Sustainability and Marketing: Concurrent Pursuit of a Smaller Environmental Footprint and a Larger Market Footprint Academic Article uri icon


  • Copyright © 2016 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework that provides insights into major environmental and organizational forces underlying greater levels of organizational responsiveness to the environmental sustainability imperative by a growing number of firms, worldwide. Methodology/approach-The paper is conceptual in its focus, and the proposed framework builds on extant literature from multiple literature streams. Findings-Societal progress toward environmental sustainability is a shared responsibility of consumers, corporations, and the government at various levels. A potential avenue for societal progress toward environmental sustainability is fostering a macroenvironment that is conducive to the elimination of consumption certain products, reduction in consumption certain other products, and redirection of consumption of still other products from ecologically more harmful to ecologically less harmful substitute products (and relatedly, demand elimination, demand reduction, and demand redirection). Research and practical implications-An implication for corporate sustainability responsibility is that firms while planning and formulating strategies for increasing their market footprint must also concurrently plan and formulate strategies for decreasing their environmental footprint. An implication for government sustainability responsibility is that even under conditions of high levels of commitment by a large and growing number of firms and consumers to engage in environmentally sustainable behaviors, in the absence of supporting infrastructure for engaging in such behavior, they may find it necessary to engage in environmentally unsustainable behaviors. Originality/value-Issues relating to environmental sustainability have been the focus of a large body of recent research in a number of academic disciplines including marketing. A cursory examination of numerous articles published in scholarly journals on issues pertaining to environmental sustainability, and in the business press pertaining to the myriad environmental sustainability initiatives of firms worldwide is indicative of its growing importance.

author list (cited authors)

  • Varadarajan, R.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • June 2016