Green design and sustainability have become major design issues for architects during the twenty-first century. However, with the rise of green products and sustainable living, some marketing has succumbed to greenwashing. Green marketing should help normalize green as the sustainable future of the world. This research study examines socially responsible green marketing, CSR, business ethics, and greenwashing in architecture firms. The literature review analyzes the importance of socially responsible green marketing in architecture through five major areas: green building, sustainable business ethics, corporate social responsibility & credibility, green marketing/greenwashing, and a firm’s role in the community. Through a questionnaire sent via email to a random sample of 510 participating architecture firms throughout the United States, 50 responding architects analyzed their firms based on their socially responsible green marketing. After conducting research using a deductive approach, the study analyzes the results, based on the size of firm, location of firm, size of city, overall average, and above average firms. There are a few conclusions that address the important issues of this research study. Six areas will help firms become socially responsible sustainable firms. The six areas are as follows: increase training and education, update firm/AIA standards, amplify government regulations, equal focus on the triple bottom line, greater use of using their own firms in promoting green, and practicing what they preach through a holistic green marketing strategy. With highly informed and well-educated socially responsible architecture firms, architects can inform clients of the benefits and cost savings of sustainability through green marketing. Only when green marketing does not succumb to greenwashing, then, and only then, can sustainability truly become the future of design.
|Keywords:||Green Marketing, Sustainable Business Ethics, CSR and Credibility, Greenwashing, Socially Responsible Design|
Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA