Sustainability in Marketing

  • Teresa HeathEmail author
  • Sally McKechnie


This chapter presents a timely case for incorporating sustainability education as a key feature of marketing curricula. Heath and McKechnie in this chapter contextualise marketing education for sustainability within the changing higher education landscape, which has been shaped by increasing demands from international and national stakeholders to develop sustainability literacy amongst students. They share their experiences of embedding sustainability within a new marketing course by focusing predominantly on environmental and green issues, and they discuss pedagogical matters and practices within it. Drawing on a review of literature on marketing and the environment and on examples from practice, they suggest ways to engage students with sustainability issues from the outset and to facilitate their learning. They reflect on challenges of this endeavour and ways to overcome them.


Sustainability Sustainable marketing Green marketing Marketing education 


  1. Allen, Chris T. 1982. Self-perception Based Strategies for Stimulating Energy Conservation. Journal of Consumer Research 8 (4): 381–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alvesson, Mats. 1994. Critical Theory and Consumer Marketing. Scandinavian Journal Management 10 (3): 291–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. AMA. 2008. Press Release: The American Marketing Association Releases New Definition for Marketing. Accessed February 1, 2018.
  4. Anderson, C. Dennis, and John D. Claxton. 1982. Barriers to Consumer Choice of Energy Efficient Products. Journal of Consumer Research 9 (2): 163–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, W. Thomas, and William H. Cunningham. 1972. The Socially Conscious Consumer. Journal of Marketing 36 (3): 23–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Assadourian, Erik. 2010. Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability. Journal of Macromarketing 30 (2): 186–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Balderjahn, Ingo. 1988. Personality Variables and Environmental Attitudes as Predictors of Ecologically Responsible Consumption Patterns. Journal of Business Research 17 (1): 51–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Belk, Russell. 2014. You Are What You Can Access: Sharing and Collaborative Consumption Online. Journal of Business Research 67 (8): 1595–1600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Belz, Frank-Martin, and Ken Peattie. 2009. Sustainability Marketing: A Global Perspective. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  10. Borhuaer, Scott. 2017. IKEA Unveils Its Plans for Mushroom-Based Packaging. Accessed March 16, 2018.
  11. Brown, Stephen. 1995. Postmodern Marketing. London: ITPB.Google Scholar
  12. Brown, Joseph D., and Russell G. Wahlers. 1998. The Environmentally Concerned Consumer: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 6 (2): 39–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Buchholz, Rogene A. 1998. The Ethics of Consumption Activities: A Future Paradigm? Journal of Business Ethics 17 (8): 871–882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cambridge University Press. 2018. Cambridge Online Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary Online. Accessed March 15, 2018.
  15. Carson, Rachel. 1962. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.Google Scholar
  16. Catterall, Miriam, Pauline Maclaran, and Lorna Stevens. 2002. Critical Reflection in the Marketing Curriculum. Journal of Marketing Education 24 (3): 184–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cherrier, Helene, Iain R. Black, and Mike Lee. 2011. Intentional Non-consumption for Sustainability: Consumer Resistance and/or Anti-consumption? European Journal of Marketing 45 (11/12): 1757–1767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Connolly, John, and Andrea Prothero. 2003. Sustainable Consumption: Consumption, Consumers and the Commodity Discourse. Consumption, Markets and Culture 6 (4): 275–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crane, Andrew, and Dirk Matten. 2016. Business Ethics. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Davis, Joel J. 1994. Consumer Response to Corporate Environmental Advertising. Journal of Consumer Marketing 11 (2): 25–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Elkington, John. 1998. Partnerships from Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. Environmental Quality Management 8 (1): 37–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ennew, Christine, and Sally McKechnie. 1992. Green Marketing: Can the Banks Respond? International Journal of Bank Marketing 10 (7): 8–9.Google Scholar
  23. Fisher, Walter R. 1989. Human Communication as Narration: Towards a Philosophy of Reason, Value and Action. Columbia, NY: University of South Caroline Press.Google Scholar
  24. Fisk, George. 1973. Criteria for a Theory of Responsible Consumption. Journal of Marketing 37 (2): 24–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fuller, Donald A. 1999. Sustainable Marketing: Managerial-Ecological Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  26. Gordon, Ross, Marylyn Carrigan, and Gerard Hastings. 2011. A Framework for Sustainable Marketing. Marketing Theory 11 (2): 143–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hackley, Chris. 2003. ‘We Are All Customers Now…’ Rhetorical Strategy and Ideological Control in Marketing Management Texts. Journal of Management Strategy 40 (5): 1325–1352.Google Scholar
  28. ———. 2009. Marketing: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hawken, Paul. 1993. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  30. HEA. n.d. Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education. Available at: Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education. Accessed March 16, 2018.Google Scholar
  31. Heath, Teresa, and Andreas Chatzidakis. 2012. ‘Blame It on Marketing’: Consumers’ Views on Unsustainable Consumption. International Journal of Consumer Studies 36 (6): 656–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Heath, Teresa, and Matthew Heath. 2016. ‘Once Upon a Time There Was a Consumer…’: Stories of Magic and the Magic of Stories. Journal of Marketing Management 32 (9–10): 811–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. HEFCE. 2005. Sustainable Development in Higher Education. Accessed March 16, 2018.,
  34. ———. 2014. Sustainable Development in Higher Education: HEFCE’s Role to Date and a Framework for Its Future Actions. Accessed March 16, 2018.
