Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Rural Development through Green Marketing

Shiv Shanker Shukla

Poverty reduction and economic growth can be sustained only if natural resources are managed on a sustainable basis. A significant segment of India’s population, particularly the rural poor, depends on natural resources for subsistence and livelihoods. ‘Greening RD’ refers to conservation and regeneration of ecosystems and the natural resource base. ‘Greening’ can stimulate rural economies, create jobs and help maintain critical ecosystem services and strengthen climate resilience of the rural poor who are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and natural resources degradation. Ecosystem goods and services are crucial to ensuring viability of agriculture, livestock and non-timber forest based livelihoods. Besides, they are key to safe drinking water, health care, shelter and more.
With the growth rate of economic development the most developed part of the world community, the issue of protection of the environment is becoming increasingly important. So, the concept of deepening marketing business with the concept of green marketing and philanthropic marketing concept arise, causing the emergence of social marketing. In addition, green marketing is the primary segment of social marketing, because it covers the protection and preservation of the values necessary for survival, existence and development of man as a human being. This reflects the philosophy of practical support for the implementation of sustainable development of humanity.

         Review of Literature- The term Green Marketing came into prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s.The American Marketing Association (AMA) held the first workshop on ‘Ecological Marketing’ in 1975. The proceedings of this workshop resulted in one of the first books on green marketing entitled ‘Ecological Marketing’.
Objective of Study- The objective of study is to examine the impact of green marketing in rural development.
Research Methodology and Database- The research is based on secondary data. I have selected Governments rural development schemes on which green marketing have positive impact. Data is taken from UNDP reports on rural development on twelfth five year plan.
Green marketing an overview- Green marketing is the marketing of products that are represented as a safe for human health and safety, as well as its environment, which also should contribute to sustainable development. Green marketing refers to the efforts of organizations to produce, pack, promote and sell of products that are appropriate and acceptable for the individual and the environment. Green marketing includes a wide range of activities including product modification, production process, packaging, promotion and sales, with the aim of delivering healthy, environmental, safe, nutritionally valuable products to the consumers.
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.
First of all, activities in terms of green marketing, anyhow, we must locate and identify the target green consumers, then assess how is the group informed and what kind of additional training is needed to extend or reinforce it. When we observe the demographics of buyers of environmentally acceptable, organic products, women are more interested in the environment than men, more often are buying organic produce and more engaged in sorting waste for recycling. However, men and women are equally interested in their health, and equal representation in the activities of preserving the environment. Also, people with higher incomes and education levels, and therefore greater access to information, often pay more attention to organic products and the environment. Psychological indicators of consumers tell us that people with conservative values do not want to complicate life with the changes or do not  want to be part of something that does not comply with basic standards and therefore they not open to changes in standards and purchase green products. Observing the behavior of customers who use green products to a large extent, showed that they largely influenced by the opinions of others, states and environmental groups, they also have a strong identity and high degree of concern for themselves and for their environment. Unlike them, customers who buy less green products are of the opinion that it is hard to find these products on the market. The group of customers under the popular name of ‘green activists’ is definitely the target group, because they have the highest level of education, work on high-skilled jobs (middle and senior management, intellectuals, scientists and artists) and have the highest incomes. It should be taken that they also often show great skepticism about the promotional and marketing claims. Green marketing, environmental marketing and sustainable marketing are different in terms of terminology, but substantially with similar meaning. They should not be understood only as a possible profit potential, where the attribute verdancy or the environmental suitability is adding to product, and marketing activities use them for commercial benefit, but should kept in mind the approach that is more complex, and in the long term business more efficient, including: fundamental changes in the company by defining the basic strategy for the company, marketing strategy, organizational structure and most importantly promotion  of eco-management.
