Special Issue "Environmentally Sustainable Behavior: Theories, Empirical Evidence and Implications"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ninh Nguyen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia
2. Business Sustainability Research Group, Thuongmai University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Interests: green marketing; environmentally sustainable behaviour; sustainable food consumption; sustainable development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Khanh Dieu Hong Nguyen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemical Engineering, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam
Interests: green fuel; renewable energy; natural and organic cosmetics
Prof. Dr. Simon Pervan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Interests: service workers; brand management; consumer behaviour; scale development
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Viet Nguyen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Research Administration, Thuongmai University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Interests: environmentally friendly behaviour; organic food consumption; strategic management; sustainable economic development
Prof. Dr. Lester Johnson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Management and Marketing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia
Interests: sustainability; marketing; services; customer engagement; consumer behavior
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, researchers, marketers, and policymakers have constantly sought to explain and promote pro-environmental behaviour that is of paramount importance for environmental sustainability. A number of theories and models have been developed to explain and predict environmentally sustainable behaviour. Nevertheless, empirical studies, underpinned by these theories, show inconsistent and even conflicting results of the behaviour’s drivers and outcomes. Despite extensive environmental initiatives and efforts from governments, businesses and consumers seem reluctant to actively and frequently engage in environmentally sustainable behaviour.

Our Special Issue aims to make a contribution to the literature on business sustainability and consumer pro-environmental behaviour. We invite scholars, marketers, managers and policymakers to submit reviews and original research articles dealing with the antecedents and outcomes of environmentally sustainable behaviours, as well as their implications for environmental sustainability. In addition, papers that deliver a theoretically grounded, managerially relevant framework to guide environmental behaviour research and corporate sustainable practices are welcomed.

Dr. Ninh Nguyen
Prof. Dr. Khanh Dieu Hong Nguyen
Prof. Dr. Simon Pervan
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Viet Nguyen
Prof. Dr. Lester Johnson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 semimonthly 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 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environmentally sustainable behaviour
  • business sustainability
  • corporate environmental strategies
  • corporate sustainable practices and their outcomes
  • green marketing
  • green brand management
  • governmental environmental initiatives and policies
  • drivers and inhibitors of pro-environmental behaviour
  • socio-cultural influences on environmentally sustainable behaviour
  • organic food consumption
  • recycling and conservation behaviour
  • consumer awareness of eco-labels
  • consumer attitude towards renewable energy and clean fuel
  • willingness to pay for green products
  • green consumer profile

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Article
An Approach to Applying the Ability-Motivation-Opportunity Theory to Identify the Driving Factors of Green Employee Behavior in the Hotel Industry
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4659; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094659 - 22 Apr 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
In the context of climate change and all other harmful effects of pollution, companies should improve their environmental performances. As part of their strategies, companies should explore the consequences of their environmental practices from the perspective of internal stakeholders and must be more [...] Read more.
In the context of climate change and all other harmful effects of pollution, companies should improve their environmental performances. As part of their strategies, companies should explore the consequences of their environmental practices from the perspective of internal stakeholders and must be more attentive to employee environmental behavior. This study’s purpose was to identify the motives that encourage the employees of a green hotel to adopt pro-environmental behaviors. Qualitative research was conducted using semi-structured interviews among three-star hotel employees from Brașov, Romania. This research uses the ability-motivation-opportunity (AMO) theory that could lead to a better understanding of employee green behavior. Data analysis revealed that less than half of the respondents have a proper understanding of the concept of environment and only a third of them are aware of the harmful effects caused by people, both at work and at home. Moreover, most of the respondents know little of the measures implemented by the hotel in order to reduce resource consumption, the extrinsic motivation being dominant. Consequently, the results lead to the recommendation that the hotel managerial team should invest in the employees’ training and motivation, creating a corporate environment and a proper organizational culture to develop green behaviors among the employees. The results of this study should be a starting point for those hotels, which face the challenge of involving their employees in the process of greening their activity. Full article
Article
Consumer Intention to Participate in E-Waste Collection Programs: A Study of Smartphone Waste in Indonesia
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2759; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052759 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
Indonesia is a developing country with a low-level e-waste management system based on a limited number of informal initiatives. E-waste requires proper management procedures, which involve the design of a reverse logistics management network. Consumers play a critical role in such a network, [...] Read more.
