other

role in the implementation of the

natural disasters. These voices are

concept of sustainable development,

strong enough for “deaf humans” to

by

hear.

customers and implement economical

CONSUMERS (Buyers): Markets exist

and social standards (even when those

because there are needs to be satisfied.

are not compulsory).

The consumers drive the production

LOCAL

and in the case of SD through GM in

“Mother Nature” speaks, they are the

developing countries, local consumer

one that suffers and bear the costs.

behavior is of a capital importance.

Some impacts of the environmental

Equally important is the behavior of

problems are local and others are

international

the

global. The local ones can affect the

economies of DCs is often based on

way consumers behave. Moreover,

export. Today this point is even more

local populations are the one to be in

critical if we consider the fact that the

8

and

speaking

hear via

“Mother

catastrophes,

buyers

since

philosophy),

offering

a

quasi-strategic

broader

choice

POPULATIONS:

to

When

Polonsky, M.J.; Rosenberg III, P. J. (2001) define these positions as the three levels of Environmental Marketing. Each of them corresponds to a different level of implication (Design, Pricing, Promotion and Logistic) of companies: see [7].

environmental quality is now a must

6


the front line especially in developing

GOVERNMENTS: They are the main

countries to fight for a sustainable

referees in the local sphere (Countries

development. They are with Mother

or

Nature the primary beneficiary of a

macroeconomic platform that allows

sustainable world. They need to know

transparence and free development of

that

ideas toward SD, and create and

in

order

to

change

their

“consumer behavior”. Non

Governmental

(NGOs):

They

State).

market Organizations

represent

They

should

incentives

create

for

a

local

communities and businesses to go

local

“Green”. They have to develop for

communities and their interest. In

communities and companies incentives

developing

are

to participate in the sustainability

important because they are formed of

effort, like taxes, subsidies and other

groups of persons able to understand

sort of rewards (material or non

the issues being discussed locally or

material).

externally. This is a small solution for

CREDITORS: For DCs creditors play a

the problem of such as analphabetism

key role in the sustainability process.

or misinformation in DCs.

Poverty has been mentioned as a

INTERNATIONAL

characteristic of DCs. This implies that

ORGANIZATIONS (Green and Social

there is a problem of development

Movements): They represent the local

funds.

and

Economic

Cooperation

socially and they are the second voice

Development)

countries,

of “Mother Nature”. Green movements

(International Monetary Fund), the

and

organizations

World Bank, the Asian Development

(United Nation’s bodies like United

Banks and the European Union are the

Nations

Protection

main fund sources for DCs. Today and

Agency and United Nation Council for

more than ever, DCs need their

Sustainable Development) are there to

expertise, some regulatory frameworks

countries,

they

internationals

international

communities

Environmental

act as a regulators, guardians and consultant for a “Sustainable World”.

7

OECD

(Organization

for and

the

IMF


(without pressure)9 and their most of

that the objective is clear: Governments

all logistic and financial help to stay or

need to influence or change the

start a Sustainable Development path.

consumer behavior to drive or turn

There are other stakeholders like

them into “sustainable consumers”.

scientists (they drive the research and development

in

all

field

Strategy:

and

innovation), media (they inform or

A: Adapt the “Stakeholder Theory”11

misinform others), employees (salaries

to the case of GM for SD in DCs (this

and opportunities are their interests),

means

legal

position instead of firms) and B: Fight

Systems

regulations…),

(enforcement and

of

and

companies’

government

kill

the

in

the

“Green

center

Marketing

shareholders (they want to maximize

Myopia”12 by the right communication

profit while keeping a good image)

strategy like the “AIDA” that will be

that play an important role as well and

explained in this section. The very first

they all need to be identified, analyzed

step will be for the government to

and addressed properly.

identify the stakeholders. This was done in the previous section of this

Green Marketing for Sustainable Development in DCs “Green

marketing

must

satisfy

document.

