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CONSUMER PERCEPTIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY

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Abstract

This study looks at consumer intentions to purchase sustainable products and services, and how that is related to their experience, met expectations, reference groups norms, and information provided by eco-labels. A mixed method approach was used to develop hypotheses by conducting qualitative research to devise a theoretical consumer perceptions model based on the theory of planned behavior. The results reveal that U.S. consumers use eco-labels to guide their purchase behavior, have positive perceptions of sustainable products, exhibit a strong desire to purchase sustainable products, and want to be good stewards of the environment and society. Moreover, reference group influence is a strong predictor of sustainable product purchase behavior.
CONSUMER PERCEPTIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY: AN
EXPLORATORY STUDY
Keith E. Ferguson
Michigan State University
Joseph F. Hair Jr.
University of South Alabama
Rui Vinhas Silva
Ana Oliveira-Brochado
ISCTE-University of Lisbon
Muhammad Musharuf Hossain Mollah
Western Michigan University
ABSTRACT
This study looks at consumer intentions to purchase sustainable products and services,
and how that is related to their experience, met expectations, reference groups norms, and
information provided by eco-labels. A mixed method approach was used to develop hypotheses by
conducting qualitative research to devise a theoretical consumer perceptions model based on the
theory of planned behavior. The results reveal that U.S. consumers use eco-labels to guide their
purchase behavior, have positive perceptions of sustainable products, exhibit a strong desire to
purchase sustainable products, and want to be good stewards of the environment and society.
Moreover, reference group influence is a strong predictor of sustainable product purchase
behavior.
Keywords: Sustainability, consumer experience and perceptions, reference group influences, eco-labels, and
likelihood to purchase sustainable products
INTRODUCTION
Sustainable products and services are based on the triumvirate of environmental integrity,
social equity, and economic prosperity (Crittenden et al., 2011). Most consumers agree that
buying sustainable products and services is good for the environment and society, but many
trade-offs occur when making sustainable purchasing decisions. But numerous studies of
sustainable product consumer behavior have confirmed the value-action gap (Blake, 1999;
Young et al., 2010), which reveals a disconnect exists between stated sustainable concerns and
actual purchase behavior, warranting further investigation in support of the triumvirate.
Green consumerism studies have shown increased availability of sustainable products
(Bhaskaran et al., 2006), but consumers continue to avoid purchasing them (Aguilar & Vlosky,
2007; Ottman, 1999). Factors minimizing support for sustainable products include the strength
of brands, culture, demographics, finances, education, lifestyle, personality, disbelief of green
claims, lack of interest, and ethical issues (Biel & Dahlstrand, 2005; De Pelsmacker, Driesen, &
Rayp, 2005; Moisander, 2007; Şener & Hazer, 2008; Wheale & Hinton, 2007). In addition,
being sustainable requires considerable time and effort that busy consumer lifestyles rarely
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permit (Young et al., 2010). Therefore, a better understanding of factors that positively influence
sustainable product purchase behavior would enable marketers to address these issues more
effectively.
The purpose of this study is to identify factors that influence consumers’ likelihood of
purchasing sustainable products and services. A mixed method approach was used to better
understand consumer perceptions of sustainable products and devise a proposed theoretical
model.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The ‛industrial age’ has dramatically improved productivity, but many factors including
natural resources, the ozone layer, rainforests, and the availability of freshwater have been
negatively impacted (Foster, 2009). Society increasingly must rely less on technological
innovations to resolve these dilemmas, and more on changing lifestyles and consumption
patterns (Cooper, 2005). By doing so, sustainable consumption will result in a smaller carbon
footprint, increased recycling, reduced energy consumption, and environmentally friendly
behaviors (Mainieri et al., 1997).
Purchasing environmentally friendly products typically results in benefits that are not
easily recognized. While being a sustainable consumer is best for society, predicting pro-
environmental consumer behavior is difficult (Bagozzi & Dabholkar, 1994; Lee & Holden,
1999). Prior research has identified several key factors motivating sustainable consumers,
including concern for the environment, locus of control, and environmental issues (Ellen,
Wiener, & Cobb-Walgren, 1991), concern for societal welfare (Sharma & Ruud, 2003), and
relationships with others (McCarty & Shrum, 2001). But no studies have applied the theory of
planned behavior, which serves as a theoretical foundation for this study and posits that attitudes,
personal and cultural determinants, and volitional control influence consumer intentions and
likelihood to purchase sustainable products (Kalafatis et al., 1999).
