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Special Issue "Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Panayiota Alevizou (Website)

Management School, University of Sheffield, Conduit Rd, Sheffield, S10 1FL, UK
Fax: +44(0)1142223423
Interests: marketing sustainability; sustainable consumer behavior; sustainable production; eco labelling and certification
Guest Editor
Dr. Caroline J. Oates (Website)

Management School, University of Sheffield, Conduit Rd, Sheffield, S10 1FL, UK
Phone: +44(0)1142223448
Fax: +44(0)1142223348
Interests: marketing sustainability; sustainable consumption; children and sustainable consumption
Guest Editor
Prof. Seonaidh McDonald (Website)

Aberdeen Business School, Institute of Management, Governance and Society, Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB10 7QE
Interests: sustainable consumption; green consumer behavior; qualitative research methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability cuts across all areas of production and consumption. This indicates a need to address sustainability holistically so as to understand the challenges we face today in attempting to decrease our environmental impact on society. Evidence suggests that there is increasing pressure from stakeholders about the social and environmental responsibilities of companies (for example, those responsibilities concerning how products are manufactured and marketed to consumers). Recent catastrophic events, such as the factory collapse in Bangladesh, have highlighted unacceptable and unethical practices in production, thus prompting, at the very least, a media backlash against the companies involved. Therefore, one of the many challenges for consumers choosing between different brands is to inform and possibly educate buyers about brands’ sustainable production practices, so as to convey potential advantages for sustainable brands over similar but less sustainable ones.

The interface between companies and consumers in promoting sustainable production and consumption is reflected in contact points, such as advertising, packaging, and labeling. Such points are key providers of information concerning how products are sourced, manufactured, and used.

However, consumers themselves are faced with a bewildering range of product choices and increasing information, which raises questions about the links between sustainability in production and consumption.

We invite papers that examine the relationship between how organizations attempt to produce and market sustainable products/services, and how these are understood and consumed by the target audience. Topics might include, but are not limited to, issues around transparency of information, consumer knowledge, regulation of environmental claims, packaging design, product labeling, eco labeling, and sustainable consumption.

Dr. Panayiota Alevizou
Dr. Caroline J. Oates
Prof. Seonaidh McDonald
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • marketing of sustainable products
  • sustainable production
  • sustainability marketing
  • consumer knowledge
  • eco labeling
  • regulation of environmental claims