Impact of Green Marketing on India’s Rural Development:-
3.1 Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employments- Guarantee Programme (MGNREGS)- Natural resources such as farmlands, pastures, forests and water sources (surface and ground water) are subject to degradation and loss of productivity. Satellite data showed that in 2005-2006 about 15% (47.22 mha) of India’s land mass were wasted or under-productive lands. Such degradation is an important factor in the loss of livelihood assets and income poverty in rural India. The MGNREG Act therefore proposes large investments in works like soil and water conservation, land development and a forestation that address the causes of chronic rural poverty. It also lays stress on creating durable assets. These key elements of the Act -- productivity enhancement and sustainability of the rural natural resource base - strengthen its potential for green outcomes. A vast majority of MGNREGS works are ‘green’ in nature given their focus on the regeneration and conservation of natural resources and ecosystems and their main emphasis being on land (farmlands, forests, pastures and waste lands) and water resources. In fact, since the initiation of MGNREGS more than 50 percent projects are related to water through implementation of water conservation works, flood control, irrigation, drought proofing, renovation of traditional water bodies and micro-irrigation. Their main developmental consequences are higher crop productivities and production. Drought proofing activities, floods management works and vegetation belts planted in the coastal areas also reduce the potential damage due to extreme weather events. There is ample evidence that even basic MGNREGS works have led to the regeneration of degraded soil, land (farms, forests and pastures) and water resources and the conservation of the assets created.
3.2 National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM):- Aajeevika- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India in June 2011. The Mission aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services. The sustainability and green dimensions are reflected in the NRLM document: “Respect for nature and its stewardship to ensure sustainable livelihoods for present as well as future generations” which points out “Environmental stewardship and sustainable harvest/natural resource management are central for ensuring sustainability of livelihoods of rural poor.” For the purpose of greening this scheme, the focus has been on three key livelihood components of the NRLM mainly livelihoods based on non-timber forest produce (NTFP), sustainable agriculture and non-farm employment. The NRLM is at its initial stage of deployment and state rural livelihood missions are being operationalized. Already the NRLM has a strong green emphasis. The greening strategies for the key livelihood sub-sectors that are outlined can be taken into account as the national-level activities. Additionally, the institutions of the poor being set up and strengthened under NRLM offer an excellent platform for introducing and institutionalizing green strategies.
3.3 Integrated Watershed Development Programme (IWDP)- The main objectives of the IWDP are to restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover and water. The outcomes include prevention of soil run-off, regeneration of natural vegetation, rain water harvesting and recharging of the ground water table. This enables multi-cropping and the introduction of diverse agro-based activities, which help to provide sustainable livelihoods to the people residing in the watershed area.
3.3.1 Improving Soil Health- Soil conservation is only the first step in regenerating soils and has to be followed by a comprehensive approach for improving soil health that involves (i) applying organic inputs; (ii) enhancing soil fertility by using easily adaptable good agronomical practices; (iii) creating an incentive systems for producing organic fertilizers and their use; (iv) establishing support systems for capacity building, market linkages and storage facilities.
3.3.2 Going beyond Increasing Water Availability to Water Security- The IWDP has successfully promoted rainwater harvesting to augment water availability but there is a need to move towards water sufficiency or security. This includes assessment of groundwater potential, mapping of aquifers, drainage lines and surface water bodies and assessment of current water resource use demand of all kinds. Further, the irrigation action plans should aim at providing critical protective irrigation to a maximum number of farmers rather than providing intensive irrigation to small pockets of lands.
3.3.3 Biomass and Biodiversity Conservation- A priority objective of watershed development is to regenerate and restore the productivity of degraded lands. So far, the focus has been largely on soil and water conservation works, afforestation and plantations have not received adequate attention. The planting activity is done without much participation of the main stakeholders, i.e., the local communities, leading to very poor survival rates. Inadequate efforts at institution building, community participation in planning or selecting the species for planting, specifying usufruct rights and establishing remunerative links with livelihood activities are at the root of the stakeholders’ alienation.
3.3.4 Green Livelihoods- Agriculture and livestock-based livelihoods have been the main beneficiaries of watershed development programmes in India so far. Soil and water conservation have increased irrigation water, which in turn, has helped enhance agricultural production and productivity. Increased fodder availability from farms and newly afforested areas has increased dairying activities and incomes. However, many of these successes have been based on high chemical inputs particularly fertilizers and pesticides, besides major dependence on irrigation. Greening IWDP would mean a shift towards low external inputs environmentally sustainable agriculture (LEISA). Generic practices like LEISA or low carbon farming do not compromise the productivity of farm lands while strengthening their ecosystems. Profits at farm level are also higher as the inputs costs are fairly low.
3.4 National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP)- The goal of NRDWP is to ensure that the basic minimum requirements of safe water for all rural household needs and cattle are met on a sustainable basis. The overall objective is to ensure permanent drinking water security in rural India.The Working Group on Rural Domestic Water and Sanitation for the 12th Plan has recommended that 55 percent of the rural households be covered by piped water supply with house connections wherever possible. It also recommended that these systems supply a minimum of 55 lpcd.
