Eco Labels and Eco Conscious Consumer Behavior: The Mediating
Effect of Green Trust and Environmental Concern
Irfan Hameed ∗Idrees Waris †
Abstract: This study explores the relationship between eco labels and eco conscious consumer behavior
for green products. Mediation effect of consumer trust regarding green products and their concern for the
sustainability of environment have also been analyzed. There are many researches regarding consumers’ eval-
uation of green products and consumer behavior, but no substantial research has been done on the effects of
understanding eco labels on eco-conscious consumer behavior. Eco labels are the essential sources of informa-
tion regarding products’ features and focus on providing information about less detrimental effects of green
products on environment. Data of respondents have been collected through convenience sampling from the
most populous city of Pakistan, i.e., Karachi. This research is an empirical study, structural equation mod-
elling technique has been used to explore the relationship among the variables in the study. Furthermore, the
mediation effects of green trust and environmental concern on consumer’ behavior have also been analyzed.
The ﬁndings of research highlight the positive impact of eco labels on consumers’ eco conscious behavior. The
results show full mediation effect of green trust on the relationship between eco labels and eco conscious con-
sumer behavior. However, there was no mediation effect of environmental concern between eco labels and eco
conscious consumer behavior. Hence, investing resources on eco labels design and providing awareness about
the sustainability of environment are helpful in producing eco conscious consumer behavior.
Keywords: Eco labels, eco conscious consumer behavior, green trust, environmental concern.
Environmental issues have become a concern for the consumers and companies across the
globe that led to the manufacturing of green products (Bailey, Mishra, & Tiamiyu,2016).
Green marketing encompasses broad range of concepts which includes facilitation and
production of value satisfying consumer’s needs and demands (Mart´
it is essential for the marketers to portray green products as healthy as well as environ-
mental friendly (Rettie, Burchell, & Riley,2012).
Green marketing signiﬁes social responsibility of a ﬁrm. Green marketing is an ef-
fort to maintain and build sustainable relationship with stakeholders e.g., nature, society
and consumers. Thus, it includes marketing of green products and services is a sustain-
able process and shapes the attitude of the society towards pro environmental behavior
(Rettie et al.,2012). Power of marketing is undeniable in acting as a change agent and
amending government policies in the support of green orientation (Gordon, Carrigan,
∗Registrar & Chairperson, Department of Marketing, IQRA University, Karachi, Pakistan.
†Lecturer, Management Sciences, University of Turbat, Turbat, Pakistan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal of Management Sciences
Vol. 5(2): 86-105, 2018
Journal of Management Sciences
& Hastings,2011). Marketing has a vital role in driving sales of companies, improv-
ing performance and increasing market share. However, the results of green marketing
strategies from previous study suggest diminishing sales and performance in terms of
market shares (D’Souza, Taghian, Sullivan-Mort, & Gilmore,2015). Classical researchers
were more interested in motivating consumers to become more environmentally friendly.
Marketers have emphasized on the beneﬁts of recycled products and consumer decision
making processes to involve them in green consumption. Apart from motivating, they
had the instinct to get value and leverage by the generation of new segments of consumer
Eco labels is the emerging trend in green marketing that is effective source for con-
sumer information (Testa, Iraldo, Vaccari, & Ferrari,2015). Particularly, it provides rele-
vant green product information to the consumers during purchase decisions (Thøgersen,
Haugaard, & Olesen,2010). Plethora of marketing literature exists depicting eco labels
effectiveness in the promotion of green products (Hornibrook, May, & Fearne,2015).
Numerous researches in the ﬁeld of marketing have focused on the Theory of Rea-
soned Action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen,1980). Theory of Reasoned Action proposed that
individual’s behavior is associated with the attitude which is formed by the positive and
negative evaluation of beliefs (Fishbein & Ajzen,1977). TRA suggests that attaining a
behavior is based upon individual preexisting behavioral intentions. In the core of this
theory, behavior is the product of intention which itself, is the result of subjective norms
and attitude towards a speciﬁc stimulus. However, some researchers have identiﬁed
weak link between individual intention and behavior (Davies, Foxall, & Pallister,2002).
Agreeing on this evidence, Polonsky, Vocino, Grau, Garma, and Ferdous (2012) proposed
self-reported actual behavior model. This article is based on the TRA framework model,
which was valid in determining the link between consumer’s environment friendly at-
titude and behavior (Gotschi, Vogel, Lindenthal, & Larcher,2009). This paper uses eco
labels as the predictor of consumer attitude for environmental concern and attitude to-
wards green trust which ultimately lead to eco conscious consumer behavior.
A visible gap can be found in the literature regarding the effectiveness of eco labels and
eco-conscious consumer behavior, while most of the researchers have focused on eco la-
bels and purchase of green products or consumer awareness and inclination for the green
products. This paper aims to ﬁll the gap around green marketing by focusing eco labels ef-
fectiveness in forming eco-conscious consumer behavior. Eco-labels are an integrated part
of green marketing that project company’s green image to consumers. It also provides in-
formation to consumers related to products’ features and sustainability of environment.
In a developing country like Pakistan, importance of green labels is paramount as it will
eventually affect decision making of an environmentally friendly consumer. Thus, it is
essential to study the effectiveness of eco-labels eliciting consumer response for the con-
sumption of green products.
