Marketing Sustainability : What next?

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Sustainability is a term we are all familiar with, yet achieving balance across
each element of ecology, economy and society remains elusive, regardless
of how many warnings come from scientific bodies about the state of the
climate or biodiversity. The United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) report, which declared that human activity since the
industrialisation period has directly contributed to climate change affecting
the ecology on the Earth (IPCC, 2018) acts as an urgent call to action for all
disciplines. Dealing with the questions asked by this journal - i.e. what should be
taken forward, and what should we reform or transform? - this article discusses
sustainability marketing from a historical perspective and argues that greater
empirical research is required, specifically addressing how sustainability is
achieved. The article acknowledges calls to action for greater marketing research
addressing sustainability from a macro-level (Gordon, Carrigan and Hastings,
2011; McDonagh and Prothero, 2014), but also recognises that these debates
are challenging, given the hegemony of neoliberal economics. Despite this
challenge, given the climate emergency, marketing must widen its horizons to
the possibilities that macro-level research may offer to society and the discipline,
both in theory and in practice. However, meaningful micro approaches that go
beyond mere greening of products, to work with stakeholders in increasing
awareness and behavioural change regarding sustainability, can still prove
valuable as a bridge to where we are now and a more sustainable world.
Therefore, using these micro-level innovations to create macro-level change
within organisations will be a key output of this current research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages6
JournalIntersections (Postgraduate Journal - Arts , Humanities , Social Sciences)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Jul 2020


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