What is Green Marketing and 9 Examples To Inspire You

What is Green Marketing and 9 Examples To Inspire You

How do businesses impact the planet? At every step of the production process – from sourcing raw materials to the packaging used for shipping – there are opportunities for companies to make an impact with environmentally-friendly choices.

While doing good can be its own reward, today’s marketplace rewards visibly eco-friendly companies. Thirty percent of global consumers and 29% in the U.S. say that environmentally friendly, sustainable practices often or always affect their purchasing choices.

However, using renewable energy or recycled materials only boosts a business’s reputation when the public is aware of its sustainable practices. Here is where a green marketing strategy is essential.

What Is Green Marketing in Business?

Green marketing promotes a company’s brand, goods, or services by highlighting its eco-friendly and sustainable practices. It positions the company as a green business and helps consumers understand they positively impact the environment when they purchase from the brand.

Green marketing campaigns can introduce new, greener products or demonstrate how a company is evolving to meet consumer demand. They can also tell the story behind the brand’s green choices or show off a company’s sustainable practices.

A green marketing strategy has several advantages, including:

What Is an Example of a Green Business?

Some businesses are clearly green, like solar panel manufacturers, green cleaning services, organic farms, energy-efficient appliances, reusable shopping bags, or natural beauty products.

Other companies may not sell green products or services but operate using sustainable business practices. For example, a manufacturer may switch to renewable energy sources, or a restaurant chain may use recyclable to-go containers and biodegradable utensils. A financial advisor may help investors target companies that employ sustainable business practices. These businesses are not green by default but make green operational choices.

The third category of green businesses donates to green causes. Consumers know that a portion of every dollar they spend with the company goes to support the environment.

What Company Uses Green Marketing?

Several prominent brands are examples of green marketing, including Patagonia, IKEA, Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Seventh Generation, Lego, The Body Shop, and Imperfect Foods.

Here are nine companies that are outstanding green marketing examples.


green marketing example Patagonia,

As a source of clothing and equipment for people who love the outdoors, environmentally conscious business practices and marketing fit Patagonia like a glove. The popular retailer has made all things green a prominent and consistent part of its marketing strategy.

It’s also a major supporter of the Go Green movement – so much so that its mission statement pledges that the company will “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Patagonia also encourages eco-friendly practices in daily life. The brand takes steps to minimize its carbon footprint by offering incentives to employees who take public transportation or carpool to work. It also takes a unique approach to reducing its manufacturing carbon footprint. Rather than entice consumers to upgrade to new products each year, Patagonia has repair centers around the world to make its products last longer.

Despite considerable efforts, the company is not 100% eco-friendly. However, Patagonia is transparent about the fact that it relies on fossil fuels for some of its deliveries, raincoat manufacturing, and other business processes.

The lesson to be learned here is that it’s possible to have a clear purpose as a brand, as Patagonia does, while still being transparent in your content about business-related activities that aren’t entirely green.

Even so, it’s clear by looking at the positive reaction that the travel and lifestyle content that consumers see is an honest reflection of passion.


The Swedish furniture brand tops our list of green marketing examples because it has created its own sustainable strategy called People & Planet Positive. In addition to integrating bamboo into its designs and Fair Trade and organic foods into its product lines, IKEA is committed to using only recycled plastic in its products by 2030. It also makes efforts to use sustainable cotton and wool.

Ikea created their own sustainable, green marketing strategy called People & Planet Positive

IKEA’s core belief as a company is that consumers shouldn’t have to choose between stylish designs, affordable prices, and sustainability when purchasing its products. The company uses its online content to encourage customers to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. Its sustainable products aren’t just reliable, they also demonstrate the company’s values with eco-friendly reducing practices that include having solar panels in 90% of its buildings in the United States and cutting down on waste delivered to landfills.

IKEA has reaped many marketing rewards and overcome negative backlash with its green efforts by embracing it as part of the purpose of everything it does. As IKEA demonstrates, if you’re going to use purpose-driven e-commerce content to your advantage as a brand, it’s important to clearly show how you are embracing your purpose.


Hershey integrates green marketing into their brand image

The iconic chocolate brand has repurposed its brand image to include green marketing as a key ingredient.

The company, which also owns a hotel and amusement park in Hershey, PA, has made embracing environmentally-friendly practices the main priority – so much so that it set a goal to reduce greenhouse gases from its own emissions by 50% by 2025.

Hershey takes this commitment further by investing in renewable energy and working to cut its manufacturing energy consumption by 20% in 10 years.

Working with suppliers to extend the reach of Its sustainability efforts, Hershey is encouraging Land O’Lakes and other suppliers to reduce their energy consumption. Hersey has also committed to buying 100% certified and sustainable cocoa by 2025.

Ranked as one of the top 10 environmentally conscious companies in the United States, Hershey has done more than just follow environmental trends or employ a clever green marketing strategy.