Journal of Management Sciences
The Emergence of the Green Consumer Segment
There has been increasing concern for the sustainability of the environment amongst con-
sumers since 1960s. Consumers have deep concern for the protection and sustainability
of environment. As a result, they are continuously involved in information seeking re-
lated to use of scarce resources and recycling of the products. Organizations have also
realized the need to target environmental friendly consumers (Zinkhan & Carlson,1995).
Marketers are trying to promote company’s products to generate sales and satisfy indi-
vidual needs in connection with green strategies (Leonidou, Katsikeas, & Morgan,2013).
However, they failed to translate pro-environmental concern of consumers to drive sales.
Some factors affecting consumers’ negative perception about green products are: ineffec-
tive marketing strategies, higher prices of green products, companies own performance
to deliver the quality products, and above all, consumers trust deﬁcit for green products
(Sheth, Sethia, & Srinivas,2011). In this nexus, there are many other factors that could be
associated with the adoption of green products such as environmental concern, perceived
environmental responsibility, perceived environmental seriousness and green purchase
behavior of consumers (Chan,2014). Therefore, it has become essential for a marketer to
understand demand and viability of the green segment in long term perspective. This
strategy involves different dimensions of marketing ranging from creating demand, un-
derstanding consumer psychology regarding green products, consumers’ acceptability of
green products and demographic variables that affect consumer’s decision making re-
garding the selection of environmentally friendly products (D’Souza et al.,2015). In fact,
in B2B, environmental values have high regard as environmentally concerned companies
have gained plenty of advantages through enhanced customer response (Mustonen, Kar-
jaluoto, & Jayawardhena,2016).
Green Consumer Behavior
According to Polonsky (2011), consumers have a self-developed decision-making process
which resist them from acting environmentally friendly, thus they compromise future
of environment by their consumption patterns. Delmas and Lessem (2017) noted that
message and attributes of the green products have vital importance in the selection of
product. Marketers communicate products attribute through eco labels, if a consumer is
well informed and have deep knowledge about green attributes, assesses the quality, they
would eventually select a product. Wei, Chiang, Kou, and Lee (2017) investigated that
consumers who have high belief regarding the environment, are more inclined towards
the products that have minimal adverse impact on the sustainability of the environment.
According to Cronin, Smith, Gleim, Ramirez, and Martinez (2011), green consumers
are assessed by their involvement in green activities, those who prefer to use environmen-
tal friendly products have been labelled as green consumers and vice versa. Green and
Peloza (2014) noted that there has been a shift in marketing strategy in nexus to environ-
ment. Companies have formulated strategies to attract future demand of consumers by
Journal of Management Sciences
Author (s) Focus of Research
Lai (1993) Explain relationship between green production and green consumption.
Schlegelmilch, Bohlen and Diamantopoulos (1996)
Green product categorization and the association between environmental consciousness and responsible consumer behavior. Variables in the study
were: general purchase behavior (recycled paper products, products not tested on animals, environmental friendly detergents, organically-grown
fruits and vegetables, ozone friendly aerosols), environmental knowledge, environmental attitude, political action, recycling behavior. Multivariate
statistical technique was used for data analysis.
Relationship between green products knowledge and consumer behavior and role of purchase intention as mediator in the study. The study included
various cultural and psychological factors regarding the consumption of green products in china. Structural equation modelling was employed for
Williams and Parkman (2003) Human tendency to adopt pro-environmental behavior for the protection of environment. This study employed qualitative method. Results showed
that human consciousness has a vital role towards the sustainability of environment.
Frick, Kaiser and Wilson (2004) The role of knowledge and consumer environmental friendly buying behavior.
McDonald and Oates (2006) Consumer perceptions and various sustainable activities as per perceived difference and perceived efforts.
Mostafa (2009) Factors inﬂuencing consumer behavior for the consumption of green products in Kuwait. Variables studied in this research were: environmental
concern, altruistic values, skepticism towards environmental claims, environmental knowledge, attitudes toward green consumption, and intention
to buy green products. Study used self-organizing maps (SOM) for the analysis of psychographic and cognitive factors.
Evans (2011) Environmental friendly consumption and segments of consumers who are environmentally conscious in their everyday life. The study used qualitative
Lin and Huang (2012)
They applied the theory of consumption value and suggested that consumes choice behavior is inﬂuenced by environmental concern and psycho-
graphic variables. Variables in the study were: desire for knowledge, speciﬁc conditions, novelty seeking, quality price and functional values and
psychological beneﬁt. Data of the respondents were collected through questionnaire. One-way analysis of variance and multiple regression were
applied for the analysis of data.
Tseng and Hung (2013) Findings suggests that a gap exists between consumer perceptions about green products and their performance in safeguarding environment.
Zhao, Gao , Wu,
Wang and Zhu (2014)
Effect of various factors were assessed: green consumption knowledge, personal inﬂuence and internal and external moderator. Attitude was most
signiﬁcant factor affecting consumer purchase behavior. Data were collected through questionnaire survey. Correlation analysis and multiple
regression techniques were used for data analysis.
