Social responsibility in environmental marketing planning

Jari Kärnä (Department of Forest Economics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)
Eric Hansen (Department of Forest Products, Oregon Sate University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)
Heikki Juslin (Department of Forest Economics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 1 June 2003


Companies along the forestry‐wood value chain from four European countries were surveyed in order to examine social responsibility in values and environmental emphasis in their marketing planning. Most of the Finnish, Swedish, German and UK companies emphasise environmental issues in their values, marketing strategies, structures and functions. The companies were classified into three groups according to their responsibility values based on the concepts of redirecting customers towards sustainability and the role of governmental balancing of markets. “Proactive green marketers” (companies emphasising pursuing sustainability and believing in free market system) emphasise environmental issues in their marketing planning clearly more than traditional “consumption marketers”, and more than “reactive green marketers” (companies emphasising pursuing sustainability under governmental balancing). We interpret that proactive marketers are the most genuine group in implementing environmental marketing voluntarily and seeking competitive advantage through environmental friendliness. Thus, the example of these progressive companies should be the direction towards sustainable development in business and society. The results also give evidence that green values, environmental marketing strategies, structures and functions are logically connected to each other as hypothesised according to the model of environmental marketing used to guide this study.



Kärnä, J., Hansen, E. and Juslin, H. (2003), "Social responsibility in environmental marketing planning", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 37 No. 5/6, pp. 848-871.

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