For greening NRDWP, therefore, the critical components will include: (i) Regeneration and conservation of the resource base through roof rain water harvesting; (ii) Renovation of traditional water harvesting structures; (iii) Treatment of the recharge zones of springs, groundwater aquifers and streams; (iv) Water quality monitoring and treatment to minimize contamination and ensure potable drinking water supply and (v) use of renewable energy sources for pumps and higher resource use efficiencies.
3.4.1 Rainwater Harvesting- Rainwater harvesting (RWH) reduces the demands on surface and groundwater sources. Excess rainwater can be used to recharge depleting groundwater aquifers. It is fairly widespread, largely as a result of the national watershed development programme. In western India, particularly in Gujarat, people have harvested rainwater and recharged groundwater under watershed projects. Dysfunctional surface water tanks are being revived in south and central India through rainwater harvesting.
3.4.2 Renovating Traditional Water Harvesting Systems- India’s geological and ecological diversities have led to a profusion of water harvesting structures built to meet different needs. Many of these are maintained by communities and used even many years after their construction, e.g., baoris in Himachal Pradesh and naula (a shallow stepped well) in Pithoragarh and Gaurikund in Pauri Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand. Renovation and revival of similar traditional systems are still being undertaken, e.g., johads by Tarun Bharat Sanghin Alwar district, Rajasthan; traditional tanks by Srijan and Vikalp Bundelkhand; tankas, khads in and nadis by Gravis in western, Rajasthan; ooran is by Vivekananda Kendra in Tamil Nadu; and naulas by Doodhatoli Lok Vikas Sansthan and People’s Science Institute in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Used in conjunction with rural water supply systems, traditional water harvesting structures can provide year-round water security to the local populations.
3.4.3 Groundwater Recharge and Management- Groundwater depletion is a major challenge. A range of response measures are being undertaken to recharge and manage it sustainably. For instance, India’s Central Ground Water Board has conducted recharge experiments in various parts of country. In Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, percolation ponds and check dams constructed in an experimental recharge project increased the duration of local spring-flows, and the post-monsoon water table (also see case study-5 Farmers collectives manage groundwater). In Gujarat, wells have been altered to recharge the groundwater, and at the same time, thousands of ponds, check dams to harvest rainwater and recharge the aquifers have also been constructed.
3.4.4 Groundwater Quality- The supply of safe potable water is a major challenge for NRDWP. Surface water sources suffer mainly from the presence of bacteriological pathogens, pesticides and nitrates from agricultural runoff and at times chemical pollution from local industries. Shallow aquifers are mainly affected by bacteriological pathogens due to inadequate or improper sanitation resulting in the mixing of sewage or infiltration from latrines. The deeper aquifers which are accessed by bore or tube wells are affected by geogenic contaminants.
Fluoride and arsenic mitigation in particular has been attempted by several organizations and successful approaches are largely based on elimination of contaminated sources and reliance only on safe sources inside or outside the village; treatment of the contaminated water by simple methods like the Nalgonda technique at the household or community levels or more technologically sophisticated methods like reverse osmosis plants at the community level as in villages in Gujarat. Finding alternate sources of safe supply, preferably external sources, seems to be a popular choice. Sanitary dug wells that tap only the shallow aquifers which are less likely to have harmful geogenic contaminants become a cost-effective and technologically simpler choice for rural water supply systems. PRADAN has promoted this approach in Jharkhand and West Bengal.
 3.4.5 Renewable Energy for Pumping Domestic Water Supplies- Groundwater, the main source of rural water supplies, has to be lifted up and conveyed to the point of use. Government water supply agencies prefer to use electricity operated pumps to lift groundwater. With electricity supply in rural areas being often unreliable, communities and individual households choose diesel-operated pumps to lift groundwater mainly for agricultural purposes. In this regard, a shift to renewable energy sources for rural water supply systems needs to be encouraged. The economic viability of these systems will be a critical factor in their adoption. Some of the successful renewable based water supply systems include: the pilot project of Sahjeevan Trust demonstrating a solar powered submersible pump lifting water and transported it over a distance of 1.8 Km to a water tank in the village. Many hydrams have been installed in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with mixed results.Hydram schemes that are community owned show better physical and socio-economic benefits.