Matthes and Wonneberger
They concluded that consumers have skeptical attitude towards green advertising. Variables of the study were: environmental concern, attitudes
toward green products, green purchase behavior, perceived consumer effectiveness, green consumerism, green advertising skepticism, general ad
skepticism, emotional appeal of green ads. Two survey studies were analyzed: study 1 was related to US green consumers and study 2 was related to
Australian consumers. Structural equation modelling was employed to assess collected data.
Suki and Suki (2016)
Role of green brand knowledge on consumer attitude towards the green brands, also the moderating effect of green brand knowledge in green
purchase intention and green brand positioning. Data of 300 respondents was data through purposive sampling. Authors have used partial least
square technique for the analysis.
Wang and Wang 2016) Perceived knowledge of green food beverages and civic behavior. The study incorporated novel constructs such as commitment, self-identity, and
moral responsibility in theory of planned behavior. Structural equation modelling was employed for the analysis of 793 college students’ data.
Felix and Braunsberger
Inﬂuence of environmental attitude on consumer’s purchasing decisions. Variables in this study were: intrinsic religious orientation, environmental
attitudes and green product purchases. Structural equation modeling technique was employed to analyze the survey results of 242 consumers.
Moon, Costello and Koo
Consumers’ post-choice evaluation of eco labels and word of mouth. Variables in this study were: eco-labels, positive words of mouth, negative
words of mouth, negative emotion, information overloaded, dissatisfaction and distrust.
Journal of Management Sciences
providing information regarding sustainability of the planet. Mart´
ınez (2015) argues that
companies have formulated marketing strategies to determine belief and attitude of the
consumers toward their products. Consequently, it helps to form green image reputation
for the organization which ultimately beneﬁt in shape of consumers acceptability of green
products and post purchase satisfaction. Eco labels provide information to consumers re-
lated to green products, but consumers reject products after assessing different aspects of
the eco labels (Thøgersen et al.,2010). It also provides information related to sustainabil-
ity of the planet and ﬁll the gaps which are hidden in general product labelling (Delmas &
Lessem,2017). It can be easily assumed that consumers who understand the information
on eco labels will form positive image for the green products, which result in information
utility over time. According to above justiﬁcation, it can be hypothesized that:
H1: Consumers’ understanding of eco labels will positively inﬂuence Eco conscious consumer
Eco Labels and Green Trust
Green trust of the consumer in connection to environment denotes the credible, reliable
and standard performance of the ﬁrm. Authors have examined that green trust includes
reliable, dependable, meeting consumers’ expectations, trustworthy and products ability
to ensure the safety of environment (Chen & Chang,2013). Eco labels is the transparent
mean of providing information to consumers about the products that are less damaging
to the environment. Eco labels increase consumers ability to judge products potential ef-
fects on environment at the point of purchase (Thøgersen et al.,2010). Eco labels is the
most reliable source of information for the consumers to evaluate products. Consumers
trust increases when companies use certiﬁed eco labels to promote their green products.
Use of third party certiﬁcation is an effective way of attracting consumers towards the
products and form their environmental behavior. Through eco labels using companies
could send clear and effective signal to consumers regarding their performance to ensure
sustainability of the environment (Testa et al.,2015). Non-governmental organizations
and government agencies have the authority to certify companies’ products as green and
environmental friendly. Role of these agencies is to maximize trust factor between con-
sumers and producers, and accelerate consumption of green products to protect the en-
vironment (Delmas & Lessem,2017). Consumers have formed skeptical attitude towards
the claims made by companies regarding environmental friendly products. Lee, Bhatt,
and Suri (2018) postulated that companies need to promote green products by applying
all green attributes, as consumers could easily differentiate between green attributes and
greenwashed products. Effective advertising can help a ﬁrm in generating favorable at-
titude towards the brand (Hameed, Siddiqui, & Husain,2016). Evidences from various
researches suggest that consumers are very conscious about greenwashing and don’t rely
on advertising regarding green performance of organizations. So, it is hypothesized that:
H2: Consumers’ understanding of eco labels positively inﬂuence trust on green claims for
Journal of Management Sciences
Trust on Eco Labels affects Consumer Eco Conscious Buying Behavior
According to Testa et al. (2015), consumers have established a positive attitude for the
consumption of environmental friendly products because they have developed associa-
tions with the brands. Atkinson and Rosenthal (2014) have argued that eco labels are
less effective in inﬂuencing consumers’ purchase behavior. However, it is found effective
to develop an attitude towards green products through eco labels. Therefore, compa-
nies should work on consumers’ personality traits and other factors that could lead to
the formation of an attitude for environmentally friendly products consumption. Because
environmentally conscious consumers are more cautious which is depicted in their pur-
chase decisions (Grimmer & Bingham,2013). Chen and Chang (2012) noted that number
of factors affect consumer decision making in purchase of green products, such as green
perceived risk, green perceived value and green trust. Companies need to work on green
perceived risk because consumers avoid purchasing products which they believe as risky.