  35. Henion, Karl E. 1972. The Effect of Ecologically Relevant Information on Detergent Sales. Journal of Marketing Research 9 (1): 10–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. HM Government. 2005. Securing the Future: Delivering UK Sustainable Development Strategy. TSO (The Stationery Office).Google Scholar
  37. Hudson, Laurel Anderson, and Julie L. Ozanne. 1988. Alternative Ways of Seeking Knowledge in Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research 14 (4): 508–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kassarjian, Harold H. 1971. Incorporating Ecology into Marketing Strategy: The Case of Air Pollution. The Journal of Marketing 35 (3): 61–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kilbourne, William E. 1998. Green Marketing: A Theoretical Perspective. Journal of Marketing Management 14 (6): 641–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. ———. 2010. Facing the Challenge of Sustainability in a Changing World: An Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of Macromarketing 30 (2): 109–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kilbourne, William E., and Suzanne C. Beckmann. 1998. Review and Critical Assessment of Research on Marketing and the Environment. Journal of Marketing Management 14 (6): 513–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kilbourne, William E., and Les Carlson. 2008. The Dominant Social Paradigm, Consumption and Environmental Attitudes: Can Macromarketing Education Help? Journal of Macromarketing 28 (2): 106–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kilbourne, William E., Pierre McDonagh, and Andrea Prothero. 1997. Sustainable Consumption and the Quality of Life: A Macromarketing Challenge to the Dominant Social Paradigm. Journal of Macromarketing 17 (1): 4–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kinnear, Thomas C., and James R. Taylor. 1973. The Effect of Ecological Concern on Brand Perceptions. Journal of Marketing Research 10 (2): 191–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kinnear, Thomas C., James R. Taylor, and Ahmed A. Sadrudin. 1974. Ecologically Concerned Consumers: Who Are They? Journal of Marketing 38 (2): 20–24.Google Scholar
  46. Kotler, Philip. 2011. Reinventing Marketing to Manage the Environmental Imperative. Journal of Marketing 75 (4): 132–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kotler, Philip, Gary Armstrong, Lloyd C. Harris, and Nigel Piercy. 2017. Principles of Marketing. 7th European ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.Google Scholar
  48. Leonard-Barton, Dorothy. 1981. Voluntary Simplicity Scale and Energy Conservation. Journal of Consumer Research 8 (Dec.): 243–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Leonidou, Constantinos N., Constantine S. Katsikeas, and Neil A. Morgan. 2013. ‘Greening’ the Marketing Mix: Do Firms Do It and Does It Pay Off? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 41 (2): 151–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Leonidou, Constantinos N., and Leonidas C. Leonidou. 2011. Research into Environmental Marketing/Management: A Bibliographic Analysis. European Journal of Marketing 45 (1/2): 68–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Littledyke, Michael, and Evangelos Manolas. 2010. Ideology, Epistemology and Pedagogy: Barriers and Drivers to Education for Sustainability in Science Education. Journal of Baltic Science Education 9 (4): 285–301.Google Scholar
  52. Martin, Diane, and John Schouten. 2014. Sustainable Marketing. Harlow: Pearson.Google Scholar
  53. McDonagh, Pierre, and Andrea Prothero. 2014. Sustainability Marketing Research: Past, Present and Future. Journal of Marketing Management 30 (11–12): 1186–1219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Rangers, and William W. Behrens III. 1972. The Limits to Growth. Washington: Potomac Associates.Google Scholar
  55. Menon, Ajay, and Anil Menon. 1997. Enviropreneurial Marketing Strategy: The Emergence of Corporate Environmentalism as Market Strategy. The Journal of Marketing 61 (1): 51–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Milne, Markus J., and Rob Gray. 2013. W(h)ither Ecology? The Triple Bottom Line, the Global Reporting Initiative, and Corporate Sustainability Reporting. Journal of Business Ethics 118 (1): 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Monbiot, George. 2012. The Gift of Death. The Guardian. Accessed December, 11, 2017.