customer

satisfaction”:

diagram

illustrates the interactions13 between the

two

different

stakeholders

from

government’s prospective in DCs.

objectives: improved environmental quality and

The following

Ottman,

Stafford, Hartman (2006)10. The overall goal is to promote the concept of “sustainability” in DCs, using as battle horse GM. It this case the sellers are

11

Polonsky showed how this theory works for green marketing. See [9] 12 “misjudging either or overemphasizing the former at the expense of the latter” is called “Green Marketing Myopia” see [8], Page - 24 13 The direction of the arrows describes the direction of the influence. Double arrows means the influence is both ways. The dashed green arrows describe the interactions directly connected to the environmental protection and the others are more social and economically oriented.

governments of DCs and the buyers are firms and communities. This means 9

This help should not be used by donors as pressure for unsustainable practices or as a new form of colonization. 10 See [8], Page - 24

8


MOTHER NATURE

External Stakeholders

International Customers

UN and other International Organizations

CREDITORS and DONORS

GOVERNMENTS of DCs

Local Customers SUPPLIERS & INDUSTRY

MOTHER NATURE

NGOs and National Green Movements

MOTHER NATURE Local Communities

Local Stakeholders

Diagram 1: Green Marketing for Sustainable Development in Developing Countries: Stakeholders and their interactions. Source: Self Prepared

The diagram 1 shows that the interactions are multi-directional and in a high number. Thus, like for products and services, marketing communication14 has the key role to play for the promotion of sustainable development.

14

“Marketing communications are the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, and remind consumers (directly or indirectly) about the products and brands that they are selling� Kotler P. & Keller K.L. [2] Page - 536

9


AIDA (Awareness – Interest – Desire

information campaigns. This will give

– Action) [10] is a communication tool

them details like how their health and

that is described in (2001) Kotler &

wealth are affected by the situation in

Amstrong‘s

order to generate interest. This should

book

“Principle

of

Marketing”. To avoid GM Myopia,

include

AIDA will be used as follow:

statement of environmental benefits, a

Awareness:

The

financial

and

the

better

followings:

explanation

a

clear

about

transparency problems make things

environmental

difficult in DCs when it comes to

transparency about the pros and cons

communication.

be

and a justification of comparative

improved with donors helps (capital is

differences. To help in this phase, the

needed).

should

Communities

informed

about

sustainability, issues

This

related

the

a

should

be

same communication channel (as for

concept

of

“interest”) should be used.

about

the

educated to

characteristics,

Desire: the desire trigger will certainly

environmental

be

different

from

consumer

to

problems regionally and nationally.

producer. However both consumers

On

and

and producers would like to be better

industries should be informed about

off. It means that both should clearly

the same issues and more over about

see their advantages in going “green”,

the existence and the implementation

in

of Environmental, Health, Social and

socially and economically). For this,

Quality standards. For such purposes,

government should create incentives

different

channels

(rewards, subsidies, green taxes on

should be used: Mass mediums (TV,

consumptions, research facilities…) to

radio), internet, education (schools and

“green” the firms and to change the

universities), “word of mouth”, audits,

consumer behaviors of communities.

environmental fairs or events.

Action: Once the first three steps are

Interest: Once people are aware of

properly achieved, communities will

environmental

issues

go “green” because it is better for

surrounding them, it is important to

them, because it is more sustainable

trigger

and

the

other

hands,

firms

communication

some

and

interest

social

with

closer 10

many

levels

because

(environmentally,

they

see

some


opportunities rather than losses. Firms

environmental care, health and safety

will go “green” because of the “new

measures for instance)

green demand”, because of the new

Bigger Market: Reputation and Image

regulations and most of all because

is needed when it comes to the

they see more profit (short and long

international

term). Important at this point will be

movements

the availability of some benchmarking

pressures

method from the government and the

(major importers of DCs’ products)

external stakeholder to keep the whole

made sustainability practices a MUST.

process running.

