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Sustainable consumption: green consumer behaviour when purchasing products

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Author Info

  • William Young

    (Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK)

  • Kumju Hwang

    (Department of Business Administration, College of Business Administration, Chonnam National University, South Korea)

  • Seonaidh McDonald

    (Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, UK)

  • Caroline J. Oates

    (Management School, University of Sheffield, UK)

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    Abstract

    The 'attitude-behaviour gap' or 'values-action gap' is where 30% of consumers report that they are very concerned about environmental issues but they are struggling to translate this into purchases. For example, the market share for ethical foods remains at 5 per cent of sales. This paper investigates the purchasing process for green consumers in relation to consumer technology products in the UK. Data were collected from 81 self-declared green consumers through in depth interviews on recent purchases of technology products. A green consumer purchasing model and success criteria for closing the gap between green consumers' values and their behaviour are developed. The paper concludes that incentives and single issue labels (like the current energy rating label) would help consumers concentrate their limited efforts. More fundamentally, 'being green' needs time and space in people's lives that is not available in increasingly busy lifestyles. Implications for policy and business are proposed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.394
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 20-31

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:18:y:2010:i:1:p:20-31

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    Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1719

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    1. Andreas Chatzidakis & Sally Hibbert & Andrew Smith, 2007. "Why People Don’t Take their Concerns about Fair Trade to the Supermarket: The Role of Neutralisation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 74(1), pages 89-100, August.
    2. Vantomme, D. & Geuens, M. & De Houwer, J. & De Pelsmacker, P., 2006. "Implicit attitudes toward green consumer behavior," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School 2005-31, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
    3. Marcus Sutcliffe & Paul Hooper & Ros Howell, 2008. "Can eco-footprinting analysis be used successfully to encourage more sustainable behaviour at the household level?," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 1-16.
    4. Andrew Dobson, 2007. "Environmental citizenship: towards sustainable development," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 276-285.
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    Cited by:
    1. Erifili Papista & Athanasios Krystallis, 2013. "Investigating the Types of Value and Cost of Green Brands: Proposition of a Conceptual Framework," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 115(1), pages 75-92, June.
    2. So-Yun Kim & Jungsung Yeo & Sang Sohn & Jong-Youn Rha & Shinae Choi & A-young Choi & Suhyun Shin, 2012. "Toward a Composite Measure of Green Consumption: An Exploratory Study Using a Korean Sample," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 199-214, June.
    3. Jerome Vanclay & John Shortiss & Scott Aulsebrook & Angus Gillespie & Ben Howell & Rhoda Johanni & Michael Maher & Kelly Mitchell & Mark Stewart & Jim Yates, 2011. "Customer Response to Carbon Labelling of Groceries," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 153-160, March.
    4. Gadenne, David & Sharma, Bishnu & Kerr, Don & Smith, Tim, 2011. "The influence of consumers' environmental beliefs and attitudes on energy saving behaviours," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7684-7694.
    5. Banbury, Catherine & Stinerock, Robert & Subrahmanyan, Saroja, 2012. "Sustainable consumption: Introspecting across multiple lived cultures," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 497-503.
    6. Nouira, Imen & Frein, Yannick & Hadj-Alouane, Atidel B., 2014. "Optimization of manufacturing systems under environmental considerations for a greenness-dependent demand," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 188-198.
    7. Vladimir Melnyk & Erica Herpen & Arnout Fischer & Hans Trijp, 2013. "Regulatory fit effects for injunctive versus descriptive social norms: Evidence from the promotion of sustainable products," Marketing Letters, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 191-203, June.

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