The theory of planned behavior includes three constructs representing determinants of
intentions: attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral controls.
Attitudes toward the behavior identify expectations of the outcome occurring if actions are taken
and the value of the outcome relative to the expectation occurring. Subjective norms suggest
individuals act in a manner that is perceived to be acceptable to others, or referent beliefs (Ajzen,
1985; Swaim et al., 2014). Perceived behavioral controls are beliefs consumers have regarding
their behavioral intentions based on having the proper resources and opportunities to act on these
intentions (Kalafatis et al., 1999).
THEORETICAL MODEL
The theoretical model in Figure 1 is the basis for this research. Sustainable consumer
purchase behavior, consisting of four factors, is related to likelihood to purchase sustainable
products and services. Each of these is discussed in the following sections, which focus on
consumer experiences, perceptions, reference groups, eco labels, and purchase intentions.
Figure 1
Proposed Theoretical Model
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____________________________________________________________________________
ATT=Attitudes, VAL=Values, EC=Environmental Concern, PCE=Perceived Consumer
Effectiveness, RFRQ=Reference Group Influence, ELAB=Eco-Labels, LTPS=Likelihood to
Purchase Social, LTPEN=Likelihood to Purchase Environmental, and LTPEC=Likelihood to
Purchase Economic (see Figure 4 in the Appendix for which indicators make-up the first-order
constructs).
Consumer experience
Several studies of consumer experiences and sustainable purchases have been conducted.
Magnusson et al. (2001) found that lower levels of familiarity were associated with reduced
purchases of sustainable products, despite positive attitudes toward them. Young et al. (2010)
reported that exposure gained from the purchase process directly influenced consumers’
sustainable values and future purchases of sustainable products. Finally, Gundelach (1992)
found personal experience with sustainable products influenced consumer values and likelihood
to purchase sustainable products. Therefore, a direct relationship is proposed between consumer
experiences and the sustainable consumer purchase intentions. The following hypothesis is
tested:
H1: There is a positive relationship between consumer experiences with sustainable products
and sustainable consumer purchase intentions.
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Consumer perceptions
Consumers are giving increased consideration to the environmental and social
sustainability of products and business processes, and are increasingly demanding sustainable
options on retail shelves (Meise, Rudolph, Kenning, & Phillips, 2014). For example, according
to Bonini and Oppenheim (2008), 87% of consumers are concerned about the environmental and
social impact of the products they buy. But when it comes to actual purchasing decisions, words
and deeds often diverge. Hines, Hungerford, and Tomera (1987) and Leire and Thidell (2005)
suggest understanding sustainable consumers’ requires an understanding of perceived concerns
regarding environmental issues. Moreover, environmental concerns are associated with
willingness toward adopting a pro-environmental orientation, purchasing sustainable products,
and conserving resources (Mainieri et al., 1997). In sum, as Moisander (2007, p. 406) concludes:
‘Green consumerism is motivated by a multitude of environmental concerns, but they involve
numerous partly incompatible means and ends.’
Perceived consumer effectiveness
Perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE) proposes that individuals believe their actions
are associated with solving problems and drive self-evaluation (Berger & Corbin, 1992;
Leonidou, Leonidou, & Kvasova, 2010). Ellen et al. (1991) found sustainable product purchases
may not easily translate into pro-environmental behaviors, whereas environmentally conscious
behavior was associated with outcomes supporting environmental concerns and self-efficacy
beliefs were related to purchasing sustainable products. More recently, research on the impact of
consumer perceptions on the purchase of sustainable products found lower levels of effort in
adopting sustainable products are associated with a higher purchase likelihood (McDonald &
Oates, 2006).
Therefore, the following hypothesis is tested.
H2: There is a positive relationship between consumer perceptions and sustainable purchase
intentions.
Reference group influences
Reference groups are the individual’s identification with similar persons (e.g., parents and
friends) or a reciprocal role (husband and wife) which defines individuals in terms of a social
referent (Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Berger & Heath, 2007). Reference group influences are
similar to subjective norms in which perceptions of how we believe others think we should act
shape our behavior and moderate the level of identity within one’s in-group (Laroche et al.,
1996; Wagner, 2003). Research has shown that reference group norms motivate positive
perceptions of sustainable products (Laroche et al., 1996), draw assumptions about the products
used, overcome the lack of experience, and help sustainable products gain acceptance (Laroche,
Bergeron, & Barbaro-Forleo, 2001). Therefore, it is hypothesized that the level of identity within
the reference group will affect the sustainable consumer purchase intentions. Therefore, the
following hypothesis is tested:
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H3: There is a positive relationship between the level of identity within the reference group and
the sustainable consumers purchase intentions.
