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Climate change risk perceptions among green conscious young consumers: implications for green commodity marketing

Chamila Perera (Business School, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Chandana Hewege (Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 27 November 2018

Issue publication date: 4 December 2018

1475

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how young adults understand the climate change problem. It also explores whether environmental paradigms explain how young adults perceive climate change risks in their everyday green conscious behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

This interpretive research draws on in-depth interviews with 20 young Australians (aged between 19-25 years) who engage in green conscious behavior.

Findings

Three thematic categories (“non-local” climate change risk, oscillation between environmental paradigms and anthropocentric environmentalism) emerged from the data. The study finds that “non-local” climate change risk perceptions and environmental paradigms inform green conscious behavior. However, no association between environmental paradigms and climate change risk perceptions is found. The study postulates a skeletal theoretical framework for understanding the green conscious behavior of young adults.

Practical implications

Recommendations are provided on how to sustain young adults’ interest in environmental wellbeing and in promoting green commodities in young consumer markets. Suggestions include creating a clear awareness of climate change with a constructive or positive appeal resolving ‘non-local’ climate change risk perceptions and position green commodities as “pro-actions” or “solutions”, as opposed to “reactions”, when reaching young consumer markets.

Originality/value

A high level of green consciousness among young adults is recorded in recent global surveys. This green conscious young consumer segment, however, appears to be largely ignored by green commodity marketers. This study provides green commodity marketers with necessary insights to explore the opportunities that might arise in this unique market segment.

Keywords

Citation

Perera, C. and Hewege, C. (2018), "Climate change risk perceptions among green conscious young consumers: implications for green commodity marketing", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 754-766. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-01-2018-2537

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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