Minimizing green perceived risk and maximizing green trust about companies’ product
enhances consumers trust for the green products and they would start considering green
According to Rettie et al. (2012), consumers have high level of skepticism for green
products due to greenwashing. Consumers have ﬁrm belief that green products are less
effective in terms of their functional beneﬁts and are expensive which are deemed to be
consumed by small segment of consumers. Advertisements help ﬁrms generating favor-
able consumer response (Haq & Ghouri,2017). Atkinson and Rosenthal (2014) argued
about deceptive advertisement claims by companies regarding green products and ob-
served that consumers have less proclivity for products which they feel lacking in credi-
bility. Consumer’s perceived credibility about the ﬁrms and their offering have colossal
impact on their purchase decision (Aslam, Batool, & Haq,2016). It is, therefore, impera-
tive for the companies to be trustworthy in the eyes of consumers to excel in green seg-
ment. Credibility of the organization claims, and manufacturing less damaging products
have tremendous effect on consumers’ attitude for the green products which ultimately
leads to green consumption. Consequently, consumers’ trust on green claim act as a driv-
ing force to behave environmental friendly. Hence, it can be hypothesized that:
H3: Consumers’ understanding of eco labels positively inﬂuence Consumer’s Eco Conscious
Buying Behavior mediated by consumers’ trust on green claim.
Environmental Concern and Consumer Eco Conscious Behavior
Wei et al. (2017) investigated green consumption and deﬁned that it includes various as-
pects of sustainability, which ensure safety of the planet. Manufacturers of green prod-
ucts can make products after the identiﬁcation of factors that inﬂuence consumer deci-
sion making process. Consumers have deep emotional engagement to the safety of en-
vironment that could help in pursuance of products which are less damaging to the en-
vironment. Sheth et al. (2011) argued that human actions have depleted many natural
resources leading to the issues of ﬁsheries, deforestation, soil erosion and biodiversity.
Journal of Management Sciences
Xie, Bagozzi, and Grønhaug (2015) explained that consumers who have high regard for
the sustainability of environment will support green initiatives and condemn companies
that are involved in environmental degradation. Leonidou et al. (2013) noted that com-
panies use variety of tools to communicate with the consumers regarding environmental
claims. Green promotion strategies of the companies include environmentally friendly
packaging, portraying environmental image through advertising and making efforts to
publicize environmental claims. However, do Pac¸o and Reis (2012) suggested that con-
sumers who are more conscious about the safety of environment tend to be more skeptical
in their actions. Hartmann and Apaolaza-Ib ´
nez (2012) postulated that consumers con-
cern for environment has boosted their purchase intention. Polonsky (2011) noted that pro
environmental belief have strong effect on consumer green behavior. Furthermore, strong
relationship exists between health promotion and concern for the environment which is
ultimately supporting green products purchase behavior (Testa et al.,2015).
an, and Lewin (2017) suggested that future beneﬁts of conservation
may not result in pro environmental behavior; it can only activate pro environmental be-
havior which is not consistent with deeper environmental behavior. The positive and
negative aspects of green products may include cultural incompatibility, risk and prod-
uct, consumers’ intention and behavior are dependent upon evaluation of beneﬁts and
safety associated with environmental friendly products (Sun, Teh, & Linton,2018;Hazen,
Mollenkopf, & Wang,2017). It is expected that eco labels are an imperative source of infor-
mation for consumers, this ultimately shape their thinking pattern towards environment,
and consumers concern for the safety and environmental issues increases. Thus, it can be
H4: Consumers’ understanding of Eco labels positively inﬂuence environmental concern.
Eco-labelling provides information to consumers related to green products. Marketers
use eco-labelling strategy to create value for green products to motivate decision makers
to adopt sustainable production (Miranda-Ackerman & Azzaro-Pantel,2017). Compa-
nies are focusing to establish market and build an image through its green products. In
view of environmental concern, consumers have developed high tendency towards eco-
friendly products (Chen & Chang,2013). The movement of “going green” is gaining
momentum as consumers are becoming more conscious about environment. Consumers
are looking for the products that are less damaging for the environment. Consumers’
consistent evaluation and demand for eco-friendly products have motivated companies
in maintaining the sustainability of environment (Nagaraju & Thejaswini,2014). Compa-
nies have changed their marketing approaches in response to consumers’ environmental
friendly behaviors (Chen & Chang,2013). However, the performance of green products is
depicting gloomy picture in terms of market share. There is a clear dichotomy regarding
consumers purchase intention and concern for the environment. Despite achieving envi-
ronmental certiﬁcation, products failed to gain consumers acceptability. Environmental
concern has been investigated in this study to ﬁnd out the causes of consumers motivat-
ing forces in selection of environmentally friendly products. Some studies have focused
on consumer demographic characteristics that can shape preferences for the green prod-
Journal of Management Sciences
ucts (Testa et al.,2015). Labels are vital source of information for consumers; consumers
are consistently involved in search of information regarding the products, which they
want to purchase (Hameed, Siddiqui, & Husain,2015). Labels provide relevant infor-
mation regarding the production processes and attributes of the products, environmental
impact and origin. Manufacturers need to strategically market the products in a way that
should capture maximum segments of the target market (Bullock, Johnson, & Southwell,
2017). Eco-labeling programs by companies will help to communicate environmental and
safety beneﬁts associated with the products and production process with the consumers.