Eco-labels
Eco-labels provide information to consumers on the sustainable impact of a good or
service they are considering purchasing (Ferguson, 2014). Thøgersen (2000) examined when and
why consumers utilize eco-labels in purchase decisions. The variables included motivation, pro-
environmental attitude, perceived consumer effectiveness, belief in environmentally friendly
buying, and trust. His findings indicate consumers who read eco-labels have higher levels of
environmental concern and trust, and purchase behavior is positively affected. The author called
for future research to test the availability of eco-labeled products and the current study answers
this call. Therefore, the following hypothesis is proposed:
H4: There is a positive relationship between the use of eco-labels and sustainable consumer
purchase intentions.
Sustainable Consumer Purchase Intentions
The theory of planned behavior hypothesized that perceived behavioral controls shape
consumer intentions through available resources and subsequent use (Ajzen, 2002). Research
conducted by D'Souza, Taghian, and Khosla (2007) found environmental beliefs, price, quality
and demographic interests, with respect to sustainable product purchase intentions, play a strong
role on purchase intention. In addition, Vermeir and Verbeke (2008) examined the combination
of attitudes, perceived social influences, perceived consumer effectiveness and consumers'
personal values, and their level of confidence on sustainability, claiming that a positive attitude
towards sustainable products was a good predictor of purchase intention.
Likelihood to purchase sustainable products was selected as the dependent variable
because consumers may not have actually purchased a sustainable product (Hines et al., 1987;
Schultz & Oskamp, 1996). In addition, likelihood to purchase and actual purchase behavior are
separate correlates related to intentions to act (Ajzen, 1985). Likelihood to purchase sustainable
products is well documented in consumer behavior research (Laroche et al., 2001; Minton &
Rose, 1997; Vlosky et al., 1999), but has produced mixed results (Carrington, Neville, &
Whitwell, 2010). Wind and Lerner (1979) found that respondents more often answered
likelihood to purchase questions at a higher percentage than their actual purchase behavior
percentage, thus giving more robust results. Moreover, likelihood to purchase versus actual
purchase behavior has been shown to be a reliable predictor of behavior because consumers may
inaccurately report purchase behavior (Alba & Hutchinson, 2000). Therefore, the following
hypothesis is tested:
H5: There is a positive relationship between sustainable consumer purchase intention and the
likelihood to purchase sustainable products
METHODOLODY
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Research Design
A mixed method design was used to identify factors that influence sustainable
products/services purchase intentions. Qualitative and quantitative studies were conducted to
facilitate an exploratory assessment of the theoretical model. Abowitz and Toole (2009) reported
that a mixed method approach studying end-user water consumption improved validity,
confidence, and reliability. They also noted that a mixed method approach overcomes inherent
limitations of a data source or sample.
The qualitative study included personal interviews using a semi-structured interview
guide. Two guides that included the same questions were used, but the order of the factors in the
ranking task was reversed to eliminate the potential for order bias. Fifteen respondents were
initially interviewed to identify factors that potentially impact purchase intentions for sustainable
products and services, as well as obtain information on previous purchase behavior and
classification data. Yanamandram and White (2006) note that semi-structured interviews provide
a richer view of the constructs being studied and deeper insights for discovering sustainable
product purchase intentions and the likelihood to purchase sustainable products. At the same
time, Yeung (1995) indicated that qualitative research provides both flexibility and robust
responses, and is an excellent approach for developing theory.
The personal interviews focused on four constructs of sustainable product purchase
intentions: consumer experience, consumer perceptions, referent group influences, and eco-
labels. Respondents were selected based on obtaining a cross-section of ages and a variety of
demographics to provide a richer cultural perspective. The sample included 53% males and 47%
females, and the average age of the participants was 46. Most of the respondents were married
(73.3%) and the average number of children was two. The education level for the sample was
mainly college graduates with either a bachelors or graduate degree. Based on the results of the
qualitative study a theoretical model was devised reflecting the emerging constructs as shown in
Figure 1.