To show corporate governance and

market. and

in

Green

government’s

developed

countries

ethics, the firms in developed countries

Opportunities from going for a “sustainable consumption”

require today from their suppliers (in

Sustainable consumption will have a

DCs) high standards. This has been a

chain reaction and produce some

problem

benefits

countries (low qualities, low social,

for

the

countries.

These

for

developing

or

poor

benefits are:

health and environmental standards,

Capital: Donors are more willing to

bad image) for decades as commented

help if the recipient countries are

by Chong Ju Cho (1992) [11]. With green

adopting sustainable practices15. More

marketing

over for poverty reductions financial

practices, a better image will be created

institutions like the IMF, the World

by DCs and their industries will enjoy

Bank, the Asian Development Bank

competitiveness in the international

etc… require today from aid or loan

market.

recipients

sustainable

Health: with a better environmental

transparency,

qualities and sustainable practices like

practices16

to

show

(more

promoting

sustainable

waste management and control, there 15

A guideline of Donor Supports was written by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD in which sustainable practices are recommended. See [12] 16 An example is the HIPC (Highly Indebted and Poor Countries) initiative launched in 1996 by the IMF and the World Bank. With this project external debt of qualified countries were (or will be reduced) if some major changes are made toward sustainability in the countries. see [13]

will be fewer diseases from the air or the water or education problems. This will be a critical turning point in DCs since

such

diseases

(malaria,

tuberculosis, aids or cholera) are the 11


main causes of death rate. Moreover,

Productivity

the extra funds that governments

investment in research, and with the

receive from creditors can also help to

“know

build health care centers in rural area

countries (development partners), the

or finance education and information

productivity

about “dos and don’ts” for health and

increase in the industrial sector of DCs.

safety.

This means competitiveness locally

Employment: Sustainability will bring

and internationally.

along

Micro-development: More of such

new

businesses

and

other

and Efficiency:

how”

of

the

and

developed

efficiency

opportunities

them, employment opportunities will

Peasants in villages or rural areas will

be created by “green products and

surely be better off if the produce

services”

consultancy,

together and for more than just family

Ecological and regular tourism. Other

consumption. Cost of fertilizers can be

jobs offers will be raised in the forestry

solved

management

management (to produce compost for

management,

as

sector,

environmental

water

and

with

smaller

will

portfolios (innovation mainly). With

such

in

With

small

scale

scales.

waste

waste

instance). Furthermore, recycling will

management, waste treatment plants,

not only provide job in all levels but

education,

also a better air to breathe, cheaper

information

and

technology. Social

furniture and healthier lives.

Security:

sustainability responsibility”

more

means or

than also

jobs,

The Proof: Some examples

“social

“corporate

Ecological Tourism17 in DCs: Tourism

governance” from the government and

is an activity known for generation of

firms. This will diminish the income

revenues in many sectors. It develops

disparities and hence the gap between

(when

rich and poor or even better social

well

transportation

disparities as a whole. This is also “NO

organized) industry

the (road,

railways, automotive…), the real estate

CHILD LABOR”, no discriminations

17

from sex, religions or other grounds.

The International Ecotourism Society defines Ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” see[14]

12


(hostel,

accommodation),

the

of income for the states and local

communication. The late or (lack of)

communities.

industrial development in DCs saved

Similar

natural sites of values. Some of them

ecotourism can be found in countries

are declared today “World Heritage”

like Malaysia, Singapore, India, Brazil

and thus protected.

and many other developing and poor

Africa is still known as the “wild”

countries worldwide.

examples

of

benefit

of

continents for many. The cultural and natural

diversity

available

the

Agriculture is for most of developing

continent make of ecotourism the

countries the main or first source of

“Ecotourism

incomes. But the lack of technology

potential for the future. propels

development,

but

in

it

social

and finances has kept that activity less

acceptance depends on the economical

efficient and thus less rewarding. With

opportunities

better

generated

for

local

sustainable

practices,

communities” stated Frances E. Vieta

developing countries will attract more

(1998) [15].

foreign help and expertise (needed) to

Based

on

the

World

Tourism

be able to level other producers

Organization statistics, approximately

(competitors).

