The importance of consumers role in sustainable consumption is reflected in the vision of the Sustainable Development Education Panel: To educate consumers to make informed consumption decisions, to take responsibility for their actions and to realize the impact of consumption decisions on future generations. However, educating and informing consumers alone is unlikely to change deeply entrenched unsustainable consumption behaviour. A multi-faceted approach is required - enforcing sustainable development initiatives through legislation, promoting corporate social responsibility programs on the part of business, and (most importantly), supporting communities that engage in sustainable consumption. This study examines the proposition that individuals who identify with their community (i.e. the residential suburb or a locality where identity is understood geographically) are more likely to engage in sustainable consumption. Specifically, it examines how consumption value (i.e. the perceived value of living in a particular residential suburb) contributes to place identity and to environmental attitudes and sustainable consumption behaviour. Structural equation modelling is used to verify the conceptual model using data from a telephone survey of 561 residents from two inner city suburbs in Auckland, New Zealand. The results support the proposition that environmental attitude and sustainable consumption behaviour is enhanced by consumption values through place identity. Residents who enjoy living in their community, value a clean and healthy environment and believe their suburbs are unique tend to develop a stronger identity with their residential suburb, and are more positive towards sustainable consumption. The results have important implications for social marketers, property marketers and city councils who strive to encourage sustainable consumption among its citizens.
Lee, C. K. C., Levy, D. S., & Yap, S. F. C. (2015). How does the theory of consumption values contribute to place identity and sustainable consumption? International Journal of Consumer Studies, 39(6), 597 - 607. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcs.12231