Amir Zakaria Consulting Group | Sustainable Marketing
sustainability, sustainable marketing, marketing
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Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable Marketing

As evident from the definition by Fuller (1999, p.4) of Sustainable Marketing as “the process of planning, implementing and controlling the development, pricing, promotion, and distribution of products in a manner that satisfies the following three criteria: (1) customer needs are met, (2) organizational goals are attained, and (3) the process is compatible with eco-systems” (Dangelico et al, 2017).

While sustainability is an ethical issue, it is also becoming relevant from a marketing standpoint and can be particularly decisive in stakeholder relationships. Companies can approach this issue in different ways, choosing whether to publicize their good conduct or to project a responsible attitude that does not reflect what they effectively achieve (Baldassarre et al, 2016).

Today, sustainability is that area which is being explored by companies for growth and development. Sustainability works on ‘Triple Bottom Line’ approach i.e., people, planet and profit (Charter et al., 2006). Brundtland Report, 1987, named “Our Common Future”, coined the term sustainability. In this report, sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, revived the discussion on the role of business in society (WCED,

1987; p.24). Sustainability, on the other hand is defined as: According to Veiderman, “Sustainability is a vision of the future that provides us with a road map and helps us to focus our attention on a set of values and ethical and moral principles by which to guide our actions” (cited in Munier, 2005; Kumar et al, 2012).

Three different conceptions of sustainable marketing are referred to as social, green, and critical sustainable marketing. Social sustainable marketing follows the logic of demand-driven marketing management and places the responsibility for sustainable development outside the firm. Green sustainable marketing aims for a reform toward proactive marketing management within existing institutional structures and places responsibility for sustainable development within the firm. Critical sustainable marketing aims for a reassessment of the assumptions of the existing market systems that prevent transformation to a sustainable marketing system and places responsibility for sustainable development in the institutional environment (Ynte et al, 2017).


  • Baldassarre, F., Campo, R. (2016). “Sustainability as a marketing tool: To be or to appear to be?”. Business Horizons, Volume 59, Issue 4, July–August 2016, Pages 421-429.
  • Charter, M., Peattie, K., Ottman, J., and Polonsky, M. J. (2006). “Marketing and sustainability”. Available at:
  • Dangelico, R. M., Vocalelli, D. (2017). “Green Marketing: an analysis of definitions, strategy steps, and tools through a systematic review of the literature”. Journal of Cleaner Production, S0959-6526(17)31637-2.
  • Fuller, D.A. (1999). “Sustainable marketing: managerial – ecological issues”. SAGE Publications, Inc., London, UK.
  • Kumar, V., Rahman, Z., Kazmi, A. A., Goyal, P. (2012). “Evolution of sustainability as marketing strategy: Beginning of new era”. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 37, 482 – 489.
  • Munier, N. (2005). “Introduction to sustainability: road to a better future”. Springer, Netherlands.
  • World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) (1987) Our Common Future: Brundtland Report. available at:; (accessed: 1 December, 2010).
  • Ynte K. Dam, V. (2017). “Sustainable Marketing”. Reference Module in Food Science.

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