«Published Annually Vol. 6, No. 1 ISBN 978-0-979-7593-3-8 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts ...»
Originality/value – This study addresses a gap in the literature on green marketing in cell phone industry. The contribution of the paper is how green marketing strategies can increase the rate of adoption for greener cell phones and create a competitive advantage. Academics and practitioners can have increased understanding of aspects of green that can be applied in cell phone marketing to generate competitive advantage.
Green product and technology has been a topic of research since 1970’s.In the past decade, words like green products, sustainable, environmentally friendly, pro-environmental, eco - friendly and ecological have often been used interchangeably by marketers to inform and lure the customers as part of Green Marketing. Thereby yielding publications related to customers’ environmental attitudes and their influences on behaviour concerned with the impact of marketing variables on, for example, environmentally conscious purchase decisions, energy saving consumption decisions or domestic recycling practices (Kassarjian, 1971; Kinnear et al., 1974; Coddington, 1993; Meffert and Kirchgeorg, 1993; Hopfenbeck, 1993; Ottman, 1994; Peattie, 1995;
Polonsky and Mintu-Wimsatt, 1995; Schlegelmilch et al., 1996; Fuller, 1999; Kalafatis et al., 1999).
Today, ‘‘green’’ is used most often to refer to new technology and new products that have a sustainable impact on nature.(Henri Simula, Tuula and Jari Salo, 2009).A research in U.S. reveals when it comes to social cause of and the environment customers, the environment remains prime concern laying enormous opportunities of gaining competitive advantage for a marketer. As a result of which green marketing claims are on rise, which are not easy for a customer to understand.
This paper takes a marketing perspective of green cell phone. It outlines five conceptual factors related to perceived greenness and actual greenness of cell phone. The overall purpose of this paper is to determine the role that ‘‘greenness’’ plays in marketing, based on current literature. The research problem addressed is how cell phone firms can benefit from green marketing and what pitfalls there are to avoid.
Marketing is in charge of collecting market data but is also responsible for disseminating information about the impact of products on the environment and society (UNEP, 2007).
Polonsky and Rosenberger (2001) stated that ‘‘green marketing is a holistic, integrated approach that continually re-evaluates how firms can achieve corporate objectives and meet consumer needs while minimizing long-term ecological harm’’.
Peattie (2001) suggested that ‘‘green marketing has been used to describe marketing activities which attempt to reduce the negative social and environmental impacts of existing products and production systems, and which promote less damaging products and services’’. Charter (1992) defined green marketing as ‘‘a holistic and responsible management process that identifies, anticipates, satisfies and fulfils stakeholder requirements, for a reasonable reward, that does not adversely affect human or natural environmental wellbeing’’. Terms such as environmental marketing, ecological marketing, greener marketing, sustainable marketing and marketing of green products have also been used in the literature to describe similar activities (e.g.
Coddington, 1993; Ottman and Herbert, 1993; Polonsky, 1994).
2.1Why greener cellphone
1. Health impact The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world (as of June 2009, there were more than 4.3 billion users worldwide). Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range800 – 1800 Mhz..
Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.
The WHO has classified mobile phone radiation on the IARC scale into Group 2B - possibly carcinogenic. That means that there "could be some risk" of carcinogenicity, Exposure to toxic substances like lead, copper, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, PVC while handling
2. Environmental impact
Cell phone utilizes non renewable resources like nickel, lead, zinc, steel etc.and precious metals like silver.
PVC is burnt to recover copper from wires which release harmful gases in environment.
Incineration of disassembled part releases highly volatile matter in air.
Cell phone waste is trashed, landfilled which results in loss of precious metals There is problem of mixing toxic minerals with soil and water through leachate
2.2The Green Marketing Mix of a cell phone
A model of a green marketing-mix of a cell phone contain all 4P’s:
Product: The greenness of product lies in process or design approach which considers the environmental aspects of product design phase, material sourcing and production; the product itself as an outcome of the process and the use of that product;
and the effect of that product after it becomes obsolete, which can be expanded to cover the previous phases by taking the whole life cycle into account. (Henri Simula, Tuula and Jari Salo,2009).There are three key factors ascertaining actual greenness using recyclable or renewable materials, ensuring that handsets are in fact recycled after use, introducing low-power chargers.(Michael Morgan, 2009) A Cell phone producer should offer ecological product which must not contaminate the environment but should protect it and even liquidate existing environmental damages.
Green Marketing utilizes greenness of product mix of a cell phone which lies in:
(i) Recyclable or renewable material of cell phone - Recyclable materials can be put back into circulation, reducing the health risks to the community. The materials that are contained in old cell phones can often be recycled and reused to make a variety of other products. Recycling may include disassembly and shredding. Disassembly is disassembly of packages and plastics that
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012
may be incinerated. Shredding includes recovery of metals and minerals that may be utilized in future. Sometimes cell phone companies assign recyclable job to another company that qualifies to recycle them by collecting used cell phone from customers, rather than customers wrestling with disposal guidelines themselves, it is often much easier to just sell or donate old cell phones to company so assigned.. PlantMyPhone.com understood this principle. They have created a marvelously simple cell phone recycling model that helps reforest the planet, while keeping toxins out of landfills.