The quantitative study surveyed employees of a Midwestern community college. The
employees had diverse demographics and the college was involved in several sustainability
initiatives. The questionnaire was constructed using established scales and was pretested using
adjunct faculty that were not part of the final survey group. Consumer experience (attitudes and
values) was tested using scales adopted form LaRoche et al., (2001). Consumer perceptions
(environmental concern and perceived consumer effectiveness) were tested using scales
developed by Roberts (1996). Reference group influence questions were taken from Sidique et
al., (2010). Finally, eco-labels and likelihood to purchase (social, environmental, and economic)
questions were used from the work of Ferguson (2014) (see Appendix Figure 2). The final
survey was administered to the employees via the Qualtrics software platform. Hair et al. (2017)
recommend a minimal sample size of 137 based on a power analysis. A total of 676 surveys
were sent resulting in 180 useable responses representing a 27% response rate (see Figure 2).
Data Analysis
The initial analysis involved an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The EFA reduced the
original 74 variables to 38 that were retained for the final analysis (see Figure 3). Variables were
eliminated based on loading sizes and cross loadings (Hair et al. 2010). The 38 variables
retained were then used as indicators for the first order constructs in the analysis (yellow boxes
in Figure 1). Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was selected for the
final analysis because this study involved developing theory and focused on prediction (Hair et
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al., 2017). An algorithm was calculated using the SmartPLS software (Ringle, Wende, &
Becker, 2014). Indicators <.70 were eliminated from the analysis, however a few close to .70
were retained at the discretion of the researchers for theoretical purposes. The theoretical model
in figure 1 represents the algorithm and the retained indicators used to calculate the (60%).
The construct measurement models were evaluated based on internal consistency reliability and
construct validity measures. More specifically, Hair et al. (2010) recommend composite
reliability (> .60), average variance extracted, AVE (> .50), and Fornell-Larcker discriminant
validity (between construct shared variance less than within construct shared variance) to
evaluate measurement models. Composite reliability ranged from 0.80 to .92 for the five
constructs, which exceeded the minimum requirement of 0.60. In addition, indicator loadings for
all 23 variables were greater than .708, thus confirming individual item reliability. Table 1 shows
that the average variance extracted (AVE) for the five constructs ranged from 0.51 to 0.83,
therefore the model demonstrated convergent validity (Hair et al., 2012).
Table 1
Average Variance Extracted (AVE)
AVE Composite
Reliability
Consumer Experience 0.51 0.80
Consumer Perceptions 0.680.89
Eco-Labels 0.73 0.92
Reference Group Influences 0.62 0.76
Likelihood to Purchase (LTP) Economic 0.63 0.84
Likelihood to Purchase (LTP) Environmental 0.61 0.82
Likelihood to Purchase (LTP) Social 0.66 0.85
Next, discriminant validity was assessed. The Fornell-Larcker criterion was used to
examine discriminant validity (Fornell & Larcker, 1981); the square root of the AVE is compared
to the inter-construct correlations. The results indicate that the square roots of all AVEs for the
five constructs were higher than the inter-construct correlations, thus demonstrating discriminant
validity.
The next step was to assess the structural model. To obtain the levels of significance,
bootstrapping was performed using 5000 subsamples (Hair et al., 2017). Table 2 shows the
coefficients and significance levels, and summarizes the hypotheses results. All hypotheses were
significant (>1.96). The structural coefficients were examined to determine which constructs
were more important in predicting sustainable consumer purchase intentions and ultimately
likelihood to purchase sustainable products. The results indicate environmental integrity, social
equity, and economic prosperity, respectively, were the most important predictors.
Table 2
Levels of Significance and Hypothesis Testing
Hypothesi
s Number
Hypothesis Relationship Path
Coefficients
t
values
Hypothesis
Accept/Reject
H1 Consumer Experience→Sustainable
Consumer Purchase Intention (SCPI)
0.86 35.73 Accept*
H2 Consumer Perception→SCPI 0.89 46.44 Accept*
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H3 Reference Group Influence→SCPI 0.63 12.36 Accept*
H4 Eco-Labels→SCPI 0.90 65.23 Accept*
H5 SCPI→Likelihood to Purchase 0.77 22.20 Accept*
*Critical t values for a two-tailed are 1.96 (significance level = 0.05)
Path Relationships for Likelihood to Purchase
Path Relationships t values
Likelihood to Purchase (LTP)→LTP Social 44.27
LTP→LTP Environmentally Friendly Products 71.07
LTP→LTP Economically Supporting 28.80
Blindfolding was conducted to evaluate the predictive relevance of the endogenous latent
construct indicators (Hair et al., 2017). Blindfolding produces the which is a measure of
external validity. The values exceeded zero, indicating predictive relevance for the
constructs.