Indonesia is a developing country with a low-level e-waste management system based on a limited number of informal initiatives. E-waste requires proper management procedures, which involve the design of a reverse logistics management network. Consumers play a critical role in such a network, because the network runs when they willingly participate as suppliers of waste. This paper applies the Theory of Planned Behavior framework and extends it using Reverse Logistics drivers, the Value Belief Norm Theory, and facility accessibility to explain consumer intention to participate in e-waste collection programs. A survey was conducted on smartphone users in Indonesia, with a total of 324 valid questionnaires. The results showed that government drivers, facility accessibility, and personal attitudes significantly influence consumer intentions. Environmental concern has a positive influence on consumer intentions through the variables of the Theory of Planned Behavior and perceived behavioral control through government drivers. This study shows the need for integration, because the variables reinforce each other. However, neither economic drivers nor subjective norms significantly influence consumer intentions. This finding distinguishes Indonesia from other countries, especially developed countries, in that e-waste collection programs have not become part of the culture in Indonesia. For this reason, Indonesia needs regulations, as the most influential variable, to regulate the implementation of such a program. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Food Consumption: Investigating Organic Meat Purchase Intention by Vietnamese Consumers
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020953 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Promoting sustainable food consumption contributes to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This study investigated the key determinants of consumer intention to purchase organic meat in an emerging market and a unique model was developed by incorporating environmental concern and [...] Read more.
Promoting sustainable food consumption contributes to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This study investigated the key determinants of consumer intention to purchase organic meat in an emerging market and a unique model was developed by incorporating environmental concern and guilt with the key components of the Theory of Planned Behavior. This model was then validated by obtaining data from a sample of 402 Vietnamese consumers at five food stores in Ho Chi Minh City, using a paper-based survey. The findings reveal that consumers who are concerned about the environment are likely to formulate favorable attitudes and downplay monetary barriers associated with organic food purchase. In addition, while attitudes and guilt about buying conventional meat have a positive effect on organic meat purchase intention, perceived monetary barriers significantly reduce the intention. These findings highlight both the rational and emotional aspects of organic food purchase intention and have important implications for key stakeholders and the encouragement of organic meat consumption. Full article
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Article
Antecedents of Sustainable Performance in Manufacturing Organizations: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020897 - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Sustainability is integral for organizations to manage environmental issues. Environmental awareness among stakeholders builds pressure on manufacturers to adopt green human resource management practices (GHRMPs), environmental management system (EMS), and foster organizational citizenship behavior for the environment (OCBE) to improve sustainable performance (SP). [...] Read more.
Sustainability is integral for organizations to manage environmental issues. Environmental awareness among stakeholders builds pressure on manufacturers to adopt green human resource management practices (GHRMPs), environmental management system (EMS), and foster organizational citizenship behavior for the environment (OCBE) to improve sustainable performance (SP). This study investigates the mediating effects of OCBE and EMS on the relationship between GHRMP and SP among ISO14001-certified manufacturing firms and SP. The quantitative design employed, and data of 227 respondents were analyzed via the SEM technique using AMOS 24™. Thus, findings revealed that GHRMP is positively related to SP, while OCBE and EMS partially mediated the relationship between GHRMP and SP among ISO14001-certified Malaysian manufacturing firms. This study makes novel academic and practical contributions to green HRM, organizational behavior, and sustainable performance. However, this study also has some limitations. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Consumption Behaviour in Colombia: An Exploratory Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020802 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 942
Abstract
Sustainable consumption has positioned itself as an alternative for economic growth and social development because of its ability to deal with the future scarcity of natural resources and the prevention and mitigation of climate change, among other things. In this sense, the role [...] Read more.
Sustainable consumption has positioned itself as an alternative for economic growth and social development because of its ability to deal with the future scarcity of natural resources and the prevention and mitigation of climate change, among other things. In this sense, the role of the consumer is preponderant, due to the fact their consumption behaviour has a direct effect on the environment; hence the importance of analysing their habits from different perspectives and social realities. Accordingly, the aim of this work is to explore the low-impact sustainable consumption behaviour in Colombia and the convergence and divergence of this type of consumer behaviour in the country. To achieve this, an exploratory, quantitative, and transversal methodology was used. The latter was based on a sample of 393 consumers to whom a self-report scale was applied in order to evaluate behaviours linked to quality of life, care for the environment, and resources for future generations. With the data collected, the following step to follow was to identify how consumers are grouped (hierarchical cluster analysis), what the differences are (single-factor ANOVA), the behaviours (descriptive statistics), as well as the relationship among them (Pearson correlation statistics). Results show that there are two consumer profiles with different levels of awareness of sustainable consumption behaviour. The principal outcome of the study was that Colombian consumers have embraced the behaviour of quality of life and resources for future generations; however, those consumers related to environmental care have been less involved, especially due to the influence of economic variables as such the cost of products and speculation in the prices of environmentally friendly products. Full article
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Article
Key Factors of Rural Households’ Willingness to Pay for Cleaner Heating in Hebi: A Case Study in Northern China
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020633 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 581
Abstract
As coal-fired heating in winter in rural areas of northern China exacerbates air pollution, promoting cleaner heating transition is of significance for environmental sustainability. However, this is difficult as intentions and actions of rural households are deficient. This case study in northern China [...] Read more.