3.5 Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan- TheTotal Sanitation Campaign (TSC) launched in 1999, has been now renamed as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) with the objective “to accelerate the sanitation coverage in the rural areas so as to comprehensively cover the rural community through renewed strategies and saturation approach”. The NBA aims to promote rural well-being through environmentally safe disposal and utilization of rural household wastes, and therefore, is inherently a green programme. The NBA can improve the rural environment by converting rural household wastes to organic fertilizer, fuel and water for irrigation and groundwater recharge.
3.5.1 Safe Disposal of Excreta- The thrust of NBA is to make rural communities open defecation- free as open defecation has significant health as well as economic impacts. This is sought at the individual household, institutional and at the public level. The goal is to move from open defecation to a hundred percent sustainable use of toilets. Eco-sanitation as proposed under the scheme guidelines offers an effective way to segregate and utilize human wastes. Further, greening may be achieved by using green materials for constructing toilets and green sanitation technologies including biogas units and ecosan toilets. Biogas digesters are also useful for safe disposal of animal dung and kitchen wastes. Ecosan toilets allow a shift away from flush toilets which is particularly important in areas with high groundwater tables as water borne sewage can contaminate surface water bodies and groundwater, e.g., the flood plains of Ganga, flood-prone areas of Bihar and areas where underlying ground stratum is either highly porous or permeable. All elements of NBA must move in this direction.
3.5.2 Effective Solid & Liquid Waste Management:-
(i) Rural Solid Waste Management:- The NBA guidelines state “Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are required to put in place mechanisms for garbage collection and for preventing water logging. Up to 10 percent of the project cost can be utilized for meeting capital costs incurred under this component. Under this component, activities like common compost pits, low cost drainage, soakage channels/pits, reuse of waste water, system for collection, segregation and disposal of household garbage etc may be taken up.” Looking at this provison, it appears that the focus is on minimizing garbage to prevent water logging and the options provided are means to that end. This needs to change. The objective of solid waste management must be specified as closing the waste cycle and treating organic waste at the local level. It has to be a mandatory part of a district sanitation plan, without which the rest of the plan will not be passed.
 Household organic wastes can be converted to fertilizers by composting or using a biogas digester, converted into fertilizer and fuel. Manure from composting is a steady income source for the composting agency, whether individual or panchayat. Inorganic wastes can be segregated and recycled. Recycling and reuse reduces the need forvirgin material. By closing the waste cycle a major portion of waste is prevented from just being dumped in the open or going to landfills. This prevents water and land contamination through leachates. Proper solid waste disposal also reduces the impact on forests and grasslands that are often used as dumping grounds in rural areas. Less wastes going to landfill also reduces GHG emissions and the threat of global warming. Proper solid waste management reduces the number of disease vectors and consequently morbidity and mortality.
(ii) Rural Liquid Waste Management:- Waste water from rural homes comprises grey (from household processes such as washing dishes, laundry and bathing) and black water (from toilets), and the choice of domestic wastewater management strategy depends on the end use of the effluent. Treated grey water not only reduces contamination of local water sources but also the use and dependence on them. Untreated grey water should not be allowed to mix with any other water – surface or ground. Therefore, the planning of such management systems has to be done with the reuse in mind and should be adapted to a specified purpose, such as agricultural reuse, ground water recharge or discharge into inland or coastal waters.
                A simple and cost-effective approach is to use grey water for irrigating kitchen gardens and is ideal for rural households that have homesteads and space for kitchen gardens. The planted bed breaks down organic compounds and recovers nutrients. Another method is to construct small-scale wetlands for the treatment of domestic grey water. They utilize plants, soils and their associated micro-organisms to mimic natural wetland ecosystemic processes to mechanically filter pollutants in the wastewater, chemically transform them or biologically consume them. Such wetlands do not require power, chemicals or much money as land is readily available. The water processed by the wetland can be used for farming or discharged into surface water bodies since it will be free of organic matters and chemicals.
(iii) Ecological Sanitation:- Ecological sanitation focuses on preventing pollution, on sanitizing urine and fæcal matter and using the safe treatment products for agricultural purposes,often characterized as the ‘sanitize-and-recycle’ approach. It reduces water pollution, the spread of disease and degradation of natural resources caused by unsafe disposal of human excreta. Ecological sanitation treats human waste as a resource and decomposes human faeces so that the end product can be used as manure. Human-derived compost helps reduce the environmental impacts of chemical farming, and is in fact richer in phosphorous.
