Improved supply chain collaboration with Green industrial marketing : The case of Swedish textile service industry between 1996 and 2021

Abstract: Growing environmental problems have led to increasing pressure on companies to improve their environmental performance. This means that also supply chains must become greener, which has contributed to new challenges when it comes to green collaboration and trust. Research has suggested marketing as a tool to tackle these challenges, but how to use marketing to address these concerns has yet to be explored further. The focus of this thesis is thereby to explore and clarify the possibilities to use green industrial marketing as a tool to meet these new supply chain challenges.In line with that, the overarching aim of the thesis is to explore and advance the understanding of green industrial marketing, with the underlying aim of merging the fields of green marketing and green supply chains. There is also the goal of contributing to companies’ knowledge about the field and thus possibly inspire improvements in green industrial marketing and green supply chain practices. These aims are met by answering two research questions. The first research question regards the practice of green industrial marketing, and how this practice has developed over time. The second research question revolves around what strategies, placing an emphasis on trust, can be identified in companies working in green industrial marketing and how these strategies can improve green supply chain collaboration.The literature review focuses mainly on green industrial marketing, with green marketing, the emergence of green business, industrial marketing, green supply chain management, green marketing strategies, and trust as associated theoretical fields related to green industrial marketing. The study is interpretive and qualitative with a focus on one industry, the Swedish textile service industry, during a 26-year time period. Three sub-studies have been combined to explore the phenomenon of green industrial marketing: a qualitative content analysis, a semi-structured interview study, and a minor case study.The results of this study can improve the understanding of green industrial marketing, both as a practice and theoretical area by describing the strategies, including strategies intended to build trust, that are practiced in markets. A typology of eight identified green industrial trust strategies have been developed. The study also contributes to discussion on the differences between industrial marketing and consumer marketing by clarifying the boundaries of green industrial marketing in relation to green consumer marketing. Among other things, the results of this study show that there is a greater relational focus in green industrial marketing compared to what exists in green consumer marketing.This study also contributes to a merger between the fields of green industrial marketing and green supply chain management by showing how green industrial marketing can contribute to improved collaboration within green supply chains in four ways. The first way is to convey different types of environmental information and green market positions, the second is to improve the integration and coordination of green supply chains, the third is to facilitate supplier evaluations, and the fourth is to build trust.