As coal-fired heating in winter in rural areas of northern China exacerbates air pollution, promoting cleaner heating transition is of significance for environmental sustainability. However, this is difficult as intentions and actions of rural households are deficient. This case study in northern China aims to estimate rural households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for facilities and energy for cleaner heating and explore its key factors. The survey-based analysis found that the total annual WTP for cleaner heating (sum of the WTP for heating facilities and energy per year) varied from RMB 250 to RMB 6800 (RMB 100 ≈ USD 15 in 2018), with a quite low average and a huge difference. The variation of the WTP can be attributed to economic and demographic features and environmental attitudes of households. Improvement of household income and environmental concern will enhance the WTP for cleaner heating, but a high vacancy rate and aging population in rural areas will generally inhibit it. Based on this study, some policy suggestions were proposed to promote cleaner heating transition in rural households; specifically, more attention should be paid to the poor and aged households. Full article
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Article
Applying a Comprehensive Action Determination Model to Examine the Recycling Behavior of Taipei City Residents
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020490 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1045
Abstract
With the occurrence of rapid global economic growth concerns about waste and its related effects on the environment are on the rise. There has been an increasing focus towards sustainable development and waste recycling as part of environmental sustainability strategies, and the encouraging [...] Read more.
With the occurrence of rapid global economic growth concerns about waste and its related effects on the environment are on the rise. There has been an increasing focus towards sustainable development and waste recycling as part of environmental sustainability strategies, and the encouraging of recycling behavior has received considerable attention from various environmental stakeholders. While numerous studies have used grounded theories such as the theory of planned behaviors and the norm activation model to examine environmental behaviors, a lack of consideration of other important variables in these studies has been revealed. This study aimed to address this gap by adopting the comprehensive action determination model, which comprises a wider group of influencing variables related to norms, intentions, situations, and habits. This model was tested using structural equation modelling with a sample of 386 valid questionnaires collected from Taipei City residents in the domain of recycling behaviors. Results indicated that awareness had a positive influence on personal norms towards recycling behaviors; social norms had a positive influence on personal norms towards recycling behaviors; attitudes had a positive influence on recycling intentions; social norms had a positive influence on recycling intentions; personal norms had a positive influence on recycling intentions; perceived behavior control had a positive influence on recycling intentions; recycling intentions had a positive influence on recycling behavior; and recycling habits had a positive influence on recycling behavior. However, findings did not support the positive impact of perceived behavioral control on recycling behavior. Full article
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Article
A Comprehensive Model of Consumers’ Perceptions, Attitudes and Behavioral Intention toward Organic Tea: Evidence from an Emerging Economy
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6619; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166619 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1310
Abstract
This study investigates factors that predict consumers’ perceptions of healthiness of organic tea. Furthermore, this study also examines the relationship between perceived healthiness and purchase intention with the mediating role of consumers’ attitudes toward organic tea. Because China has been the largest producer [...] Read more.
This study investigates factors that predict consumers’ perceptions of healthiness of organic tea. Furthermore, this study also examines the relationship between perceived healthiness and purchase intention with the mediating role of consumers’ attitudes toward organic tea. Because China has been the largest producer and the largest market of the global tea market, this study collects sample data from consumers at different tea stores in China. Using structural equation modelling to analyze data, results indicate that product quality, consumer service, in-store experience, store prestige, and store innovativeness are important predictors of consumers’ perceptions of healthiness of organic tea. Furthermore, results show that perceived healthiness has a positive influence on purchase intention toward organic tea. Consumers’ attitudes toward organic tea also has a positive mediating effect into this relationship. Full article
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Article
The Relationship between Green Country Image, Green Trust, and Purchase Intention of Korean Products: Focusing on Vietnamese Gen Z Consumers
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5098; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125098 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1243
Abstract
This study aims to extend the stream of country image research through an empirical test primarily focusing on the relationship between the green country image of Korea, as well as the green trust and purchase intention of Korean products considering Vietnamese Generation Z [...] Read more.