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 75; doi:10.3390/su8010075
Received: 7 January 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 13 January 2016
PDF Full-text (148 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract As one of the biggest issues facing today’s global society, sustainability cuts across all areas of production and consumption and presents challenges for marketers who attempt to understand and incorporate sustainability in their everyday practices [1–3]. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle The Well(s) of Knowledge: The Decoding of Sustainability Claims in the UK and in Greece
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8729-8747; doi:10.3390/su7078729
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 24 June 2015 / Published: 3 July 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability claims have existed on fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) for over four decades and there is evidence that they are increasing. Research suggests that consumers have a low level of knowledge and understanding of such labels. It has been found that [...] Read more.
Sustainability claims have existed on fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) for over four decades and there is evidence that they are increasing. Research suggests that consumers have a low level of knowledge and understanding of such labels. It has been found that environmental and labelling knowledge may influence consumption behaviour but the findings so far have been inconsistent. Furthermore, the issue of knowledge and particularly sense making of the variety of claims found on FMCGs today is somewhat under researched. In this paper we investigate the types of knowledge consumers draw upon in order to decode and make sense of different types of labels across two countries. We carried out a qualitative study in the UK and Greece with 12 focus groups and utilised concepts of knowledge to investigate consumer decoding of labelling. We found that overall consumers have limited labelling knowledge and understanding even though their environmental knowledge may vary. This limited labelling knowledge makes consumers feel unsettled and unsure about their shopping decisions. Finally, we identified areas where consumers demonstrated limited knowledge and requested further information and education. This has important implications for companies, marketers, and policy makers if sustainability claims are to promote and support sustainable consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Communicating Sustainable Shoes to Mainstream Consumers: The Impact of Advertisement Design on Buying Intention
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8420-8436; doi:10.3390/su7078420
Received: 14 March 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 24 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditionally, marketing of sustainable products addresses green buyers, thus missing out on the mainstream consumers and volume necessary to cover the potentially higher cost of more sustainable materials. However, how to effectively communicate more sustainable products to mainstream consumers and to increase [...] Read more.
Traditionally, marketing of sustainable products addresses green buyers, thus missing out on the mainstream consumers and volume necessary to cover the potentially higher cost of more sustainable materials. However, how to effectively communicate more sustainable products to mainstream consumers and to increase their buying intention is still underexplored. Combining personal and environmental benefits, called double benefit theory, is promoted as an effective green marketing strategy but so far not supported by quantitative research as being effective to reach mainstream consumers. We studied the effect of advertisement elements (layout color, benefit type, and heritage) on the products’ perceived sustainability, quality and fashion image, and buying intentions of mainstream consumers. Two hundred adults participated in a study that was based on a 2 (red vs. green layout) × 2 (personal vs. environmental benefit) × 2 (local vs. global heritage) between-subjects factorial design of a sustainable shoe advertisement. The impact of these independent variables on product image as well as on buying intention was analyzed by means of three-way ANOVAs. In line with the double benefit theory, combining a personal benefit with a green layout led to the highest buying intention. Moreover, a mediation analysis revealed the effect of emphasizing a personal benefit on buying intention was mediated by fashion image but not by sustainability. Sustainability, however, did have a positive effect on buying intentions independent of benefit type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Neutralisation and Mental Accounting in Ethical Consumption: The Case of Sustainable Holidays
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7959-7972; doi:10.3390/su7067959
Received: 15 March 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present research aimed to investigate the decision-making process for sustainable holidays, as a type of ethical consumption related to environmental welfare. Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 German holidaymakers of different ages, it was found that individuals use cognitive processes such [...] Read more.
The present research aimed to investigate the decision-making process for sustainable holidays, as a type of ethical consumption related to environmental welfare. Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 German holidaymakers of different ages, it was found that individuals use cognitive processes such as neutralisation and mental accounting to justify their unethical/unsustainable choices and to manage negative emotions. The findings also indicated a lack of spillovers between sustainable behaviours at home and holiday-related behaviours. This could be explained by the identification of “ethical” and “unethical” mental accounts, which the interviewees have disclosed. When the compensation between the two types of mental accounts takes place, neutralisation is not used. It was also found that positive and negative emotions could motivate the choice of sustainable holidays. These findings have implications in relation to marketing communications aimed at creating awareness and encouraging the purchase of sustainable holidays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle How National Culture and Parental Style Affect the Process of Adolescents’ Ecological Resocialization
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7581-7603; doi:10.3390/su7067581
Received: 22 March 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 9 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (359 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The role of adolescents as influencers on their families’ environmental behavior is potentially a catalyst for change towards increasing eco-friendly actions. In this paper, the authors report on a cross-cultural study of ecological resocialization in France and India. Using in-depth dyadic interviews, [...] Read more.