By doing so, manufacturer establish a link with industry, provide information to pro en-
vironmental engineers and scientists, and devise a mechanism that support truly green
sustainable future (Long,2018). It can be inferred that consumers who have developed
tendency towards the protection of environment based on eco labels understanding will
prefer products that are green and less detrimental to the environment. Hence, it can be
H5: Consumers’ understanding of eco labels positively inﬂuence eco-conscious consumer buy-
ing behavior mediated by environmental concern.
H6: Consumers’ trust on green labelling will positively inﬂuence environmental concern.
Research Framework Adapted from Martnez (2015)
The conceptual The model in ﬁgure 1 focuses on the effectiveness of eco labels to elicit
consumer response towards the sustainability of the environment. For instance, Mart´
(2015) explored customer loyalty: the antecedents from green marketing perspective. Cur-
rent conceptual model in ﬁgure 1 proposes that consumers’ understanding of eco labels
will positively affect consumers’ eco conscious behavior. Additionally, it will analyze the
effects of green trust and consumers’ environmental concern direct and indirect effect on
eco-conscious behavior. Based on prior research on the mediating role of green trust and
Journal of Management Sciences
environmental concern in other studies of Mart´
ınez (2015); and Reich and Soule (2016),
these variables have been used as mediators in the conceptual model, as shown above in
Data Collection and Sampling
This section deals with the collection of data and sampling procedure. Procedure of Data
collection and sample size was determined based on previous literature regarding green
consumers. Researchers noted that collection of responses from a big metropolitan city
is better to predict overall population responses (Ritter, Borchardt, Vaccaro, Pereira, &
Almeida,2015;Bailey et al.,2016;Hasnah Hassan,2014;Chekima, Wafa, Igau, Chekima,
& Sondoh Jr,2016). Karachi is the most populous city of Pakistan, and due to its cultural
and ethnic diversity, it represents collective belief of overall consumers in Pakistan. Many
authors have used convenience sampling for data collection as prior databases or records
of consumers were not available to select randomly (Ritter et al.,2015;Mart´
Mohd Suki,2016;Dekhil, Boulebech, & Bouslama,2017;Chekima et al.,2016). Moreover,
it is easier for researchers to collect data through convenience sampling. On the premise
of previous research and literature, convenience sampling was applied for the collection
of respondents’ data. Sample size of 300 respondents was gathered to analyze the effect of
eco labels on consumers. 300 is the average sample for a large population and this sample
size is based on previous researches in the ﬁeld of green marketing (Bailey et al.,2016;
Felix & Braunsberger,2016;Dekhil et al.,2017;Yeniaras,2016).
Feature N Percentage (%)
Male 226 75.33
Female 74 24.66
Intermediate/ A level 339 13.02
Undergraduate 371 23.66
Graduate 179 59.66
Doctorate 11 3.66
Employee 121 40.33
Own Business 14 4.66
Student 165 55
Proﬁle of Participants
Table 1 is showing the proﬁle of the respondents. Out of total, 75.33% were male respon-
dents and 24.66% were female respondents. 59.66% of the participants were at graduate
level of study, followed by 23.66% undergraduate students, 13.02% of the respondents
Journal of Management Sciences
were intermediate and 3.66% were doctorate students. As far as occupation is concerned,
40.33% were employees, 55% were full time students, and 4.66% were operating their
own businesses. In Pakistan, educated respondents have more knowledge about organic
food’s recycling detrimental effects on global warming than uneducated. Therefore, data
has been collected from educated respondents. Federal government of Pakistan, provin-
cial governments and social activists initiated green plantation campaigns to reduce the
adverse effects of global warming. Karachi is called mini Pakistan, having representation
from all provinces of Pakistan. Therefore, data has been gathered from Karachi city.
Research Instrument and Measures
Self-administered questionnaires have been distributed for the collection of consumers’
responses regarding understanding the effectiveness of eco labels, environmental con-
cern, consumer trust and Eco conscious consumer buying behavior. Questionnaires were
divided into two sections: demographic proﬁle of consumers and questions related to the
hypothesized variables. All the items in the study were measured on a ﬁve-point Lik-
ert scale, where (5) represents “strongly agree” and (1) represents “strongly disagree”.
Second part of the questionnaire was comprised of questions related to consumers’ eval-
uation of eco labels and its effects on eco-conscious consumer behavior. Eco labels were
measured through three ﬁve-point Likert scale items from the study of Thøgersen et al.
(2010). Consumers’ concern for the environment was measured through three ﬁve-point
Likert scale items from Paul, Modi, and Patel (2016); Ritter et al. (2015); Haws, Winterich,
and Naylor (2014) scales were taken for the evaluation of consumers trust for eco labels.
Leary, Minton, and Mittelstaedt (2016) ﬁve items scale have been used to assess eco con-
scious consumer behavior. Pilot study with 50 MBA students was conducted to under-
stand their eco-conscious behavior. The values of cronbach’s alpha for the items were be-
low the threshold value 0.70. According to J. F. Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson, and Tatham
(2009), the values in the range of 0.70 to 0.90 are acceptable. Though aware of these bor-
derline values, instruments were adapted based upon previous studies. However, few
modiﬁcations have been made in the instruments by removing the elements having low
cronbach’s alpha values, as proposed by J. F. Hair et al. (2009).
