Green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally preferable to others. Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, sustainable packaging, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task where several meanings intersect and contradict each other; an example of this will be the existence of varying social, environmental and retail definitions attached to this term. Other similar terms used are environmental marketing and ecological marketing.
Green, environmental and eco-marketing are part of the new marketing approaches which do not just refocus, adjust or enhance existing marketing thinking and practice, but seek to challenge those approaches and provide a substantially different perspective. In more detail green, environmental and eco-marketing belong to the group of approaches which seek to address the lack of fit between marketing as it is currently practiced and the ecological and social realities of the wider marketing environment.
The legal implications of marketing claims call for caution. Misleading or overstated claims can lead to regulatory or civil challenges. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission provides some guidance on environmental marketing claims. This Commission is expected to do an overall review of this guidance, and the legal standards it contains, in 2011.