The role of adolescents as influencers on their families’ environmental behavior is potentially a catalyst for change towards increasing eco-friendly actions. In this paper, the authors report on a cross-cultural study of ecological resocialization in France and India. Using in-depth dyadic interviews, they investigated parental styles, cultural attributes and extent of adolescents’ influence over parental eco-behavior. The study reveals that ecological resocialization across countries differs substantially, according to a combination of national cultural values, parental style and influence strategy. French teens exhibit a greater impact than Indian teens on their parents’ eco-behavior and use bilateral influence strategies. In India, not all mothers engage in ecological resocialization, but those who do are susceptible to unilateral strategies. The role of environmental knowledge, and the context and effectiveness of each kind of strategy is discussed. The findings have implications for how public policy officials and agencies can encourage adolescents as key resocialization agents to influence their parents’ pro-environmental consumption by using the most adapted influence strategy across cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Workplace Waste Recycling Behaviour: A Meta-Analytical Review
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7175-7194; doi:10.3390/su7067175
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (497 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to increase waste recycling, many studies have been conducted to understand factors that may influence waste recycling behaviour. However, these studies have focused on household contexts rather than other waste generation contexts. As a result, this paper seeks to provide [...] Read more.
In order to increase waste recycling, many studies have been conducted to understand factors that may influence waste recycling behaviour. However, these studies have focused on household contexts rather than other waste generation contexts. As a result, this paper seeks to provide a detailed analysis of previous studies on workplace waste recycling behaviour. Drawing from different databases, 51 relevant studies on workplace waste recycling attitudes and behaviour were meta-analysed. Findings showed that the highest percentage of the existing studies were conducted in the USA, focused on a single waste stream, were often conducted within academic contexts, adopted (or modified) an existing theoretical framework and were based on questionnaires which elicited self-reported behaviour. Some of the factors identified include demographics, situational variables, past behaviour, incentives, prompts and/or information, attitudes and identity. The findings highlighted the scale of challenges confronting waste management practitioners in understanding the factors that may affect waste recycling behaviour due to the complexity and heterogeneity of human behaviours. However, the results from the reviewed studies in this research suggest that a combination of different factors may be required to influence workplace waste recycling behaviour. This may provide effective incentives to develop a framework that may assist waste management stakeholders when addressing workplace waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Albanian and UK Consumers’ Perceptions of Farmers’ Markets and Supermarkets as Outlets for Organic Food: An Exploratory Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6626-6651; doi:10.3390/su7066626
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to elicit UK and Albanian consumers’ perceptions of food outlets in order to understand their views on supermarkets and farmers’ markets as outlets for organic food. A qualitative research methodology was chosen as the best way [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to elicit UK and Albanian consumers’ perceptions of food outlets in order to understand their views on supermarkets and farmers’ markets as outlets for organic food. A qualitative research methodology was chosen as the best way to get an in-depth understanding of how consumers of these two different countries understand and evaluate buying organic food from two different food outlets. This exploratory research is a first step to find out how and why organic food is being bought in supermarkets and farmers’ markets. The results show that respondents associated organic with vegetables and fruit, that taste good, are healthy, and are free of pesticides and hormones. The importance of motives varies between the outlets they prefer for buying organic food. An interesting finding is the fact that Albanian respondents refer to the farmers’ markets as the villagers’ market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle An Extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour to Predict the Usage Intention of the Electric Car: A Multi-Group Comparison
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6212-6245; doi:10.3390/su7056212
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 7 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An Extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) is developed that integrates emotions towards car driving and electric cars as well as car driving habits of the DTPB, and is empirically validated in a Belgian sample (n = 1023). Multi-group comparisons [...] Read more.
An Extended Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) is developed that integrates emotions towards car driving and electric cars as well as car driving habits of the DTPB, and is empirically validated in a Belgian sample (n = 1023). Multi-group comparisons explore how the determinants of usage intention are different between groups of consumers differing in environmentally-friendly behaviour, environmental concern, innovativeness and personal values. Besides attitudes, media, perceived complexity, compatibility and relative advantage, emotions towards the electric car and reflective emotions towards car driving have a strong effect on usage intention. Car driving habits and perceived behavioural control (facilitators and constraints) do not substantially affect usage intention. Only people differing in personal values show a different motivational structure for a number of important drivers of usage intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle First Catch Your Fish: Designing a “Low Energy Fish” Label
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6086-6101; doi:10.3390/su7056086
Received: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 18 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores the application of information design principles to label design for fish packaging, identifying energy implications for the product. This stage of the project has consisted of: A review and distillation of the relevant literature on information and label design; [...] Read more.
This paper explores the application of information design principles to label design for fish packaging, identifying energy implications for the product. This stage of the project has consisted of: A review and distillation of the relevant literature on information and label design; environmental and labelling standards; and literature on consumer reaction to the design and information content of the label. Considering the design of a label requires the analysis and integration of a variety of factors while attempting to satisfy the demands of consumers and retailers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Traceability the New Eco-Label in the Slow-Fashion Industry?—Consumer Perceptions and Micro-Organisations Responses
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 6011-6032; doi:10.3390/su7056011