3.6   Indira Awaas Yojna:- The Indira  Awaas Yojana (IAY) was launched in 1985-86 under the Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Programme (RLEGP) and later extended as a programme under Jawahar Rojgar Yojana inApril 1989. It became an independent programme of the Ministry in 1996. The objective of the IAY is primarily to “help in construction/upgradation of dwelling units of rural BPL householders belonging to members of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, freed bonded labourers, minorities and other non-SC/ST by providing them a lump sum financial assistance.”
There is limited reference to green results in the guidelines; however, there is significant scope for greening the scheme. In the production of building materials and the process of using them in construction, large amounts of raw materials including natural resources, energy and water are consumed. There is significant potential to green the scheme by encouraging the use of green building materials, construction methods and building environment-friendly designs. The IAY guidelines in fact do emphasize using low-cost, environment-friendly and disaster-safe construction technologies.
Requirement:- As greening should be integrated through the entire lifecycle of a building, greening the IAY requires:
1.  Reduction in the Amount of Manufactured Building Materials- The main manufactured building materials used in rural housing are cement, steel and bricks. All of them are produced by processing ores or soil with intensive use of commercial power or energy and the release of pollutants into the surrounding environment. These can be substituted with naturally available construction materials like mud, stones, timber or bamboo. Mud walls or mud mortar is, however, identified with kutcha (weak) structures. With the guidelines emphasizing that the house should be a pucca one, mud tends to be ignored in IAY. But there are options to enhance the durability of mud by adding small amounts of cement or straw. Bamboo poles tied together can make a strong and ductile beam. Resource conservation can also be achieved by using flyash cement or rice husk as h cement. In both cases, the use of ‘waste’ products, i.e., flyash from thermal power stations or rice husk ash from burning the husk reduces the need for lime stone.
2.  Intelligent Construction Processes for Conservation of Resources and Reduction in the Development Footprint- The use of local materials reduces the consumption of fossil fuels that are normally used for transporting manufactured materials to construction sites. Secondly, in a typical IAY house, a solid brick wall can use 480 bricks and 65 kg cement whereas rat trap bonded masonry requires 400 bricks and 6 kg cement. The consequent non-renewable energy embedded in the wall reduces from 486 Mega Joules per cum to 388 Mega Joules/cum in a rat trap wall. The CO emission of solid brick wall is 327 kg/cum against 254 kg in rat-trap bonding. Use of labour instead of machines and less water also help conserve resources.
3.  Resource Conservation during Inhabitation- Intelligent building designs like passive solar architecture, roof rain water harvesting and eosin toilets can reduce resource consumption during inhabitation. Recycling waste water and organic wastes from the kitchen are other possibilities. Ongoing initiatives by many organizations have provided many lessons on greening, which have the potential to be upscale.
Conclusion:- Today, in a time of global economic crisis, the issue of sustainable development is even more topical. There is a per se and the additional question, how to overcome the crisis period, but also a way to preserve scarce natural resources. This is certainly not easy. However, in recent times, to the market oriented companies are imposing a relatively new concept - the concept of green marketing. It is a concept that requires a green company that manufactures, distributes and sells green products. Being green means being capable of at every stage of the process to implement green management philosophy, which includes green product, green pricing, green and green channels of distribution and promotion.
The goal is to offer consumers a healthy, safe, environmentally friendly, nutritionally valuable product and at the same time to achieve sustainable development. Achieving sustainable development by implementing the concept of green marketing will require major changes in most companies from the point of planning a green product, through its production, forming a green pricing, distribution channels, green and green promotions. Is demanding, but it certainly shows the cost-effective, in every sense. This is supported by the fact that only the development of environmental industries and green companies withstand global economic crisis.
1-UNDP Reports, Greening Rural development in India,
2-Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People- Volume 1, Issue 3, 2012
3-Environmental management, N.k.oberoi, foreword Dilip Biswas (chairmain, c.P.c.b.)
 Shiv Shanker Shukla (Guest Lecturer) &
Neetesh Mishra (Scholar of PGDM)
 School of Management,
Ewing Christian College, Allahabad

(University of Allahabad)