Data Analysis and Results
Discriminant validity analysis, Means, and correlations of constructs.
Constructs Means S.D Eco Conscious Buying Green Environmental Eco Label
Behavior Trust Concern
Eco conscious buying behavior 3.5422 0.624 0.676
Green Trust 3.7422 0.609 0.361** 0.550
Environmental Concern 3.9422 0.669 0.160** 0.393** 0.664
Eco Label 3.7200 0.732 0.331** 0.267* 0.328** 0.707
Notes: The bold diagonal elements are the square root of the variance shared between the constructs and their measures;
off diagonal elements are the correlations among constructs .
Journal of Management Sciences
Conﬁrmatory Factor Analysis
Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess the reliability of the measurement items. Though
ﬁnal results showing low CFA values, we accepted the results based on previous research
ﬁndings on same instruments. Main reason to include low CFA values is the study con-
ducted in developing market context. Data was collected from Pakistani consumer, they
have less propensity towards green products due to insufﬁcient campaign by government
and companies. Factor loading of items would have been higher if consumers had more
knowledge regarding the beneﬁts of using green products. According to J. Hair, Ander-
son, Tatham, and Black (1998), the level of internal consistency for the four constructs
should exceed the minimum requirement of 0.60 for an exploratory study. The internal
consistency of four constructs were ranging from 0.633 to 0.691 which exceeds the min-
imum threshold of 0.60. To assess convergent validity, standardized factor loadings for
all measurement items and average variance extracted were estimated. All measurement
items had standardized loading estimates of .5 or higher and all were signiﬁcant at alpha
level of .001. The items below 0.50 loading were deleted from the analysis as recom-
mended by Paul et al. (2016). Overall Cronbach’s alpha for 20 items was 0.824 which is
more than threshold value of 0.70. According to Fornell and Larcker (1981), the value
of average variance extracted (AVE) must be greater than the correlation among the con-
structs as shown in table 3 (conﬁrming discriminant validity). For instance, the AVE’s
for the two constructs: eco-conscious consumer behavior and green trust are 0.676 and
0.55 which are greater than the correlation value of 0.361. Hence, it shows that there is
adequate discriminant validity between the constructs. Values of all AVEs are conﬁrming
discriminant validity in the model.
Structural Model Results
Result of the SEM indicates overall model a ﬁt (J. F. Hair et al.,2009): χ2= 83.131; df
= 48; p = 0.001. Byrne (1994) suggested the value for GFI and CFI should be .90 and
.93 respectively. MacCallum, Browne, and Sugawara (1996) suggested that the value of
RMSEA should be 0.01 for excellent model ﬁt, 0.05 for good and 0.08 for mediocre ﬁt.
The values of model ﬁt are falling in the ranges proposed by authors such as: AGFI=.929;
GFI=.957; NFI=.873; CFI= .941; RMSEA=0.049 shown in table 3.
The ﬁndings of structural equation model show that Eco labels have positive inﬂuence
on eco-conscious consumer behavior (β= .45), Eco labels have positive inﬂuence on green
trust (β= .40), Eco labels have positive inﬂuence on environmental concern (β= .32). Posi-
tive inﬂuence of eco labels on eco-conscious consumer behavior mediated by green trust is
accepted with the path coefﬁcient (β= .56). While path coefﬁcient of environmental con-
cern as a mediator between eco labels and eco-conscious consumer behavior is rejected
with the negative path coefﬁcient of β= -.32. Positive inﬂuence of green trust on environ-
mental concern is accepted with the standard coefﬁcient value of β= .50. From the above
analysis it is concluded that all hypotheses were accepted except mediating inﬂuence of
environmental concern between eco labels and eco-conscious consumer behavior.
Journal of Management Sciences
Hypothesis Proposed effects Path Coefﬁcients Results
H1 + 0.45 H1 is supported
H2 + 0.4 H2 is supported
H3 + 0.32 H3 is Supported
H4 + (mediation) 0.56 H4 is supported
H5 + (mediation) -0.32 H5 is not Supported
H6 + 0.5 H6 is supported
NFI = .873 CFI= .941 AGFI=.929 GFI=.957 RMSEA= 0.049
Sobel test Mediation Analysis
EL →GT 0.28 0.077
GT →ECCB 0.959 0.285
EL →EC 0.408 0.132
EC →ECCB -0.296 0.153
Z-value of green trust is 2.47 after applying sobel test analysis. This value is greater
than 1.96, which signiﬁes that green trust is a mediator in the model. While Z-Value
for Environmental Concern is -1.64, it’s falling in the critical region of 1.96 depicts that
environmental concern is not a mediator in the proposed model. For the analysis of full,
partial and no mediation, we ran 1000 bootstrapping samples in AMOS. Full mediation
occurs when indirect is less than 0.05 and direct is greater than 0.05 which can be found in
case of green trust (GT). Indirect effect value greater than 0.05 signiﬁes no mediation, the
value of environmental concern is .258 which is greater than 0.05, veriﬁes no mediation
shown in table 5.