DISCUSSION
The objective was to identify factors that influence consumers’ intentions to purchase
sustainable products, and subsequently whether these intentions lead to a greater likelihood to
purchase. The path coefficients indicate eco-labels had the highest predictive level thus
indicating that consumers rely on their information to purchase sustainable products. Second,
the results revealed that respondents share a lot of the same perceptions and are aware of or
familiar with sustainable products/services. Third, the finding show that consumer experience
was helpful in predicting consumers intentions and ultimately increasing their likelihood to
purchase sustainable products. While consumers may not be familiar with the ways to operate or
utilize sustainable products, their experiences with these products was a strong predictor of their
likelihood to purchase.
Fourth, referent group influences toward purchasing sustainable products and services
impacted the likelihood to purchase similar products. Fifth, the levels of significance of the three
first order constructs of likelihood to purchase showed that consumer feel environmental
integrity, social equity, and economic prosperity, in that order impacted their likelihood to
purchase sustainable products.
In sum, the results indicate the theoretical model is a good predictor of the likelihood to
purchase sustainable products. This finding suggest that consumers are becoming more
homogenous in their likelihood to purchase sustainable products. This homogeneity offers firms
many opportunities to expand their sustainable goods and services, plus use the findings to more
effectively market to consumers.
MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS
The results of this study offer managers insights into ways to influence consumer
intentions to purchase sustainable products and thus, increase their likelihood to purchase. Based
on the results of the interviews investigating consumer experience and perceptions, sustainable
products should no longer be considered a niche product. Companies are increasingly
developing and producing sustainable goods and services which have become part of mainstream
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purchases made by consumers. In addition, respondents indicated they felt better being a good
steward to the Earth and sustainable products were healthier.
Moreover, as worldwide consumer views are becoming similar, firms have the
opportunity to strengthen their profitability by standardizing sustainable products and offer them
on a global scale. Therefore, managers should continue to seek sustainable alternatives as
consumers express a desire to purchase these goods and services.
Marketing managers could also benefit by targeting ads that focus on family referent
influence in regards to purchase behavior. Therefore, marketing managers could tailor their
message to include either learned behavior or family influence with regards to purchasing
sustainable goods or services.
Managers could also benefit from the use of eco-labels on goods or services that are non-
routine purchases. The interviews revealed that eco-labels on sustainable items that are routinely
purchased are often ignored, while non-routine purchased items were sought after. Managers
could indicate the reduced environmental impact or savings the good or service provides.
LIMITIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH
The respondents were from the Midwest region of the United States. Therefore, the
results collected may not be generalizable to other regions of the U.S. Future research could
expand the study to include additional regions of the U.S. and/or European countries and
compare the responses to see if similar results are found.
The study tested four first order constructs of sustainable consumer purchase intentions.
Based on the R² of .60, there leaves room for adding more first-order constructs that more fully
explain who the sustainable product consumer is and their likelihood to purchase sustainable
products. Future research could perform additional reviews of the extant literature and test these
first-order construct to see if the R² can be improved.
CONCLUSIONS
This study utilized a mixed method approach to first gain insights into constructs that
influence the likelihood to purchase products, and then quantitatively tested a theoretical model
constructed from the qualitative research. This study’s purpose is to offer initial suggestions to
increase research on the study of likelihood to purchase sustainable products. Based on the
initial results it is clear that sustainable products are no longer a fad and consumers want to be
good stewards toward preserving our environment and society in general. The results, while
exploratory, provide insights for future research and ways managers can utilize the results to
increase the likelihood to purchase sustainable products on behalf of their customers.
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About the Authors:
Keith E. Ferguson is a Lecturer in the Department of Marketing at the Eli Broad College of
Business at Michigan State University and was recently named a 2017 Broad Integrative Fellow.
He received his D.B.A. from Kennesaw State University in 2014, an M.B.A. in 2010 from
Western Michigan University, and a B.A. from Alma College in 1985. Dr. Ferguson had the
honor of being inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society chapters at
both Western Michigan University and Kennesaw State University. Ferguson has published
twice in the Journal of Family Business Strategy and International Journal of Management and
Enterprise Development.
