Ecological Imperatives for Marketing

Published 01 Nov 2017

It is generally recognized that any field of study should be coherent with the arguments and assumptions of other disciplines. The necessity of such ensures the consistency of a discipline’s assumptions outside of its conceptual framework thereby in the process ensuring the strength of the field’s veracity. It is within such a context that Paul Ehlrich states the necessity for biology and economics “to forge an understanding that will permit them to work together to solve the human predicament” (1989, p. 9).

Within this context, ecological economics thereby serves as an interdisciplinary field that synthesizes the approaches of both economics and biology. The field is based upon the assumption that an intimate connection exists as to the systems that govern human health, economy, social justice, as well as national security (Lubchenco, 1998, p.491). If such is the case, the environment cannot be saved if one uses an isolated approach that fails to consider both economic and societal factors.

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Within such a framework, marketing takes a new role in the improvement of environmental conditions. Shet and Parvatiyar (1996) argue that sustainable development can only be achieved if a proactive marketing and government intervention is implemented in the environmental deterioration. If such is the case, an ecological imperative is thereby brought upon the field of marketing. Such a imperative however can only be understood if one has knowledge of the various problems that are presented by scientists to the marketing community such as “a warming globe, acid precipitation, threats to Earth’s ozone layer, accumulation of greenhouse gases, deserts consuming agricultural land, as well as the fast depletion of vital natural resources (Shet & Parvatiyar, 1996, p. 5).

Marketing thereby necessitates knowledge of the environmental biology since environmental biology provides the understanding of the human environment, which is necessary for the sustainability of the marketing. Such a sustainability, on the other hand, is entirely dependent upon the industry’s ability to ensure that methods for marketing sustainability enable ecological stability.


  • Ehlrich, P. (1989). “The Limits to Substitution: Metasource Depletion and a New Economic-Ecological Paradigm.” Ecol. Econ, 1, 285-300.
  • Lubchenco, J. (1998). “Entering the century of the environment: a new social contract for science.” Science, 279, 491-497.
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