Analysis of Mediation effects
Direct effect Indirect effect Total effect
Green Trust 0.280 0.000 0.280
Environmental concern 0.408 0.258 0.665
Table 5 is showing the Sobel test mediation effects. Eco label is the independent vari-
able, environmental concern and green trust are mediating variables. First of all, the val-
ues in indirect effects column were checked, value of mediating variable is greater than
0.05, which shows no mediation in the analysis. The value of green trust is 0.000 which is
less than 0.05 proved that green trust is a mediating variable and environmental concern
value is greater than 0.05, which signiﬁes no mediation. For the conﬁrmation of partial
and full mediation, we must check the values of direct and indirect columns. Full medi-
ation occurs when indirect is less than 0.05 and direct is greater than 0.05. Green trust is
acting as a full mediator in the proposed model as it is fulﬁlling the full mediation criteria.
The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of eco labels on consumer eco
conscious behavior, the effects of two mediating variables were considered: environmen-
Journal of Management Sciences
tal concern and green trust. Eco label is an imperative source of information about en-
vironmentally friendly products; eco conscious consumer tends to invest more time in
probing about hazardous effects of products on health and environment. Polonsky et al.
(2012) argued that consumer knowledge precedes pro environmental attitude and behav-
ior. Hence, the study ﬁndings support the arguments suggested by previous researches
in the area of green marketing. The current research ﬁlls the gap by investigating the
effects of eco labels on pro environmental behavior of consumers. Eco labels are the pri-
mary source of information for the consumers. Additionally, the mediating effects of envi-
ronmental concern and consumers’ trust towards eco conscious consumer behavior have
credible contribution in the area of green marketing, that provides substantial guidelines
to practitioners and consumers towards the sustainability of environment. Detail discus-
sions for the variables in study are as follow:
Eco Labels and Eco Conscious Consumer Behavior
Eco labels has emerged out as one of the most indispensable variable in the literature of
green marketing that adds value to the attributes of product. Developed countries have
used eco labels, and they found eco labels an effective source of information, adding val-
ues in the features of green products. This paper includes the data of consumers from
a developing country, i.e., Pakistan. Understanding consumers’ acceptability of eco la-
bels in developing country is an essential aspect of this paper, to predict future need of
consumers and their propensity to consume eco- labelled products. This research will ﬁll
the inconsistency that exists in the literature of green marketing related to green prod-
ucts’ labelling in developing markets. In this context, prominent stakeholders such as
regulators, government policies makers and corporate sectors play a vital role in deﬁning
and shaping consumers’ opinion for the green products through eco labelling. Our ﬁnd-
ings revealed that consumers are adaptive towards eco-labels and get inﬂuenced by the
beneﬁts associated with the products that lead to green products consumption. Manufac-
turers need to design eco-labeled products that capture consumer’s desire towards green
products. Successful designing of eco-labels will ultimately induce consumer to behave
Eco Labels and Green Trust
Across the world, there are certain criterion established for the claim of green prod-
ucts. Such claims are validated by an independent authority that provides certiﬁcation
for green products. Subsequently companies use approved certiﬁcations for the promo-
tion of products through eco labels. It has been observed that consumers who have the
knowledge of green products and probe for it are afraid of greenwashing. Consumers’
trust on eco labels that have signiﬁcant impact on pro environmental behavior which
is consistent with the ﬁndings of Atkinson and Rosenthal (2014) and Testa et al. (2015).
Eco labels, sometimes, have cogent source of certiﬁcation which compel consumers to ac-
cept the green claims. Moreover, consumers believed that companies using eco labels are
maintaining highest standards to support and preserve the environment. Foremost man-
Journal of Management Sciences
agerial implication of this research is the consumer trust about green claims made by the
companies. To develop eco conscious consumer behavior, managers need to ingrain the
trust about the green claims. It has been found that green trust has signiﬁcant impact on
consumer decision making regarding green products acceptability. Thus, consumers who
hold positive attitude towards company’s green claims would be willing to accelerate
their consumption of green products.
Eco Labels, Environmental Concern and Consumer Behavior
Environmental concern has become an integral part of companies’ policies and govern-
ments around the world. Preserving environment form hazardous consumption and con-
forming the standard regulations to maintain highest standard would project companies’
responsible attitude towards the environment. Manufacturers design eco-labels to por-
tray the signiﬁcance of environment, and at the same time promote effective attributes of
the products to consumers. Findings suggest that, consumers have regard for the sustain-
ability of environment and they want to preserve it, but they are more inclined towards
the functional beneﬁts. However, environmental beneﬁts through eco labels are less ap-
pealing to consumers’ emotions. Therefore, it is imperative for the manufacturer to be
more vigilant in the design of eco labels that help consumer to accept the attributes of
green products, a value addition to product. Moreover, management need to work on the
understanding of consumer psyche regarding environmental products acquisition and
potential effects of consumer behavior towards the safety of environment. The ﬁndings re-
lated to consumer’s environmental concern are inconsistent with the previous researches
(Hartmann & Apaolaza-Ib´
nez,2012;Polonsky, Vocino, Grimmer, & Miles,2014). Thus,
robust policies are needed to be implemented to raise substantial awareness about the
sustainability of environment. Producers and government regulators need to emphasize
the importance of environment through media campaigns in developing countries, which
will help them to increase consumer knowledge regarding the susceptibility of environ-
ment, which is associated with hazardous productions.