Joseph F. Hair Jr. is the Director of the DBA Program in the Mitchell College of Business at
University of South Alabama, USA, and holds the Cleverdon Chair of Business. He has authored
over 50 books, including market leaders Multivariate Data Analysis, Prentice-Hall, 7th edition,
13
2010; and A Primer on Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), Sage,
2nd edition, 2017, and MKTG, Cengage, 2017. He also has numerous publications in journals
such as Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Academy of Marketing Science,
Organizational Research Methods, Journal of Advertising Research, and Journal of Retailing. His
publications have been cited 120,000+ times.
Rui Vinhas da Silva is an Associate Professor at the ISCTE-University of Lisbon. Silva has a
bachelor's degree in Business Management and Economics from York University, Toronto,
Canada, MBA from Aston Business School, Aston University and PhD and Post-Doctorate from
Manchester Business School, Manchester University. Prior to joining ISCTE, Vinhas da Silva
was an Associate Professor at Manchester Business School, having been a member of the faculty
of this institution since 1998. He has held teaching activities in all MBA and PhD MBS as well
as much of MBS's extensive network of executive programs around the world.
Ana Oliveira-Brochado is a Vice-Dean at the ISCTE-University of Lisbon. BS and director of
the PhD in Tourism Management. Dr. Oliveria-Brochado has a BSc in Economics, a MSc in
Quantitative Methods, and a PhD in Management. She has worked for more than 10 years at the
Portuguese Competition Authority and the Securities Commission (CMVM).
Muhammad Musharuf Hossain Mollah holds an MBA from Western Michigan University and
the University of Rajshahi*, Bangladesh (2002). He also earned his BBA from the University of
Rajshahi in Marketing. Mollah has been awarded with the Prime Minister Gold Medal Award
for being in the top 1% of 3200 graduates from the University of Raishahi. Mr. Mollah has
taught marketing at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He has published in the
Bangladesh Journal of Political Economy and Economic Association, Journal of Economics &
Development Research Journals of Science & IT Management (RJSIM), and the journal of
Business Studies of Southeast University of Bangladesh.
Appendix
Figure 2
Survey Items
Environmental Concern (Roberts 1996)
1. The balance of nature is very delicate.
2. There are limits to growth for our industrialized society.
3. When humans interfere with nature, it often produces disastrous consequences.
4. Humans must live in harmony with nature in order to survive.
5. Mankind is abusing the environment.
Attitudes (LaRoche et al., 2001)
1. Values in American society have been a basic cause of the present environmental
problems.
2. Drinking municipal water is quite safe.
14
3. The air I breathe is polluted.
4. Consumer product packaging is a major contributor to solid waste.
5. It is not up to the consumer to be interested in how the products they use affect the
environment.
6. Recycling is too much trouble.
Values (LaRoche et al., 2001)
1. I sometimes use Styrofoam cups.
2. I often purchase products that contain post-consumer recycled ingredients.
3. I use rechargeable batteries whenever possible.
4. I prefer to use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.
5. I support fair trade coffee.
Eco-Labels (Ferguson 2014)
1. I believe that environmental information on product labels is important.
2. I believe the environmental information on product labels.
3. Eco-labels influence my buying behavior.
4. If an eco-labeled product was more expensive than a non-labeled product I would
purchase it.
5. I typically read environmentally friendly claims on eco-labeled products.
Recycling Frequency (Sidique et al., 2010)
1. 108. My friends expect me to recycle household materials.
2. I learned how to recycle from my parents.
Likelihood to Purchase Sustainable Products-Social Importance (Ferguson 2014)
1. I am more likely to purchase products that contribute a portion of the profits to special
causes.
2. My likelihood to purchase products with no chlorofluorocarbons is motivated by helping
future generations.
3. I am likely to purchase products with reusable containers because I know how I use
products affects others.
Likelihood to Purchase Sustainable Products-Economic (Ferguson 2014)
4. I am likely to purchase a compact fluorescent light bulb versus an incandescent light
bulb because it saves me money through reduced energy bills.
5. I am likely to consider the savings I will incur over the life span of an energy efficient
product.