Received: 14 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 15 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1081 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article focuses on eco-labels from the point of view of consumers and experts/owner-managers of micro-organisations. The analysis maps the 15 most common standardisations within the UK’s fashion industry and elaborates on their commonalities and differences, before exploring the perceptions held by [...] Read more.
This article focuses on eco-labels from the point of view of consumers and experts/owner-managers of micro-organisations. The analysis maps the 15 most common standardisations within the UK’s fashion industry and elaborates on their commonalities and differences, before exploring the perceptions held by both consumers and micro-companies. This paper presents preliminary findings of a wider research project with emphasis on the potential for future research and marketing implications. The study is interpretative in nature and provides detailed results that contribute to an understudied area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle The Effects of In-Home Displays—Revisiting the Context
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5431-5451; doi:10.3390/su7055431
Received: 16 March 2015 / Revised: 27 April 2015 / Accepted: 28 April 2015 / Published: 5 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1065 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the extent to which the use of in-home displays affects daily practices and electricity consumption. Through two pilot projects, in-home displays were installed in 33 Norwegian homes, and we provide a qualitative analysis of the effects. The [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate the extent to which the use of in-home displays affects daily practices and electricity consumption. Through two pilot projects, in-home displays were installed in 33 Norwegian homes, and we provide a qualitative analysis of the effects. The results point to the potential differences in the ways households interact with the in-home displays. The effects differed among various groups according to people’s previous experiences with monitoring and their level of affluence. In the sample, affluent respondents living in detached houses tended to be accustomed to monitoring consumption before the display was introduced. These families used the display for controlling that “nothing was wrong”, but they did not use the information provided by the display to initiate new energy saving measures. In contrast, among less affluent flat owners the notion of “control” was specifically linked to the family’s management of finances, and in this sense the displays empowered them. In addition, the results indicate that the in-home display for this group resulted in electricity savings. The study adds to earlier research on the effects of in-home displays by showing the importance of previous experience with monitoring electricity for the effects of feedback and by highlighting not only energy savings but also social effects of displays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Green Viral Communications on Green Purchase Intentions: The Mediating Role of Consumers’ Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influences
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 4829-4849; doi:10.3390/su7054829
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 29 March 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 23 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to incorporate the diffusion of innovation theory and conformity theory to explain consumers’ green purchase intentions. To this end, a conceptual model has been proposed and subjected to empirical verification with the use of a survey method. Using a [...] Read more.
This paper aims to incorporate the diffusion of innovation theory and conformity theory to explain consumers’ green purchase intentions. To this end, a conceptual model has been proposed and subjected to empirical verification with the use of a survey method. Using a sample of Taiwanese consumers who had the actual purchase experience of green detergents, this study employed structural equation modeling to verify the hypothesis proposed. The empirical results suggested that green viral communication was positively related to normative interpersonal influence, informational interpersonal influence and green purchase intention. Informational interpersonal influence also had a positive impact on green purchase intention. However, the relationship between consumer’s normative interpersonal influence and green purchase intention was not supported. Thus, this study concludes that green marketers must strengthen their green viral communications skills to enhance consumers’ purchase intentions. In addition, this study also contributes to the literature by stating that consumers’ susceptibility to informational interpersonal relationships is an important mediator in the green viral communication and green purchase intentions relationship. This study discusses implications of the findings and research limitations at the end of the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Distinguishing Technical Inefficiency from Desirable and Undesirable Congestion with an Application to Regional Industries in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8808-8826; doi:10.3390/su6128808
Received: 11 September 2014 / Revised: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (736 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Congestion is an important issue that requires the efficiency of decision-making units (DMUs). We first classify conventional congestion into congestion (newly defined) and technical inefficiency, based on prior research and real applications. Modified definitions and mathematical expression of congestion, managerial inefficiency, and [...] Read more.
Congestion is an important issue that requires the efficiency of decision-making units (DMUs). We first classify conventional congestion into congestion (newly defined) and technical inefficiency, based on prior research and real applications. Modified definitions and mathematical expression of congestion, managerial inefficiency, and technical inefficiency are proposed to better illustrate the differences between them. Several modified models are provided to identify and recognize those types of inefficiencies and congestion. We then extend the model by considering the desirable and undesirable types of congestion simultaneously. The proposed approach is applied and verified by identifying resource congestion and environmental inefficiencies in China’s economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Market-Based Instruments for the Conservation of Underutilized Crops: In-Store Experimental Auction of Native Chili Products in Bolivia
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7768-7786; doi:10.3390/su6117768
Received: 12 September 2014 / Revised: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 5 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Native chilies (Capsicum spp.) are currently underutilized in Bolivia, one of this crop’s centers of diversity. Fewer local farmers cultivate native chilies annually due to low market demand. Increasing its private use value can lead to the in-situ conservation of [...] Read more.