440 areas are protected (this is around

sustainable practice that speeded the

2.6 million square hectare). Some direct

development process is the “ethanol

examples of benefits of ecotourism in

phenomenon” in Brazil; it brought to

Africa are in Ghana [16]: Kakum

the country new opportunities with

National Park (over 30meters above

employment and pollution reduction18.

the ground), with revenues estimated

The power of agriculture in Brazil is

over $108000 in 1988 for a local trust

not to be proven and nobody will

fund

to

An

example

of

finance

sustainable

disagree to the statement that other

projects

for

local

developing countries should follow

communities; In Kenya, Zimbabwe,

such an example of sustainable growth

development

South Angola

African, tourism

Madagascar (and

and

particularly

ecotourism) represent a major source

18

Less emissions from the automotive sector since cars could be powered by ethanol of bio-fuels

13


through

agriculture

“Green Marketing Myopia” discussed

and

environmentally friendly attitude.

by Ottman, Stafford and Hartman [8], with

Summary

“AIDA”

The doubt about the close relationship between

“Green

“sustainable

Marketing”

marketing”

of

Kotler

the and

by examples in the previous sections (“opportunities for going green” and “The

proposed in this literature is simply a

Proof:

some

examples”).

A

summary of all that is the following

combination and adaptation of the discussed

model

tool

the set of opportunities as illustrated

and

cleared by this paper. The strategy

theory

communication

Armstrong [10]. The result can only be

or

“Sustainable Development” is certainly

stakeholder

as

diagram showing the outcomes of the

by

GM strategy propose in this text.

Polonsky [9] and the fight against the

14


BETTER and SAFER place to live TODAY and TOMORROW

MOTHER NATURE

External Stakeholders

Bigger market, competitiveness

International Customers

UN and other International Organizations

CREDITORS and DONORS

GOVERNMENTS of DCs

New products, better quality

Local Customers

SUPPLIERS & INDUSTRY

MOTHER NATURE

CAPITAL form creditors or donors

NGOs and National Green Movements

MOTHER NATURE Local Communities

Local Stakeholders

s

Higher environmental and social standards

Social Security, Employment, Safety, health... WEALTH

Diagram 2: Outcomes of the proposed GM strategy for SD in DCs. Source: Self prepared19

This shows that there are benefits for developing countries in changing their course in favor of a sustainable consumption. The governments in DCs should put enough effort into green marketing strategies and “green� consumers and producers. As it is shown and described in the diagram 1 and 2, the government plays the central role, but the irrevocable truth stays that foreign help is needed from donors and creditors in terms of logistic, expertise and most of all finances. Green Marketing is surely one of the solutions to address sustainable development issues in developing countries.

19

This diagram is a copy of the diagram on page 8 with additionally the benefits of green marketing (in callouts). The callouts are place according to the origins of the benefits as discussed in the previous paragraphs.

15


Literature and Sources

[6] UNDP DESA (1995) “Indicators of Sustainable development: Guidelines

[1] Polonsky, Michael J. (1994): “An

and Methodology”, URL:

Introduction to Green Marketing”, ELECTRONIC

GREEN

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/natl

JOURNAL,

info/indicators/indisd/indisd-

ISSN: 1076-7975 vol. 1, issue 2, 1994

mg2001.pdf, Retrieve on June 28-2006

[2] Kotler, Philip; Keller, Kevin L.

[7] Polonsky, M. J.;Rosenberger III,

(2006): “Marketing Management 12e”,

P.J.

12th Edition, New Jersey-USA: Prentice

Horizons September

Glossary.

Link:

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