6. I am more likely to shop local.
7. I am likely to pay a premium for products that can be recycled.
Likelihood to Purchase Sustainable Products-Environmental (Ferguson 2014)
8. I am likely to purchase paper towels made from recycled paper.
9. I am likely to contribute to causes that preserve the environment.
10. I am likely to vacation close to home to reduce pollution.
15
Figure 3
Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA)
EFA Analysis Chart
Factors before EFA Factors retained
Environmental Concern (EC)
1. EC 1
2. EC 2
3. EC 3
4. EC 4
5. EC 5
6. EC 6
7. EC 7
8. EC 8
9. EC 9
10. EC 10
Environmental Concern (EC)
1. EC 4
2. EC 5
3. EC 6
4. EC 7
5. EC 8
Psychographics-Perceived Consumer
Effectiveness (PSYCH)
1. PSYCH 1
2. PSYCH 2
3. PSYCH 3
4. PSYCH 4
5. PSYCH 5
6. PSYCH 6
7. PSYCH 7
8. PSYCH 8
Psychographics (PSYCH)
1. PSYCH 1
2. PSYCH 2
3. PSYCH 5
4. PSYCH 7
5. PSYCH 8
Recycling Frequency (RFREQ)
1. RFREQ 1
2. RFREQ 2
3. RFREQ 3
4. RFREQ 4
5. RFREQ 5
6. RFREQ 6
7. RFREQ 7
8. RFREQ 8
9. RFREQ 9
10. RFREQ 10
11. RFREQ 11
12. RFREQ 12
13. RFREQ 13
14. RFREQ 14
15. RFREQ 15
Recycling Frequency (RFREQ)
1. RFREQ 5
2. RFREQ 6
3. RFREQ 7
4. RFREQ 9
5. RFREQ 10
6. RFREQ 11
7. RFREQ 12
8. RFREQ 13
Attitudes (ATT)
1. ATT 1
2. ATT 2
Attitudes (ATT)
1. ATT 2
2. ATT 3
16
3. ATT 3
4. ATT 4
5. ATT 5
6. ATT 6
7. ATT 7
8. ATT 8
9. ATT 9
10. ATT 10
11. ATT 11
12. ATT 12
13. ATT 13
3. ATT 4
4. ATT 6
5. ATT 8
6. ATT 12
Values (VAL)
1. VAL 1
2. VAL 2
3. VAL 3
4. VAL 4
5. VAL 5
6. VAL 6
7. VAL 7
8. VAL 8
9. VAL 9
10. VAL 10
Values (VAL)
1. VAL 2
2. VAL 3
3. VAL 5
4. VAL 7
5. VAL 8
Eco-labels (ELAB)
1. ELAB 1
2. ELAB 2
3. ELAB 3
4. ELAB 4
5. ELAB 5
6. ELAB 6
7. ELAB 7
8. ELAB 8
Eco-labels (ELAB)
1. ELAB 1
2. ELAB 2
3. ELAB 3
4. ELAB 4
5. ELAB 5
Likelihood to Purchase Sustainable Products
is comprised of social, economic, and
environmental components
Social (LIKSOC)
1. LIKSOC 1
2. LIKSOC 2
3. LIKSOC 3
4. LIKSOC 4
5. LIKSOC 5
Economic (LIKECON)
1. LIKECON 1
2. LIKECON 2
3. LIKECON 3
Social (LIKSOC)
1. LIKSOC 1
2. LIKSOC 2
3. LIKSOC 3
4. LIKSOC 4
Economic (LIKECON)
1. LIKECON 2
2. LIKECON 4
3. LIKECON 6
17
4. LIKECON 4
5. LIKECON5
6. LIKECON6
Environmental (LIKENV)
1. LIKENV 1
2. LIKENV 2
3. LIKENV 3
4. LIKENV 4
5. LIKENV 5
Environmental (LIKENV)
1. LIKENV 2
2. LIKENV 3
3. LIKENV 5
Figure 4 - Constructs used to calculate models and indicators used
First-Order Constructs Indicators
Consumer Experience ATT 1, 4
VAL 2.4
Consumer Perceptions EC 1,2,4,5
PSYCH 5
Referent Group Influences RFREQ 3,4
Eco-Labels ELAB 1,3,4,5
Likelihood-to-Purchase Societal Concerns LIKSOC 1,2,3
Likelihood-to-Purchase Environmental Concerns LIKENV 1,2,3
Likelihood to Purchase Economic LIKECON 1,2,4
Second Order Constructs
Likelihood-to-Purchase
Sustainable Product Purchase Intentions
18
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