(ii) Design process- Considerations during material choice stage of design process for enhancing recyclability and disassembly of cell phone during end of life stage; striving for minimized material and energy usage at all stages of the life (iii)Use of non-toxic chemicals – Researches reveal that conventional cell phone are made of toxic chemicals that contain lead, nickel, bromine, chlorine, phthalates.Antenna of cell phone contains highest bromine which is 10% by weight. Headphone contains PVC with phthalates over 1-5% by weight. Material usage decisions focus on elimination or reduction of use lead andother toxic chemicals to their lowest levels (iv)Low power chargers – Most cell phones don’t even come close to being green — their chargers are energy inefficient, they contain hazardous chemicals, and they not are designed for upgrading or easy recycling. Low power chargers consume less power in charging a mobile phone thereby saving energy.
(v) Solar powered cell phone – These cell phone are fitted with solar rechargeable battery. Power is generated through solar battery Price: Prices for such cell phone may be a little higher than conventional alternatives due extensive research and discovering and implementing costlier green processes. But target groups like for example LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health Sustainabilitycustomers with sense of environment and social responsibility) are willing to pay extra for green products. Companies gradually attempt to offer cell phone at an affordable price to increase adoption rate in all target groups.
Place: A green distribution logistics is of crucial importance that implies reducing size and weight of packaging of cell phone as smaller amount of packaging requires less space and is lighter to transport. More products can be transported in the same space, reducing the driven kilometers and emission from use of transport fuels. Environmentally sound packaging will also reduce costs. Main focus of packaging is on ecological packaging of cell phone which is made up of post-consumer recyclable waste like flax-fiber or other eco – friendly material and utilizes soy ink for labelling. In a new packaging solution for certain infrastructure products light cardboard replaces plywood and recyclable plastic replaces non-recyclable aluminum coated plastic foil in protection against humidity.
Promotion: A communication with the market stress on green aspects of cellphone as product; that if Handset actually being recycled –Testimonials that companies adhering to their claim of recycling mobile phone after use, is not being ‘greenwashed.”(Ginsberg and Boom,2004)There's a difference between being merely compliant and being truly if any, green.”(Michael Morgan, 2009); Environmental activism (Green Hosting) by cell phone company may be communicated. The fact that a company spends expenditures on environmental protection may be advertised; sponsoring the natural environment is also very important; and last but not least, ecological products may probably require special sales promotions In their book of Sustainability Marketing Belz and Peattie go one step further in terms of not just marketing but operating “green”. They transformed the 4 P's into the 4 C's. The four C's – customer solutions, customer cost, communication and convenience are taking the point of view of the customer (not the producer).
Customer solutions: These solutions go beyond selling physical products and present solutions to customer's problems. They imply knowing customers and their needs well and offering products and services that satisfy customer needs and that take into account social as well as environmental aspects.
Customer Cost: Customer Cost does not only include the financial price a buyer has to pay for a product or a service, it also considers the psychological, social and environmental costs of obtaining, using and disposing of a product.
Communication: “Green” communication goes beyond promotion, which is a form of persuasion and a one-way communication from seller to buyer. Communication is a process of interactive dialogue within which it is essential to build trust and credibility and feedback.
Convenience: Means that customers want to use products and services that meet their needs and that are easy and convenient to access and use.
The benefits of green products and green marketing are led by the assumption that consumers and industrial customers are environmentally aware, are cognizant of ethical and environmental factors among their purchase criteria, and are also willing to pay more for greener products (Charter et al., 2002; Ginsberg and Bloom, 2004).. Sustainable products can also be a source of competitive advantage and increased revenue and profit (UNEP, 2007). In addition, cleaner production processes can yield resource savings and better margins, while better environmental management and constant improvements in that area can positively impact a firm’s reputation and brand image. Despite enthusiasm at the beginning of the 1990s, the concept of green marketing is still struggling, and overall progress has been slower than first anticipated. According to Mathur and Mathur (2000), news regarding green marketing activities is not valued by investors in general.While the environment may be the underlying reason a product was created or upgraded, it will likely not be the primary motivation for consumers to choose company’s brand over those of competitors.(ottman,2011)Consumers’ knowledge is recognized as a criterion that influences all phases in buying.decision processes.
Green product attributes may be - environmentally sound production processes, responsible product uses, or product elimination, which consumers compare with those possessed by competing conventional products (Meffert and Kirchgeorg, 1993; Peattie, 1995).
Based on a review of green marketing literature, it can be interpreted that there is lack of conition of green cell phone attributes, green product is perceived as per consumer’s environmental concern(Fig1).
OF CELL PHONEFig1. PERCEIVED GREENNESS MATRIX Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 A five conceptual factors framework can be laid down to outline gap between perceived greenness and actual greenness of cell phone. Working on these factors and by adopting proactive green marketing strategies for cell phone the gap between perceived greenness and actual greenness can be filled proactively so as to get competitive advantage.
(i)Is the customer conscious of proposed environmental concerns of a cell phone?
Green cell phone communication will appeal those who have environmental knowledge and conscious for environmental concerns.(Ottman 2011) (ii)Is the green cell phone safe for health?
The number one reason why consumers buy greener products is not to “save the planet” but to protect their own health.(Ottman,2011).
(iii)Does the cell phone appeal to style – conscious?
The same sustainable product is still being sold to consumers, together with all the same benefits to society and the environment.(Ottman, 2011). Core and expected benefits of a cell phone should be protected along with the environment.
(iv) Does the cell phone has emotional benefit attached to it?