Green Trust and Environmental Concern
Another issue considered in the model was the impact of green trust on consumers’ pro-
clivity towards sustainability of environment. Green trust has meaningful impact on con-
sumer’s tendency for the safety of environment. Information acquired from the eco labels
served to deliver the intended message which arise consumers concern to preserve the
environment. Consumers probe more related to products’ attribute, production processes
and impact of company’s policies on the environment. Such concerns contributed to con-
sumer inclination for the safety of environment thus led to pro-environmental behavior.
Journal of Management Sciences
Current research intends to explain the relationship between eco-labels and eco-conscious
consumer behavior. Many studies, in the past, have emphasized the different aspect of
green products and consumer behavior. However, this study has ﬁlled the gap by ana-
lyzing effectiveness of eco-labels which are the prime and immediate source of informa-
tion to consumers at the point of purchase. Eco-labels are certiﬁed labels used by man-
ufacturers to provide relevant information regarding product’s environmental friendly
attributes. This study has also incorporated two other novel variables as mediators be-
tween the relationship of eco-labels and eco-conscious behavior. Addition of two media-
tors “green trust” and “environmental concern” are pertinent in this study as these two
factors can contribute a lot in research framework. Green trust has been proved a vital
factor in the literature of green marketing because consumers around the world are very
much concerned about greenwashing. Many companies made claims about the greenery
of product, but it is opposite. Therefore, green trust has signiﬁcant role in deﬁning con-
sumers’ acceptability of green products. Besides this, environmental concern has been
used as mediator. Environmental concern is the burning issue across the globe; there
are many summits regarding the sustainability of environment which compelled govt,
manufactures to comply the standard rules for the safety of environment. Outcomes of
these summits and conferences, has largely, blamed the organizations for their hazardous
production processes that led to the degradation of environment. The ﬁndings of this
study depict that consumers get inﬂuenced by eco-labels which help them to be environ-
mentally conscious. The effect of green trust on eco-conscious consumer behavior has
been proved, which signiﬁes that green trust has positive inﬂuence on consumer eco-
conscious behavior. Moreover, the effect of eco-labels on green trust was also signiﬁcant
and positive; which implies that eco-labels are the true source of information for the green
products. The study further focused the effects of eco-labels on environmental concern.
It was found that eco-labels effects environmental concern positively. It was found that
eco-labels effect consumer concern for the safety of environment; it also conﬁrmed the
suitability of eco-labels to carry environmental friendly messages.
However, the impact of environmental concern on consumer’s eco-conscious behav-
ior was not found. This is particularly related to consumers actual behavior. The rea-
son for consumers’ reluctance towards eco-conscious behavior could be the lifestyle of
consumers, which is not actually relevant to green market. Second reason could be the
country in which this research has been conducted as green laws are not practically im-
plemented in letter and spirit. Third, consumers’ might have environmental concern, but
they couldn’t get opportunity to transform their environmental attitude towards environ-
mental behavior due to lack of green products. Thus, these reasons act as a bottleneck
in the way of actual behavior of consumers. This research has also emphasized the rela-
tionship between green trust and environmental concern. The ﬁndings show that green
trust has positive inﬂuence on environmental concern. This suggest that consumer trust
for green products make them conscious about the safety of environment.
The results of the study depict a signiﬁcant direct impact of eco labels on consumer’s
eco conscious behavior, green trust and environmental concern. In addition to this, study
Journal of Management Sciences
shows positive effects of eco labels on eco conscious consumer behavior fully mediated by
green trust i.e., green trust positively inﬂuences environmental concern. This study fails
to provide empirical evidence that environmental concern mediates the relationship be-
tween eco labels and eco conscious consumer behavior. The ﬁndings of this study provide
a new framework and contribute into existing literature of green marketing research.
Limitations and Future Research
Firstly, the data of respondents have been collected from one metropolitan city of Pak-
istan, which could make the results biased. Data from other cities would portray better
scenario as behavioral pattern of consumers are different in different cities and new results
might improve values of conﬁrmatory factor analysis. The study is not speciﬁc to any
product category and lacks physical appearance of eco labels that could have meaningful
impact in understanding eco conscious consumers behavior. Moreover, cross sectional
data have been used to understand consumer’s eco conscious behavior, future research
can be done by using longitudinal data to ﬁnd the differences in consumers’ behavior
for the better understanding of eco labels. The impact of education and environmental
knowledge were not considered in the model, addition of these two constructs as moder-
ators will shed more light in understanding consumer environmental behavior as under-
standing of eco-labels in 21st century would be having substantial impact on consumer
eco conscious behavior. This research is based on anticipated eco-labels, research can
be conducted on actual eco-labels of certain products which may have more predictive
power eliciting consumers’ actual behavior, which will help researchers to substantiate
current research ﬁndings. Like most of the survey researches, convenience sampling ap-
proach has been used in main locations such as hyper stores, universities, super stores and
malls. To substantiate this research ﬁndings, future research can be conducted in different
geographical locations. Although current model has enough predictability for consumer
eco-conscious behavior, but its predictability can be further improved by adding factors
that are crucial for pro environmental behavior.
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