The company has set marketing examples that are now being adopted by competitors like Mars. Hershey goes a step further by repurposing corporate products for its charity efforts.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson global Eenironmental sustainability, example of brand using green marketing

The brand behind Band-Aid and a line of well-known baby products, Johnson & Johnson, has created its own Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability Department to fine-tune internal practices. It has implemented an on-the-job training program to make sure everyone at the company is on the same page with core values and key issues, and it has set sustainability goals that include increasing product recycling to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020.

Customers can follow Johnson & Johnson’s progress toward these goals through its online content. The company has also earned a slew of honors and recognition for its efforts. All of Johnson & Johnson’s positive press has resulted in a steady flow of content that has helped to solidify its current brand image. The J&J blog is a great example of content creation for green marketing because it’s peppered with personal stories and articles on environmental sustainability.

Any brand can find creative ways to show its love for the planet and highlight its efforts to minimize waste and save energy. If you’re just getting started with your green marketing efforts, focus your attention on your most visible online content. This includes your website, social media pages, and blog.

Social media can be an effective platform for getting the word out about your green endeavors because it allows you to get more interactive with your audience. For example, Johnson & Johnson recently launched a successful Tumblr recycling campaign.

But you’ll need more than just smart eco-focused campaigns to connect with consumers who prefer to do business with environmentally aware brands. You’ll also need to form an emotional connection with your audience by making your green efforts part of your brand’s overall narrative with consistent messaging throughout your content.


Nike is a marketing giant with a long history of iconic marketing examples. So, it’s no surprise that it is an outstanding example of green marketing.

Positioning its sustainability efforts to preserve the future of sports, Nike started with sports jerseys and sneakers crafted using recycled plastics. The company expanded into eco swimwear and a commitment to 100% renewable energy in its manufacturing.

Most recently, with Nike’s Move to Zero and Bloom Over Doom programs, the company is implementing systematic efforts to decrease waste and its environmental footprint.

Sports fans who want to support the environment have a feel-good option with Nike’s clothing with 50% recycled materials and shoes with 20%. It’s a strong example of how to integrate fashion content into a green business strategy.

Nike practices green marketing by creating a product line with sustainable materials, and creating a sustainability campaign called Move to sero Bloom Over Doom

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is another great green marketing example, it uses sustainable sourcing for its products,

Seventh Generation is a green business at its core. Founded in 1988, it produces eco-friendly personal care and cleaning products. Its mission is “to transform the world into a healthy, sustainable, and equitable place for the next seven generations.”

Consumers looking for an environmentally friendly alternative to window cleaner or toilet paper can often find Seventh Generation’s eco-friendly products in their grocery store aisles.

Seventh Generation packages its plant-based and sustainably sourced products in environmentally friendly materials. It’s also making efforts to become a zero-waste manufacturer by 2025.


As landfills overflow with plastic, Lego’s strategy is smart. This company is an excellent green marketing example because, without environmentally positive efforts, Lego’s product could be a target of environmentalist criticism.

Instead, Lego is setting goals to make all its core products from sustainable materials by 2030. It Is also stepping up to use renewable or recycled materials for packaging by 2025.

The result of these green marketing efforts is visibility as a forward-thinking company and sustained customer loyalty. Lego also has a program it calls Replay, where families can donate used toys to kids who might not be able to buy them. This reduces waste and builds community.

Lego sustainability, Lego environment sustainability practice

The Body Shop

Beauty is another industry that can be the subject of environmentalists’ ire. Animal experimentation, chemicals in the manufacturing process, and wasteful packaging have all drawn negative attention.

The Body Shop is setting industry trends with eco-friendly and sustainable goods. It has become synonymous with cruelty-free and environmentally-conscious beauty products.

As part of its ongoing commitment to quality products that do not mistreat animals, The Body Shop is working on getting its complete product collection Vegan Society-certified by 2023. This certification requires a rigorous evaluation of every supplier and producer for all its products. The Body Shop is also working to achieve 100% renewable energy.

The Body Shop sustainability commitments

Imperfect Foods

Imperfect Foods is a green marketing example that is eco-friendly from the ground up. The San Francisco-based start-up reduces food waste while making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable and accessible.

Grocery stores want produce that looks good. Perfectly tasty fruits and vegetables that are cosmetically imperfect would otherwise be unsellable.

Many consumers want to eat more fresh foods, but they are hard to keep stocked. Meanwhile, farmers are struggling to stay in business.

Imperfect Foods takes fresh produce that would otherwise be tossed out and delivers it to customers for less than grocery store prices. It’s a win-win for farmers and consumers and reduces waste while providing value.

Imperfect food, food waste, Imperfect Foods sustainability and green marketing

Sustainable Marketing Aligns Business and Consumer Values

Green marketing emphasizes the environmental benefits of a product or service. It lets consumers know that your business shares its values.

Shoppers like to feel good about what they buy. When they know they are supporting the environment by purchasing from your company, you’ve transformed a simple transaction into being part of something bigger.

Editors note:

This post was originally published in 2018 and completely updated and revamped for comprehensiveness and accuracy. 

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