Sustainability Marketing : Sustainability Marketing on the Chinese Market

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi; Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi; Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract: It is argued that sustainability today has become a mega-trend, where the consumers are more aware of their surroundings and businesses impact on the environment than ever. Companies have come to be critically observed by societies, which has put more pressure on them to act in more sustainable ways as well as becoming more transparent with their operational and sustainability communication towards stakeholders. In 1978 China opened up the country to the global economy and since then, the country has rapidly risen in the terms of international economic importance. However, China is suffering from large environmental concerns like immoderate pollution that has become a daily concern for the population. Due to the rapid economic growth that China has been going through the recent years, these environmental issues the country is facing are largely tied to the industrialization. One of the biggest factors contributing to China’s heavy pollution is the colossal number of both Western and Chinese production facilities opening up in China.The aim with this research was to investigate how three selected Swedish companies placed in Shanghai approach sustainability marketing and explore how they embed sustainability within their strategy and particularly in their marketing mix. This thesis was conducted with a qualitative approach and with semi-structured interviews with three Swedish companies; Greencarrier, Atlas Copco and Stora Enso.The findings from the interviews, conducted with the three mentioned companies, pointed out that sustainability today is well integrated in the company’s core business and that working with sustainability has become a critical success factor. Factors that were important for the companies was to have long-term sustainability strategies, being innovative and transparent in their operational and sustainability communication, being material efficient in the product development and promoting this on media channels like WeChat, internet websites, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Also, more traditional ways of marketing themselves was important, like visiting universities and exhibit at fairs. This essay will provide knowledge that can help companies to further their understanding of what a big role marketing has and how they can support awareness of sustainability issues. We also hope that our essay can help to inform consumers on the issue and by that place higher demands on companies to act sustainable. Because our thesis focused on investigating Swedish companies in Shanghai, it would be interesting to continue further research on how Chinese companies approach sustainability marketing.

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