  58. ———. 2018. You Can Deny the Environmental Calamity—Until You Check the Facts. The Guardian. Accessed March 23, 2018.
  59. Moon, Jeremy, and Mark Orlitzky. 2011. Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Education: A Trans-Atlantic Comparison. Journal of Management & Organization 17 (5): 583–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. MTV Switch. 2008. The Green Song. Accessed March 22, 2018.Google Scholar
  61. Murphy, Patrick E., Norman Kangun, and William B. Locander. 1978. Environmentally Concerned Consumers—Racial Variations. Journal of Marketing 42 (4): 61–66.Google Scholar
  62. National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE). 2018. UK National Association for Environmental Education: Supporting Education for Sustainable Development. Accessed March 22, 2018.
  63. Nicholls, Jeananne, Joseph F. Hair Jr., Charles B. Ragland, and Kurt E. Schimmel. 2013. Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Sustainability Education in AACSB Undergraduate and Graduate Marketing Curricula: A Benchmark Study. Journal of Marketing Education 35 (2): 129–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. O’Brien, Martin. 1995. Changing Environmental Values—Introduction. In Values and the Environment, ed. Y. Guerrier, N. Alexander, J. Chase, and M. O’Brien, 167–170. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Google Scholar
  65. O’Neill, John. 1993. Ecology, Policy and Politics: Human Well-Being and the Natural World. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  66. Obermiller, Carl. 1995. The Baby Is Sick/the Baby Is Well: A Test of Environmental Communication Appeals. Journal of Advertising 24 (2): 55–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Ottman, Jacquelyn. 1993. Challenges and Opportunities for the New Marketing Age. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books.Google Scholar
  68. Peattie, Ken. 1999. Trapping Versus Substance in the Greening of Marketing Planning. Journal of Strategic Marketing 7 (2): 141–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. ———. 2001. Towards Sustainability: The Third Age of Green Marketing. The Marketing Review 2: 129–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Peattie, Ken, and Andrew Crane. 2005. Green Marketing: Legend, Myth, Farce or Prophesy? Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal 8 (4): 357–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Peattie, Ken, and Sue Peattie. 2009. Social Marketing: A Pathway to Consumption Reduction. Journal of Business Research 62 (2): 260–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Pepper, David. 1997. Modern Environmentalism—An Introduction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  73. Rawls, John. 1971. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Reid, David. 1996. Sustainable Development—An Introductory Guide. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  75. Schwepker, Charles H., and T. Bettina Cornwell. 1991. An Examination of Ecologically Concerned Consumers and Their Intention to Purchase Ecologically Packaged Products. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 10 (2): 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Scott, Kristin, Diane M. Martin, and John W. Schouten. 2014. Marketing and the New Materialism. Journal of Macromarketing 34 (3): 282–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Shankar, Avi, Julie Whittaker, and James A. Fitchett. 2006. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now. Marketing Theory 6 (4): 485–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sheth, Jagdish N., and Rajendra S. Sisodia. 2005. Does Marketing Need Reform? Journal of Marketing 69 (4): 10–12.Google Scholar
  79. Sheth, Jagdish N., Nirmal K. Sethia, and Shanti Srinivas. 2011. Mindful Consumption: A Customer-Centric Approach to Sustainability. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 39 (1): 21–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Simintiras, A.C., B.B. Schlegelmilch, and A. Diamantopolous. 1997. ‘Greening’ the Marketing Mix: A Review of the Literature and an Agenda for Future Research. In Green Management—A Reader, ed. P. McDonagh and A. Prothero, 413–434. London: The Dryden Press.Google Scholar
  81. UNESCO. 2005. United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014): International Implementation Scheme. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  82. United Nations. 1972. Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Accessed March 22, 2017.
  83. van Dam, Ynte, and Paul A.C. Apeldoorn. 1996. Sustainable Marketing. Journal of Macromarketing 16 (2): 45–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Varey, Richard J. 2010. Marketing Means and Ends for a Sustainable Society: A Welfare Agenda for Transformative Change. Journal of Macromarketing 30 (2): 112–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Watts, Jonathan. 2018. Destruction of Nature as Dangerous as Climate Change, Scientists Warn. The Guardian, March 23. Accessed March 23, 2018.
  86. WCED, World Commission on Environment and Development. 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  87. Webster, Frederick E., Jr. 1975. Determining the Characteristics of the Socially Conscious Consumer. Journal of Consumer Research 2 (3): 188–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wilkinson, Richard, and Kate Pickett. 2009. The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  89. Wright, Tarah S.A. 2002. Definitions and Frameworks for Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education. Higher Education Policy 15: 105–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. YouTube. 2018. MTV Switch 2008: The Green Song. Accessed March 15, 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham University Business SchoolNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations