Marketing and Communicating Sustainability



Sustainable development creates new challenges for marketing and communication strategies. This is particularly so for packaging because consumers tend not to be aware of the potential environmental benefits of packaging other than those relating to disposal (recyclability, reuse, biodegradability and over-packaging). Optimal life cycle-based solutions may be counter-intuitive to consumer perceptions. However, in addition to products and brands, individuals and businesses ‘buy’ corporate philosophies and policies. While developing its strategy, a business should therefore determine how to market and position itself, its brands and its products from the perspective of sustainability. Packaging has a major role in this positioning, which affects both packaging and label design. This chapter provides an overview of research conducted on consumer attitudes and purchasing behaviour relating to ‘green’ products in general and packaging in particular. On balance, consumers have negative rather than positive associations with packaging. Different approaches can be taken to packaging design and communication within a business’s broader marketing strategy. These are provided together with an introduction to the use of environmental claims and labels often associated with packaging.


Purchasing Behaviour Federal Trade Commission Forest Stewardship Council Sustainable Development Goal Green Consumer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for DesignRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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