Native chilies (Capsicum spp.) are currently underutilized in Bolivia, one of this crop’s centers of diversity. Fewer local farmers cultivate native chilies annually due to low market demand. Increasing its private use value can lead to the in-situ conservation of this crop. The objective of the paper is to evaluate the market acceptability of three native chili products: (a) chili marmalade; (b) chili cooking paste; and (c) pickled chilies. Multi-product Becker-DeGroot-Marschak experimental auctions and hedonic tests were conducted with 337 participants in La Paz and Santa Cruz. Data were analyzed using seemingly unrelated regressions. Results suggest that consumers are willing to pay price premiums of about 25–50 percent. Biodiversity conservation and improvements in farmers’ quality of life statements would not have influence on first purchase decisions but rather on repurchase decisions and therefore on consumers’ product loyalty. This in turn could lead to sustainable agro-biodiversity conservation, centered on consumers’ purchase of these products over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Social Business, Business as if People Mattered: Variations on a Theme by Schumacher (1973)
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6478-6496; doi:10.3390/su7066478
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic growth is promoted as the solution to enhance the standard of living of the third of the world’s population living below the poverty line. Such growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is unsustainable and predicated on increased production/consumption without [...] Read more.
Economic growth is promoted as the solution to enhance the standard of living of the third of the world’s population living below the poverty line. Such growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is unsustainable and predicated on increased production/consumption without sufficient consideration of what is consumed by whom. In essence this is because GDP is a mechanistic measure of quantity that ignores individual human welfare or quality-of-life. To rectify this, affluent consumers need to learn that materialism and selfish self-interest are unsustainable, whereas enlightened self-interest, as assumed by Adam Smith when promoting capitalism and free markets, will benefit everyone. “Social Business” and marketing are proposed as practices that will facilitate this transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessReview A Conceptual Framework of the Adoption and Practice of Environmental Actions in Households
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5793-5818; doi:10.3390/su7055793
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 12 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Securing public participation in environmental actions such as recycling, energy conservation measures and green consumerism is a means of progressing towards sustainable consumption. Participation in environmental actions (EAs) has typically been studied from the individual perspective, thus largely ignoring the social context [...] Read more.
Securing public participation in environmental actions such as recycling, energy conservation measures and green consumerism is a means of progressing towards sustainable consumption. Participation in environmental actions (EAs) has typically been studied from the individual perspective, thus largely ignoring the social context of the household which may undermine effective behaviour change and green marketing strategies. This paper advances understanding of the adoption and practice of EAs from the household perspective by drawing together the limited and fragmented work which has examined EA participation from the household perspective, and integrating it with two relevant literatures—the household decision making literature and the literature which has examined EA participation from the individual perspective. The literatures are drawn together into a framework covering household member involvement in EA adoption and practice, the decision making process leading to EA adoption, decision making strategies and communication within the household, the maintenance of repetitive EAs, the factors influencing household member involvement including activity types and situational, household and individual characteristics, and how the individual characteristic of relative interest is shaped. We make a theoretical contribution by presenting a holistic understanding of the adoption and practice of EAs in households, which was previously lacking from the EA participation literature. By highlighting the elements of the conceptual framework that require further investigation, the authors also set out an agenda for research into EA participation from the household perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Communicating Sustainable Shoes to Mainstream Consumers: The Impact of Advertisement Design on Buying Intention
Authors:
Mirjam Visser 1,*, Valentin Gattol 2 and Rosan van der Helm 3
Affiliations:
1 Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Dept. of Design Engineering, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, the Netherlands; m.c.visser@tudelft.nl
2
Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Dept. of Product Innovation Management, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, the Netherlands; v.gattol@tudelft.nl; Austrian Institute of Technology, Dept. of Innovation Systems, Donau-City-Str. 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria
3
Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Dept. of Design Engineering, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, the Netherlands; rosanvanderhelm@gmail.com
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: m.c.visser@tudelft.nl;
Tel.: +49-151 425 46164; Fax: +1-111-111-112.
Abstract:
Traditionally marketing of sustainable products addresses green buyers, thus staying a niche market and missing out on the mainstream consumers and volume necessary to cover the potentially higher cost of more sustainable materials. However, how to effectively communicate more sustainable products to mainstream consumers and to increase their buying intention is still underexplored. Combining personal and environmental benefits, called double benefit theory, is promoted as an effective green marketing strategy but so far not supported by quantitative research as being effective to reach mainstream consumers. We studied the effect of advertisement elements (layout colour, benefit type, and heritage) on the products’ perceived sustainability, quality and fashion image, and buying intentions of young mainstream consumers. Two hundred young adults participated in a study that was based on a 2 (red vs. green layout) × 2 (personal vs. environmental benefit) × 2 (local vs. global heritage) between-subjects factorial design of a sustainable shoe advertisement. The impact of these independent variables on the perceived product image as well as on buying intention was analysed by means of three-way ANOVAs. In line with the double benefit theory, combining a personal benefit with a green layout led to the highest buying intention. Moreover, a mediation analysis revealed the positive effect of emphasizing a personal benefit on buying intention was mediated by fashion image but not by sustainability. Sustainability, however, did have a positive effect on buying intentions independent of benefit type.
Keywords:
marketing; sustainability; double filter; buying decision; linked benefit; willingness to pay; buying intention; brand image; product image

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