A Retrospective (or: A Personal Review)
The Twelfth Day is the last day of the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas which follow Christmas Day. It falls on 6 January (which happens to be Frank’s birthday!). In some countries like Ireland it has a particular significance, where it is known as Little Christmas (Nollaig Bheag). Our 'Little Christmas' present in 2009 was the submission of the final manuscript “Sustainability Marketing: A Global Perspective” to our publisher Wiley. After years of preparing, writing and re-writing the text book we finally made it! What a good feeling and a relief!
Retrospective Green Light. Photo by darkwood67. Reproduced under creative commons
The copy-editing and typesetting of the final manuscript was done by Thomson Digital in India. It is a good example for the globalization and digitalization of new product development. Sumit Shridhar read, and checked the manuscript for spelling, grammar, consistency between text and illustrations and between references and citation details. He did a marvelous job in ensuring that our book is complete, clear and consistent. Thank you! In April 2009 we did the final proofreading, so all the remaining mistakes in the book are faults of the authors. The official release was, by a happy coincidence, on World Environment Day in June 2009. How exciting to hold the book in our hands and teach on the basis of it! We would like to thank the Wiley team, namely Nicole Burnett, Celine Durand, and Georgia King for handling the entire production process smoothly. We are also grateful to Peter Hudson and Barbara Denuelle for their great efforts in marketing the text book and spreading the word – offline and online. All of you did a great job!
In September 2009 we received an email from the marketing department, informing us that the first print of the text book is almost sold out, making a reprint necessary. We are thrilled and happy to share the ideas on sustainability and marketing with others. We thank you, our readers from all over the world, for your trust and the interests you share with us. We are grateful to the lecturers who decide(d) to take up the text book for their courses in sustainability marketing, and related fields. We also thank the students, the future marketing decisions makers, who inspire us with their enthusiasm for the subject. Furthermore, we are indebted to the practitioners who provide us with both inspiration and content by helping to establish a new sustainability oriented marketing mainstream. There is at least a 'breeze' of change towards sustainability. Take the following examples:
- In 2009 Toyota launched the third generation of the Prius with more power and less emissions. Over the last decade Toyota sold more than a million hybrid cars.
- Electric cars make their way from the design stage to the market (e.g. Tesla Roadster, and the Mini Cooper by BMW)
- By 2009 Zipcar has become the world's largest car-sharing service, sharing 6,000 vehicles between 275,000 drivers in more than 50 North-American and British cities.
- Organic farming and food products continue to grow on a global scale – despite economic downturns.
- The Marine Stewardship Council celebrates 10 years of partnership and progress. Certified sustainable seafood gains significant and growing market shares world-wide.
- Energy-efficient houses become increasingly popular in Western Europe and North America (see our post in November 2009).
- Wal-Mart announces its worldwide sustainability initiative, helping create a more transparent supply chain, driving product innovation and ultimately providing their customers with information they need to assess products’ sustainability.
- The iPhone application “Good Guide” is launched allowing consumers instant access to environmental and social information on food and non-food products
To discuss these and other examples and to develop sustainability marketing further we decided to launch a blog in November 2009. It is new terrain for both of us and we are excited to get connected with you, our readers, and other bloggers interested in the area of sustainability and marketing. We do not see the blog as a monologue, but rather as a dialogue and we welcome your comments. We also see it as a collaborative endeavour. That is why we regularly invite guest posts from all over the world to our blog both from the scientific community and the management community. We are looking forward to different and critical perspectives, which enrich the theory and practice of sustainability marketing (see, for example, the post on the African perspective by Anayo Nkamnebe from Nigeria). We hope to move the agenda forward together with you and establish a new sustainability oriented mainstream in marketing. In this sense we wish all of you a good, peaceful and inspiring year 2010!
Frank and Ken.