This study aims to extend the stream of country image research through an empirical test primarily focusing on the relationship between the green country image of Korea, as well as the green trust and purchase intention of Korean products considering Vietnamese Generation Z (hereafter Gen Z) consumers. Data were collected in November 2019 through an online survey, and 440 data samples were identified and used for conducting the data analysis. The sample was divided into Vietnamese consumers residing in Korea and Vietnam. Firstly, an examination of the variance revealed that Vietnamese Gen Z consumers residing in Vietnam (VZV) displayed less positive perceptions of the constructs measured compared to Vietnamese Gen Z consumers residing in Korea (VZK), including cognitive green country image (CGCoI), affective green country image (AGCoI) of Korea, and also green trust (GT) and purchase intention (PI) of Korean products. Second, results from the structural equation model of VZV showed that CGCoI had a significant impact on the PI, while AGCoI had a significant impact on GT. Conversely, for VZK, it was found that CGCoI had a significant impact on PI, and that AGCoI had a significant impact on both GT and PI. Thirdly, the results of comparing the path coefficient between VZV and VZK showed that the impact of CGCoI and AGCoI on PI were stronger for VZK, whereas the impact of AGCoI on GT was stronger for VZV. Based on these findings, the study discusses practical and theoretical implications for future green marketing practices in Vietnam. Full article
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Article
The Links between Proactive Environmental Strategy, Competitive Advantages and Firm Performance: An Empirical Study in Vietnam
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124962 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1147
Abstract
The acceleration of environmental problems has put firms under high pressure to assume their social and environmental responsibility. This study aims to investigate the links between proactive environmental strategy, competitive advantages and firm performance. It also explores the control effects of firm size [...] Read more.
The acceleration of environmental problems has put firms under high pressure to assume their social and environmental responsibility. This study aims to investigate the links between proactive environmental strategy, competitive advantages and firm performance. It also explores the control effects of firm size and industry type on the adoption of such a strategy. Data were obtained from 232 firms that participated in the program on benchmarking and announcing sustainable companies in Vietnam. Findings from structural equation modelling reveal that the adoption of a proactive environmental strategy generates both differentiation and cost leadership competitive advantages. Furthermore, differentiation competitive advantages enhance firm performance in both the short term (i.e., product, financial and production performance) and long term (i.e., strategic performance). Interestingly, a proactive environmental strategy is more prevalent among larger firms and those in service industries. This study’s findings provide support for firms to pursue a proactive environmental strategy and have several implications for policymakers in developing policies that aim at promoting environmental practices in firms. Full article
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Article
Factors Affecting the Consumption of Energy-Efficient Lighting Products: Exploring Purchase Behaviors of Thai Consumers
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4887; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124887 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
The continued usage of inefficient lighting products in residential sectors is one of the major causes of the rapid growth in global energy consumption. Their replacement with highly efficient lighting appliances could avoid large amounts of electricity consumption and reduce CO2 emissions [...] Read more.
The continued usage of inefficient lighting products in residential sectors is one of the major causes of the rapid growth in global energy consumption. Their replacement with highly efficient lighting appliances could avoid large amounts of electricity consumption and reduce CO2 emissions worldwide. In this regard, the collective contribution by the residential sector is extremely important and the increase in demand for energy-efficient lighting products can help achieve sustainability goals. This study aims to examine the determinants of household consumers’ behaviors in purchasing energy-saving lighting products by applying the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as the main theoretical framework. Data (n = 288) from a survey in Thailand were analyzed using causal Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The results suggested that attitude has the largest direct effect, while subjective norm was the weakest predictor of purchase intention towards light-emitting diode (LED) products. In addition, this study expands the TPB by including an investigation of a direct effect of attitude on purchase behavior. The results suggest that attitudes have a strong direct influence on the purchasing behavior for LED products. Additionally, only some socio-demographic variables have significant effects on purchase behavior. The study’s findings highlight several implications for policymakers, the private sector, and green marketers in developing practical strategies. Furthermore, suggestions and future research directions are discussed. Full article
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