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There is such an emphasis placed on environmental change and sustainable practices these days, to the point where businesses can no longer sit idle-by and not make any changes to the way in which they operate. In fact, it could harm a business if they do not take the right steps to being more eco-friendly or adopting sustainable methods. 

One of the ways in which you can make your customers stand up and see that you’re being eco-friendly is by putting green and sustainable marketing into play. But you need to be aware of the differences between the two before either implementing those strategies yourself or before asking a digital marketing agency, like us here at Kumo, to do it for you. 

It could be that you’re choosing the wrong, least-effective technique. With that in mind, let’s look into the differences between green and sustainable marketing, together with which one you should choose for your business.


What is green marketing?

Green marketing refers to the promotion of brands, companies and businesses alike that is based purely on how they view the environment and sustainable practices. It depends on the level of priority a business places on the planet and being eco-friendly. An organisation might use green marketing to plug goods and services that have a wider link to environmental issues, such as climate change.

It has a sole aim of improving their image and loyalty with customers who are actively looking to give their custom to businesses that are eco-friendly and are making a difference when it comes to climate change and other environmental problems. It could even be something as simple as taking steps to reduce their own carbon footprints, as well as the carbon footprints of their customers. 

Where most organisations use green marketing to showcase how they’re making a difference, environmentally, there are some businesses that will use green marketing illegitimately. It’s often done to make customers think that they’re taking the right steps towards environmental change when, in fact, they aren’t.


What is sustainable marketing?

Sustainable marketing is put into place for businesses and companies based purely on their social and environmental perceptions. Instead of having a main focus on being eco-friendly, sustainable marketing looks at social issues, such as issues of discrimination, prejudice, workplace conditions and treatment of employees, as well as environmental issues. 

Sustainable marketing covers a wider spectrum of problems that might be present that can come hand-in-hand with running a company today, in addition to environmental problems. As well as all of that, sustainable marketing can also focus on government compliance, harping on the fact that a business might have certain credentials and certifications in order to further enhance a sense of authenticity, loyalty and trustworthiness. 

Sustainable marketing also takes steps to aim marketing campaigns that are inclusive of everyone, but sometimes with a sway towards the LGBTQ+ community, stressing their rights or changes in laws that offers more inclusivity to those within the LGBTQ+ community. Sustainable marketing touches on every social and environmental issue there possibly could be, but there’s less room to mislead customers and readers, unlike green marketing.


What are the main differences between green marketing & sustainable marketing?

Now that we’ve been through, in detail what each of these marketing strategies mean and what they involve, let’s briefly run through all of the differences between the two. Laying them side-by-side is an effective way of comparing the two, therefore making it easier for you to decide which one you need and why. So what are the differences between green marketing and sustainable marketing?

  • Green marketing focuses primarily on being eco-friendly and touching on environmental issue, like climate change
  • Sustainable marketing looks at a wider range of societal issues, but it also has a focus on environmental problems, often combining the two
  • Green marketing is far easier to execute because it only focuses on one topic – environmental problems and the steps the company is taking to reduce the impact of those problems
  • Green marketing can be misleading to a customer or a reader, claiming to make eco-friendly changes when, in actuality, they’ve not made any changes at all


Green marketing or sustainable marketing? Which one should I choose for my business?

If your business is focused purely on being green, or offering goods and services that are set apart from the crowd, purely because you’re more sustainable than other companies, then stick to green marketing. Showcase all of the changes you’re making in order to reduce your carbon footprints, but make sure you’re being genuine with your claims. Do not falsely report those environmental adaptations if you haven’t actually done it. This could be hugely damaging to your reputation if it’s discovered that you’re not as eco-friendly as you claim to be.

Sustainable marketing is something that is adopted by a wider range of businesses. It can be broad-brushed to many companies, no matter the industry or sector you might work in. This is because sustainable marketing touches on an extensive range of societal and environmental problems, as well as government compliance and other topics that are relevant to your business, how well it operates, or the society in which you work in. This is usually incredibly effective by way of a marketing technique, because it adds a sense of trust and authenticity that you might not have achieved beforehand.



Kumo is able to offer a wealth of digital marketing services that will help to propel your business into the spotlight. From content writing and SEO to PPC and website design, we have the skills and expertise needed to improve website traffic and genuine leads. For further information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our friendly, professional team – we’re always pleased to hear from you.


Author Biography


As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.